«The influence of the spanish culture is just the last of many: the first is the greek, then the saracen and norman. The Renaissance, it just saw a glimpse of it. Now spray water all over these cultural seeds, add a blinding sun, african soil, a pile of dust and beautiful greenery – and you will have Sicily».
Sicily has much to offer and in the Trapani region, you can discover some sides of its soul and its glorious history. Among the magnificent cities of Segesta and Erice find on every corner there’s something to discover, beaches, temples, red hills or salt pans.
It’s hard to describe this incredible corner of the world because words can never do it justice, but trust me when I tell you that this is a journey, even for a weekend, that you must do this year.
Where to stay?
We’re in western Sicily, in a strip of land enclosed between two seas. Here there’s a place that is the perfect base for exploring the area. it’s the accommodation Case Colomba, an old renovated baglio, surrounded by Trapani’s countryside, and transformed into an organic and eco-sustainable farmhouse. You will sleep in large rooms of the typical farmhouses of 1800, surrounded by fruit trees and an Arabic garden. You will find a beautiful swimming pool, a sunny terrace, internet, a barbecue, a large lounge with a TV and also three kitchens so you can to independent, without losing the service of a good organic breakfast.
The location is perfect: from here you can quickly reach all the reserves, the best villages, the towns in the area. Hire a bike directly in the accommodation and discover this wonderful land!
What to do in Sicily, between Erice and Segesta?
History, troubled, glorious and rich, is always evident. Just walking through the countryside, the red hills of sulla blossom and on the hills made golden from the wheat you’ll find ancient Roman beams, houses of Arab, Norman feudal castles and Elymian and Greeks temples that dominate the valleys.
And if you are interested and want to discover more of this story just reach the numerous archaeological sites, we suggest you the Greek colony of Selinunte, the Phoenician island of Mozia, the striking Cave of Cusa and the Doric temple and magnificent Elymian theater of Segesta city.
Of course, you can not miss the medieval town of Erice. The main element is the stone and time seems to stand still. There is an unusual, fascinating silence and walking through the narrow streets of this village on top of Mount San Giuliano is really an incredible experience. Even the craft will amaze you with its colorful hand-woven carpets, its pottery and coral. From the Castle of Venus, surrounded by beautiful gardens, the view is amazing and you can already see the next destinations: the Egadi islands, the incredible salt pans of Trapani, the city and the coast with its stunning coves and crystal clear sea.
Among the places to visit there is also Marsala, to reach from Trapani along Stagnone where you can see the salt pans (which offer a breathtaking view at sunset) and windmills. In the city you can certainly not miss a glass of the famous wine.
Where to dive?
Among fine beaches, beautiful bays and even free spa this corner of Sicily offers to the lovers of water an incredible choice. We suggest you the seaside town of San Vito Lo Capo where you will find wide beaches with a clean blue sea, the Guidaloca beach of Scopello and the caves of Favignana. If you are looking for some relax you can choose between the famous Thermal bath of Segesta in Castellammare del Golfo and the free hot springs in Ponte Bagni, where you will find small pools where the sulphurous water reaches even 46 degrees.
A recipe to savor again the land
When you return from your trip in western Sicily you will often hear the nostalgia of its colors, its inhabitants, its sea and its odors. But there is a recipe that somehow contains all this, you’ll taste it definitely during your vacation and upon return, you can relive those same feelings through it. It is an ancient and simple dish, it’s pesto alla trapanese. Get a mortar and the ingredients:
4 ripe tomatoes
a handful of almonds
a glass of extra virgin oil of Trapani
2 cloves red garlic of Nubia
1 bunch basil
First sear the almonds in boiling water for a minute, peel them and leave them to dry. Peel the garlic, coarsely chopped put them in a mortar. Begin to spin the pestle, gradually add the basil, always accompanied by the salt so that it doesn’t become black, and oil. When it is all mixed, add the almonds and then the tomatoes, peeled and chopped. Finally, add the oil and check the salt. The pesto is ready, the scent of western Sicily inebriates your home.
Cover image: Segesta temple, photo by Moritz Lino via Flickr