Trapani is a city on the west coast of Sicily in Italy and the capital of the Province of Trapani. Today, the city is still regarded as an important fishing and ferry port and the main gateway to the nearby Egadi Islands. Originally, it was named Drepana or Drepanon which derives from the Greek word for “sickle”, because of the curving shape of its harbor. Trapani was founded by the Elymians to serve as the port of the nearby city of Erice, ancient Eryx, which overlooks it from Monte San Giuliano.
Much of Trapani’s economy still depends on the sea, fishing and canning being the main local industries. Coral is also an important export, along with salt, marble and Marsala wine. Marsala is a wine, dry or sweet, produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily.
Trapani is also known for its Easter activities and traditions such as the Processione dei Misteri di Trapani, a long day procession. It features twenty floats of lifelike wood, canvas and glue sculptures, mostly from the 17th and 18th centuries, of individual scenes of the events of the Passion.
Much of the old city of Trapani dates from the later medieval or early modern periods however, there are not many remains of the ancient city. Some of the well-known sights include the Basilica-Sanctuary of Maria Santissima Annunziata, Castello di Terra and the Ligny Tower. The Basilica-Sanctuary of Maria Santissima Annunziata, which is also called Madonna of Trapani is a Roman Catholic Church and minor basilica, dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel built in 1315 to 1332 and later was rebuilt in 1760.
The Castello di Terra, translated as the Land Castle, was originally built in the late 12th century, and modified over the years until the 19th century. Today, only the northwestern face of the castle is still in effect. The Ligny Tower is a coastal watchtower established between 1671 and 1672, on the city’s western coast. The Ligny Tower is open to the public as an archaeological museum, known as Museo civico Torre di Ligny, which was renovated by architect Francesco Terranova in 1979.
In the sporting world, Trapani is home of the local football team, Trapani Calcio, which made its debut in Serie B in 2013–14 season. In addition, Trapani was also the location of Acts 8 and 9 of the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2005. This sailing race featured, among other entrants, all the boats that took part in the 2007 America’s Cup.
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