A brief guide to the cultural and artistic patrimony of one of the
most beautiful places in Sicily:
Alcamo, whose ancient Arabic name was "Manzil Alkamah",
station of the fruits of lotus, is a great agricultural
city placed between Trapani and Palermo, in the heart of
a wide luxuriant valley of vineyards whose product more
important is the famous wine ALCAMO DOC.
Alcamo was inhabited from the late time of the bronze and
chosen by Elimi, Roman and Byzantine for its strategic position
and with the Arabs the country became hamlet and such it
remained until 1340 when, in Norman epoch, it was inserted
in a large one fee and it came building from the Peralta
family the Castle that, with those ones of Salemi and Calatafimi,
formed a fortified triangle to defend Palermo.
Successively the city passed to the regal Federal property
until to the 6th of April 1860 when declared an antibourbonic
temporary government and opened the doors to Garibaldi.
Some 1300's traits are still discernible in the earliest
part of the town, with, at the top, outstanding attractions
from that period: the Castello, the Piazza del Mercato,
the Chiesa Madre and the Convento dei Francescani.
The architectonic design has evolved throughout time, notably
following the coming of the various religious orders in
Today, the agriculture, notably viticulture, is still a
major resource; commercial and industrial activities - such
as the marble industry -, craft - marble, wooden, iron working
and embroidery - have also remarkably developed.
The city has many attractive religious building: the Chiesa
di San Francesco di Paola, the 1600's Church of SS. Paul
and Bartholomew, with its fine stuccoes and frescoes, the
1700's S. Oliva, this also with stuccoes, frescoes and fine
statues, the Rosario or San Domenico, the 1600's del Collegio,
S. Maria del Gesù, San Tommaso, S. Cosma, San Damiamo,
the baroque Santissimo Salvatore and the Santuario della
Madonna dei Miracoli.
Finally, is the most lovely of all, the Chiesa Madre, dating
from the 1300s but undergoing changes and restructurations
in the following epochs. Inside, are fine frescoes by Borremans
and Bagolini; paintings dedicated to St. Philip and St.
Carlo Borromeo, and another dedicated to the Fourteen Saints.
The Castello dei Conti di Modica, built in the 14th century,
is the most important secular building in town.
Alcamo Marina seaside locality, is far about 6 km from the
country of Alcamo, about 5 km from Castellammare del Golfo
and about 10km from the country of Scopello. In Alcamo Marina
you'll find a beautiful golden beach long about 3 Km and
in summertime many tourists from every part of the world
The spectacle before the eyes of those lucky enough to arrive
in Segesta in the spring months is breathtaking: set in
the vegetation covering one of the many heights southwest
of Palermo, the mass of the splendid temple rises as one
of the most important and best-preserved monuments to have
survived from antiquity to the present day.
The peristyle consists in thirty-six unfluted limestone
columns and it lacks indications that could link it to the
worship of any particular deity.
This means that the experts are still debating the origins
and function of this building, which dates from 430 BC and
was left incomplete. A steep road (do not fear, a bus awaits
those who do not want to walk up, especially in the hottest
part of the day) climbs to the theatre, another essential
part of the Segesta archaeological park, reserving yet more
splendid views of the temple.
The walk ends in a clearing that leads to the upper tiers
of the theatre, like a scenic balcony overlooking the 63m-diameter
semicircle; the orientation to the north is unusual and
probably satisfied a desire to allow the public to enjoy
the view of the hills and sea in the distance.
Few remains are left of the stage, once enriched with pillars
and columns. After the completion of the restoration and
consolidation work, the theatre - of unique charm thanks
to its isolated location in the countryside -has now rediscovered
Castellammare del Golfo is placed at the feet of Monte Inici,
in the middle of the wide gulf, which extends from Capo Rama
to San Vito Lo Capo and gets its name from the beautiful sea
town. The name of Castellammare del Golfo derives from Latin
Castellum maris (Castle at the sea). The town dominates the
wide homonymous gulf, seat of the ancient emporium of the
nearby Segesta, it was the main landing-place of Erice and
Segesta during the pre-Hellenic period. It was the commercial
harbour of Segesta - the "emporium segestanorum"
of the Romans - and experienced its first substantial widening
under the Arabic domination.
