The port city of Trapani has a picturesque old town thick with the remnants of centuries of Spanish rule. It also provides a convenient jumping off point to visit the top attractions in western Sicily, including the Segesta Archaeological Park, the medieval town of Erice, and the wineries in Marsala. Here are suggestions for two days in Trapani.
Day 1: Trapani and the Salt Pans
Morning: Take advantage of the cool morning hours to tour the town’s historic center on foot or by bike. Admire the Catalan-Gothic and baroque architecture of its churches and palaces, which date from the Spanish occupation, and stroll through the Villa Margherita park. Alternatively, learn about the unique local cuisine on a food tour that combines sightseeing with stops for street food and wine.
Afternoon: Trapani was once an important producer of sea salt, and the historic salt flats are now the Trapani and Paceco Salt Pans Natural Reserve. Join a guided tour to learn about traditional sea salt harvesting, and visit the historic windmills and salt mill-turned-museum. The lowlands are rich in birdlife, and you can spot flamingos, cranes, storks, and osprey nesting and migrating.
Night: Relax and do as the locals do, setting out for an evening passeggiata (stroll) along lively Via Garibaldi, which closes to traffic in the evening. Enjoy a traditional Sicilian granita or a glass of wine from nearby Marsala, and settle in for a meal of classic local dishes like couscous, caponata, or pasta tossed with pesto trapanese at one of the many restaurants in the old town.
Day 2: Culture and Cuisine Day Tripping
Morning: Sicily once was part of the vast Greek empire, and a number of Greek temples still stand on the island. See one of the most striking by joining a tour of the Segesta Archaeological Park, which is located east of Trapani and is a popular day trip for archaeology buffs.
Afternoon: Wine enthusiasts can spend the afternoon touring the traditional wineries of Marsala, which is situated south of Trapani and known for its fortified wine of the same name. You can also taste other local wines, like Nero d'Avola, Cataratto, and Grillo.
Night: Lovers of beautiful views and authentic food will find both in the hilltop town of Erice, just outside Trapani. One of the most scenic towns in Sicily, Erice overlooks the coastline and offers views of the Mediterranean Sea. Explore the historic center and the medieval castle, stopping for dinner along the narrow pedestrian lanes.