NO WIND, NO PROBLEM!
From the Stagnone Nature Reserve, you can easily reach many points of tourism interest, food and wine, seaside, historical and cultural interest in Western Sicily:
The medieval village of Erice, the Greek temple and theater of Segesta, the Terme Segestane, the temples of Selinunte, Marsala wine city, the beaches of San Vito Lo Capo, Castellammare del Golfo, Trapani, Macari, Triscina, The island of Mozia, the Saline and via del Sale, the Egadi islands (Favignana, Levanzo, Marettimo), the Florio wineries of Marsala, the Tonnara di Bonagia, Gibellina, the natural reserves of Monte Cofano and Zingaro ... to name a few!
Sicily Kite Accademy, has selected in the list below, some of the points of tourist interest mentioned above, providing for each: a brief description with brief historical, geographical and cultural notes, some links to learn more, and the SKA Tips, useful for organizing at best your vacation.
Lilybaeum and is located on the Cape Boeo of Trinacria. The origin of Lilybaeum can be traced back to 397 BC by the Phoenicians of Mozia and then passed into the hands of the Romans in 241 BC. and become one of the most important centers in the Mediterranean. With the end of the Roman Empire, the city, conquered by the Arabs, was rebuilt and was given the name Marsa-Alì (Port of Alì), from which it derives its current name.
Economic and demographic growth led to an important urban development, based on the Arab model. From the end of the eleventh century the Norman, Swabian, Angevin and Spanish dominations followed one another and at the end of the eighteenth century, it was once again an arrival from the sea that changed its fate: the arrival of the Englishman John Woodhouse who "invented" marsala wine.
Marsala and its territory represent an essential starting point in the context of Mediterranean civilization. Myths and legends, heroes, peoples, great philosophers, artists, writers have ventured into these lands.
Here are the main tourist destinations of the city:
• Visit the historic center, the heart of the city: Today if you go to Piazza della Repubblica (Piazza Loggia) you will have the opportunity to admire two of the four remaining gates: Porta Garibaldi (Porta mare) and Porta Nuova; from there you can start the route to visit the historic center (entirely pedestrian area) and its beauties: the Duomo, the beautiful Purgatorio square with the Baroque fountain and the Purgatorio church, the archaeological finds of old Lilybeo, the Tapestry museum Flemish, the Palazzo and the Municipal Art Gallery and finally the market, an example of an Arab presence made evident by its architecture. The Antico Mercato by day hosts fishermen who sell their freshly caught fish products; in the evening it turns into a meeting point thanks to the numerous bars present.
• Visit the archaeological area of Capo Boeo dating back to the Roman imperial age which rises above a source of fresh water: the Sibyl Lilibetana cave; this ancient place of worship, inspired by the worship of water, becomes a baptismal font and, identified as the home of the Sicilian Sibyl, a destination for pilgrims and prophecies.
• Visit the wineries (Cantine Florio and Cantine Pellegrino)
• Take a walk on the Lungomare Boeo and visit the beaches around the city (Lido Signorino)
• Do not miss the typical dishes of the traditional Marsala restaurant: fish cous cous, pasta with sea urchins (you cannot find it on the menus, you have to ask for it), baked pasta, sandwich with panelle, cunzato bread, rianata, and the arancine (Trapani province is pronounced feminine); brioscia with ice cream, lemon granita and Sicilian cassata for dessert.
Duration: Variable, about one day
ISOLA DI MOZIA
Mozia (or even Mothia) was an ancient Phoenician city, interested in the explorations of merchant-navigators who pushed into the western Mediterranean Sea from the end of the XII century BC.
It is located on the island of San Pantaleo, in the Stagnone di Marsala opposite the western coast of Sicily, between the Isola Grande and the mainland. Destroyed by Dionysius of Syracuse in 400 BC, during its campaign to conquer the Elymian and Punic cities of western Sicily, it was conquered by the Carthaginians and subsequently by the Romans after the battle of the Egadi Islands in 241 BC.
In the 11th century it was donated by the Normans to the Basilian monks of Palermo who renamed it San Pantaleo.
At the beginning of the twentieth century the whole island was purchased by Joseph Whitaker, archaeologist and heir of an English family who had moved to Sicily enriching themselves with the production of marsala. The excavations promoted by Whitaker, which began in 1906 and continued until 1929 and then resumed over the years by various university archaeological missions, brought to light the remains of the ancient Phoenician-Punic civilization. Whitaker also took care of the arrangement of the excavations, purchasing the island and creating the "Whitaker Foundation". The Foundation houses the museum with the main finds found and the famous marble statue of Auriga di Mozia.
• Visiting the Isle of Mothia and the Whitaker museum is possible in a day thanks to the Saline Infersa jetty (Mozia Line), which makes the return trip to the island of Mothia and the panoramic excursion of the entire Lago dello Stagnone .
