"Marsala" Top 5 Page for this destination Sicilia Things to Do Tip by mircaskirca

Sicilia Things to Do: 200 reviews and 512 photos

  Piazza della Republica
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  • Piazza della Republica - Sicilia
      Piazza della Republica
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  • Piazza della Republica - Sicilia
      Piazza della Republica
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  • Porta Garibaldi - Sicilia
      Porta Garibaldi
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  • Chiesa del Purgatorio - Sicilia
      Chiesa del Purgatorio
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  • Chiesa del Purgatorio - Sicilia
      Chiesa del Purgatorio
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Bbest known for its sweet desert wines, Marsala is a seaport town on the westernmost tip of the island. It was founded by the Phoenician survivors of the sack of Mozia, a major Phoenician colony situated on a nearby island. Its original name was Lilibaeum. Life in the town continued intensively through the successive dominations of the Punics, Romans, Arabs and Normans, each of which left its mark in the form of monuments, art and history. The Arabs gave it its present name Marsala, which is deriving from the Arab Marsa Allah, Port of Allah (God).

At the end of the 18th century, several families of English merchants settled in the town, producing and selling Marsala wine, a high-quality strong wine which is still one of the main sources of income for the town. In 1860 Garibaldi and his One Thousand lannded in Marsala and started the march towards Rome which gave rise to the Unity of Italy.

Marsala is an elegant town full of impressive baroque buildings and bookshops. Piazza de la Republica, bounded by the arcaded Palazzo Comunale and the Chiesa Madre, dedicated to San Tomasso di Canterbury (the patron saint of Marsala), is the heart of town. The most interesting buildings are Convento del Carmine, which houses the Municipal Art Gallery and the Complesso San Pietro, a 15th century monastery now fully restored as a cultural centre. The old city is separated from the sea by Via Lungomare Boeo. Continuing along the sea front you'll find the entrance to the archeological site in which an entire Insula Romana can be found, as well as part of a rich Roman villa containing a number of mosaics. There are two monumental gates to the city: Porta Nuova and Porta Garibaldi.

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Directions: on the westernmost tip of the island; 30 km south of the provincial capital Trapani

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jul 20, 2008
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