Castellammare del Golfo is a big agricultural and trading
center. Its agriculture gives products such as: corn, legumes,
grapes and greenhouse. In the handicraft field the woodworking
has particular importance, and also the needle-work carried
out on original and traditional patterns.
Towards the end of the Middle Ages it became a stronghold.
After the settling down of the tunny-fishing grounds and
of the loader for embarking corn, the town played an important
role for the main trading way towards the inside of the
Still now Castellammare del Golfo is involved in a fairly
good export trade of agricultural products and of tunned
industry (tunny preserved in oil and salted fish).
The Scopello name, from the Arabic term Scoupellos, much
similar to the dialectal Scupeddu, that it probably alludes
to the faraglioni, splendid rocks that reflect in the intense
blue sicilian sea.
The ancient beam of Scopello is a small village given in
the past to the activity fishery, of which they remain the
vestiges in the Tonnara, place on a height that dominates
one splendid marine scene, today national monument. To its
inside, in the able warehouses,you can be admired muciare,
palischermi, caicchi, sciabiche, all boats used for the
peach of the tunas, and the delicious one little church.
The heart of the characteristic village is Neptune Public
square, flanked of the high wall of the eighteenth century
that recinge the "garden of the king" to whose
center finds a drinking-trough in stone, can be admired
the Isonzo Beam.
It is the last town on Palermo’s west coast. It has an extremely
long beach (public beach/facilities available). The old town
has a typical grid plan, with a lovely central square where
you can enjoy a drink in one of the several cafés.The cleaned
up sea, the sun all the year, the architectonic beauties,
the incontaminat nature, the good food, the people friendly,
the still alive traditions, you make of all this the frame
of your next vacations...
Balestrate is a former fishing village with approximately 7.000 inhabitants and is situated only 35km west of Palermo in the Gulf of Castellammare. Magnificent, kilometre-long beaches stretch west and east along the coast from the village. Behind the beach to the west of the village, there is a wood with Eucalyptus and Tamarisk. Balestrate offers everything you might need. Restaurants, bars, pubs, discotheque, supermarkets, bank machine, internet cafe. Monday is market day. In Balestrate you will find everything you need for scuba diving, angling and for motor boot sport. It also has a yacht marina.
To 15 minutes from the airport of Palermo, optimal position for cultural excursions artistic. Splendid sun and charming sea waits for you.
The Common is placed to the center of the Gulf of Castellammare in the western part of the island between Palermo and Trapani, for the beauty of the places and the hospitality of the citizens, variety of attractions offers to the tourist one, between which the possibility to pass of the calm and pleasant days. This situated one is born from the requirement to make to know and to appreciate our Country for the splendid ones beaches, the pleasant points of meeting, the popular goodness of the products, traditions and above all the heat of people.
ZINGARO NATURE RESERVE
The first nature reserve to have been set up in Sicily takes
in a stretch of about 7 kilometres of splendid and absolutely
unspoilt coast between San Vito and Scopello, and is extremely
important for the abundance of rare and endemic plants.
The Reserve offers evocative coastal landscapes on a still
limpid sea, as it it fastens of Tower of the Uzzo, little
bays and steep cliffs spots of Mediterranean vegetation;
a paradise for botanists, entomologists and the tourist
in tries of charming places. In the Zingaro reserve there
are at least 39 birds species, mainly birds of prey, including
the pilgrim falcom, the windhover and the buzzard.
Inside the Reserve there is moreover an equipped area and
a naturalistic and historical museum of the Reserve.
VITO LO CAPO
San Vito Lo Capo small town originally with an agricultural
and sea economy, today it is known as one of the most important
sea places of Sicily for the beauty of its coast and the wonderfully
clean water of its sea. It was born at the end of the 18th
century in the area of the public dominion of Erice, at the
feet of Mount Monaco, in a bay of white sand between the two
Capes of S. Vito and Punta Solanto, near the ancient sanctuary
of S. Vito.