• Daily excursion duration: from 2 to 4 hours;
• Upon returning from the excursion, do not miss the aperitif at sunset at the Bar Mamma Caura.
Duration of excursion and museum visit: from 2 to 4 hours.
SKA Useful Links
AND THE SALT ROUTE
The Via del Sale extends for 29 km along the coastal road that leads from Trapani to the city of Marsala. There are twenty-seven salt marshes, on which there are two natural reserves, the Oriented Nature Reserve of the Saline di Trapani and Paceco managed by the WWF and the Natural Reserve of the Stagnone Islands of Marsala.
An itinerary along the ancient area of salts colturadella Sicily where the salt pans maintain a centuries-old tradition between windmills, hot tubs, canals that intersect checkerboard, large piles of salt that look like pyramids and hundreds of exotic bird species such as the sedentary pink flamingo.
A few minutes drive from the Riserva dello Stagnone, you can reach and visit the ancient and still active salt pans of Ettore Infersa and Genna and the Salt Museum. The Salt Museum is open every day from 9.00 to 20.00 and is located inside the mill of Ettore Infersa.
Duration of the tour and museum visit: 2 - 3 hours
The Egadi Islands Marine Nature Reserve is the largest protected marine area in Europe. It is characterized by a wild and uncontaminated nature, a clear sea, jagged coasts, sheer cliffs, natural caves, sandy or pebble beaches and surreal colored backdrops; the entire Reserve has a unique ecosystem of its kind consisting of a lush Mediterranean maquis that attracts a large variety of migratory birds.
The archipelago of the reserve, is made up of the islands of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo and several other smaller islands (Maraone, Formica, Stagnone, Galera, Galeotta, Preveto and Faraglione);
• From Trapani or Marsala ferries or hydrofoils run frequently to reach the islands of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo (see ferry / hydrofoil links below);
• In Favignana, it will be possible to rent a bike or scooter at the port and easily travel the island far and wide to discover wonderful coves;
• The former Florio factory, an ancient Tonnara di Favignana, converted into a historical and interactive museum, can also be visited daily with a private local guide.
• In Levanzo, in addition to walks along the paths that cross the island with breathtaking views, it will be possible to visit the Grotta del Genovese archaeological site with prehistoric paintings.
From the Port of Trapani or from the beach of San Teodoro, it will be possible to rent an inflatable boat without a nautical license or for the impractical you can choose the rental option with skipper to be able to reach both Levanzo and Favignana in 20/30 minutes of navigation and have all the autonomy and the freedom to tour the islands by sea, visiting the most hidden places of the two islands.
Duration: from 6 to 8 hours.
ERICE, MEDIEVAL CITY
According to history, Erice was the most important city and religious capital for the Elimi, an ancient Italic people. During the First Punic War, the Carthaginian general Amilcare ordered its fortification by transferring part of the Erice to the valley (hence the Drepanum foundation, today's Trapani). For the Romans it was a center of relief, where they venerated the "Venus Erycina", the first goddess of Roman mythology in the likeness of the Greek Aphrodite.
It was occupied by the Arabs and followed by the Normans who continued the construction with new civil and religious buildings, some still partially visitable.
The city of Erice maintains its medieval charm intact and along the narrow and characteristic stone roads, you can choose different tourist, cultural, historical and food and wine routes. During the walking tours it will be possible to appreciate the craft and gastronomic traditions: typical Erice ceramics, rugs made on old looms, almond and Genoese sweets, prepared according to local customs.
Do not miss the sunsets over the Saline and Egadi islands which acquire a different atmosphere from above.
Erice, can be reached in just 10 minutes thanks to the cable car that departs from Trapani with continuous runs.
Duration of visit to Erice: from 2 to 4 hours.
ZINGARO NATURAL RESERVE
The Oriented Natural Reserve of the Zingaro (the first established in 1981 by the Sicily Region), extends, in the stretch of coast that goes from San Vito il Capo to Castellammare del Golfo for 7 km, presents an alternation of high rock walls that sink into the blue of the sea, interspersed along the way by numerous rocky and pebble beaches
The reserve can be visited on foot. It can be accessed from 2 entrances:
• The north entrance, 12 km from San Vito Lo Capo
• The south entrance, 1 km from Scopello.
It is perfectly usable by everyone, there are in fact three routes: the first runs along the coast from one end of the reserve to the other and is the least demanding, the second, more tiring, zigzags between the coast and the rocky walls, while the third is reserved for the more sporty and crosses the whole Gypsy from top to bottom.
Among the things you should bring when visiting the Zingaro nature reserve:
• Water, enough for the whole day! You will not find drinking water in the reserve.
• The necessary for a picnic: outside the 2 entrances, there are no snack bars.
