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Marsala: history, culture… and a delicious wine

Marsala The city of Marsala is a nice seaport in the Trapani area whose origins date back to the prehistoric age; the Carthaginians founded here their main stronghold, a city named Lilybaeum, that was later conquered by Romans, Phoenicians and Arabs, who changed the name of this important port in “Marsah el Alì” or “Marsa Allah”. Nowadays, its inhabitants are still known both as “marsalesi” and as “lilibetani”. The city lies in Capo Boeo, the westernmost point of the whole Sicily; its sandy beaches offer a delightful view of the Aegadian Islands (Favignana, Marettimo and Levanzo) and the wonderful Island of Mozia.

The museums of the city display plenty of evidences of the ancient dominations: during your visit to the Baglio Anselmi you will be able to observe fragments of amphora, tools and jewels dating back to a period that goes from the Prehistory to the Middle Ages. The museum also houses a quite well-preserved example of an ancient Punic ship. The Museo Garibaldino tells the story of Garibaldi landing in Marsala with his army of a thousand “red shirts”; whereas the Museum of Tapestry, near the Cathedral, will leave you completely stunned for the beauty of Fleming works interwoven with silk, wool, hemp and gold, and depicting scenes of the Judaic war.

Marsala is not far from our Scopello or Castellammare del Golfo villas, and is really worth a visit – a walk through the ancient city centre, on the main street “Castrum”, is highly recommended, as well as a visit to the Church of San Giovanni Battista, built in the 16th century above the “Grotta della Sibilla”, a cave that is said to be the actual tomb of the Cuman Sibyl.

Along with the large amount of archeological finds and sites, the beautiful beaches, the museums and the delightful city centre, the city of Marsala is also famous because of its worldwide known homonymous wine – a fortified wine produced with the Inzolia, Catarratto and Grillo white grape varietals and similar in taste to Sherry and Port. During your visit to the city, don’t forget to take some time to relax while seated in one of the many pretty cafés along the main streets, and order a glass of Marsala with cheese, fruits or pastry!