• A hat, a baseball cap, a cap or whatever you prefer! It is very important since there is no shadow along the path.
• Good shoes
Also know that there are no toilets in the reserve. The only toilets are located at the 2 entrances.
It is also possible to visit the 5 small museums in the reserve (Naturalistic Museum, Museum of Maritime Activities, Museum of Peasant Civilization, Museum of Manna and Museum of the plot)
DURATION: About half a day
SAN VITO LO CAPO
San Vito lo Capo, is a small seaside resort in north-western Sicily famous for its beach overlooking a sheltered bay dominated from above by Monte Monaco.
Transparent waters, which slope gently towards the open sea and currents practically absent, make San Vito Lo Capo beach one of the ideal destinations for those who want to spend a wonderful beach holiday in Sicily.
The fine white sand beach is almost 3 km long.
The Sanctuary in the center of the city was built around the small chapel dedicated to San Vito martyr, this building originally served to protect the many faithful from pirate raids that were very frequent at the time;
The lighthouse is among the symbols of the city;
In operation since 1959 and wanted by the Bourbons to make navigation to passing boats safer.
The beach of San Vito lo Capo is usually very crowded during the summer and on weekends (July and August), if you find too many crowds we recommend the Bay of Santa Margherita (10 minutes by car from the village) or the ancient Tonnara del Secco .
Duration: Half day
AND THERMAL WATERS
Segesta is a historic city located in the municipality of Calatafimi-Segesta, about 10 km away from Alcamo and from Castellammare del Golfo. The Greek historian Thucydides, says that the Trojan refugees, crossing the Mediterranean Sea, came to Western Sicily, where they founded Segesta and Erice. These refugees were the Elimi.
The most significant elements of Segesta are the theater, the temple and the sanctuary of the Mango district, places where the functions of worship, theater and politics of the ancient city took place. The temple is still used periodically for theatrical performances.
A short distance from the temple, it is possible to visit the free thermal baths, located in Ponte Bagni.
These are some pools of sulphurous hot water with a temperature of around 46-47 °, which emerge from the Warm River, in small loops sheltered and covered with tamarisks, marsh canes and surrounded by vertical rock walls.
• The surrounding landscape lends itself perfectly to hiking, horseback riding or mountain biking.
• To admire the archaeological site we recommend starting from the temple, still intact, continuing with the theater of the second century BC.
• For the spas you can choose the totally free natural ones or the well-equipped spa.
Duration: about 6 hours.
Selinunte is the largest archaeological park in Europe!
It was an ancient Greek city located on the southwestern coast of Sicily. Selinunte takes its name from Selinon, the celery that still grows wild there, a symbol coined on ancient coins. It was the westernmost Greek colony in Sicily, in direct contact with the area occupied by the Carthaginians; its entire history was conditioned by this border position, until the problem with the Roman conquest of Sicily was dissolved.
The archaeological area is made up of the Acropolis, the Eastern Hill, the plateau of Contrada Manuzza, the Malophoros sanctuary in the Gaggera district and two Necropolises (Manicalunga and Galera Bagliazzo).
All the material for building the temples was obtained from the Cusa quarries.
Many buildings are ruined as a result of earthquakes that occurred in the 16th century; however, some interventions of meticulous archaeological restoration have made it possible to rebuild Temple E (temple of Hera) almost completely, and to raise part of Temple C.
The remains and sculptures found in the excavations of Selinunte, such as the famous Efebo di Selinunte, are exhibited in Palermo and at the Civic Museum of Castelvetrano.
• The excursion takes a whole day.
• You park in the ticket office area and you can walk around the site
• Comfortable shoes and a camera are recommended.
Duration walking routes
• Eastern hill temples (40 min.)
• The temples of the Acropolis (1: 30h)
• Eastern hill, Acropolis, Malophoros and Manuzza hill (4:00 h)
The historic cellars Carlo Pellegrino & C. are born in the center of the city of Marsala. Founded in 1880 by Paolo Pellegrino, they specialize in the production of table wines, sweet wines and Marsala wines.
The Pellegrino family has always personally managed the activities in the vineyard and in the cellar, and even today, to the seventh generation, it is daily involved in the company management. A long family history made of respect, care, love and dedication, of values handed down from father to son, which today make it one of the largest families of Sicilian wine.
It was the Phoenicians who between the eighth and seventh centuries BC introduced the cultivation of vines in these territories. We are therefore in the cradle of the native Sicilian vines: cricket, inzolia, catarratto, grecanico, zibibbo, malvasia, nero d'avola, nerello mascalese and frappato, here always used for the production of great wines.
Various wine and food and wine experiences are offered at the cellars of Marsala and Pantelleria and in the Overtoure structure of Marsala, as well as guided tastings and cultural itineraries linked to the splendid territory.
DURATION: 1-2 hours