San Vito lo Capo occupies a northwest headland (the "head")
of Sicily that separates the Gulf of Castellammare from
the coast of Trapani, close between the Natural Reserve
of the Zingaro in the West and Mt Cofano in the East.
The home of a tuna fishery that has been inactive since
the 17th century, this old seafaring town was already of
great importance in Roman times - as demonstrated by the
remains of fish tanks found near the San Vito tuna fishery
- and conserves a decidedly Arab imprint; it is also the
town of couscous, symbolising peace and integration between
different peoples and cultures. Its turquoise-blue sea has
repeatedly earned a European Blue Flag for the fine quality
of the water and its white beach is considered one of the
most beautiful on the peninsula.
The town of San Vito developed in the vicinity of a sanctuary
dedicated to the saint of Mazara, a Saracen fortress with
an original nucleus dating from the 13th century; the first
dwellings started to appear around this in the early 18th
century. Also in Arab-Norman style is the templet of Santa
Crescenza, the figure of which is linked to that of the
town's patron saint.
The sea around San Vito has produced archaeological finds
now kept in the Museum of the Sea, mainly from the wreck
of an Arab-Norman ship lying on the seabed opposite the
On the road, which goes from the town to the sea on the
flank of Mount Monaco among landscapes of great suggestion
and beauty, after "Tannure" cape, you will reach
the tower of the Impiso, of the XVI century, very near the
Natural Reserve of the Zingaro, which seems to stand there
just to be the guardian of the reserve itself.
The history of Erice is characteristic of legends of heroes
and divinities, from the presumed founder Erice to the mother
Venus and Aeneas and Heracles.
Curious symbolic interpretations have also been based on
its perfectly triangular urban layout; inside a great ring
of walls, the medieval district unfolds in an intricate
weave of cobbled streets that open into passageways and
flower-filled courtyards creating a setting of great historic
and artistic interest that has remained unchanged over the
The centre of the triangle is occupied by the San Pietro's
Church with an annexed monastery, the Ettore Majorana Cultural
Centre, which every year hosts an important international
In the Town Hall, the Cordici Museum exhibits archaeological
finds from the Erice necropolis, including an outstanding
head of Aphrodite dating from the 4th century BC.
The main religious building is the 14th-century Mother
Church, beside which rises a separate bell-tower of the
Towering inside the Balio garden is the Pepoli castle and
the rock on the extreme southeast edge is surmounted by
the Venere castle, built between the 12th and 13th century
on the site of the ancient temple of Venere Ericina.
This archipelago was already inhabited in prehistoric times, when it was still attached to the mainland, it never witnessed important historical events, but it has always attracted the attention of sailors in the Mediterraean, especially pirates who regularly called in here for the water.
It was thanks to tuna fishing that the three islands, and especially Favignana, in the space of a few decades prospered very much, to the benefit of everybody, from the shipowners to the humblest fisherman.
Thanks to the Florio , a powerful family of Palermo the "tunny-massacre", today object of many tourists, processing and conservation of tuna fish took a new lease of life.
Of most recent institution it is the Reserve Marine of the Egadi, the whose sounding have several and peculiar charatteristics from being able itself to define only in their kind.
Various infinity of species of pelagics fish and stables, crustaceans and mollus, invertebrates and madrepore find in this angle of sea their ideal habitat.
For he fond of sub the Egadi archipelago hasn't envy to the most famous tropical seas. In every period of the year, with whichever time, the sub it will be able to be dipped in the cold seas, whether from a reef whether the wide one of the coasts.
The more spectacular points you can reach only boat and the immersions to Levanzo and Marettimo are possible only way to
sea. Is necessary to signal that zone of interdiction to the fish and to the immersions in "the archaeological" area comprised between the tip south-east of Favignana and the
Sicily. Here it has been carried out in the 241 a.C., during the Punics wars, a great naval battle between four hundred Carthaginian ships and three hundred trireme roman and on found them still find the rests of many property left at death
ones. For the immersions the permissions are grant from the municipality of Favignana. For who it wanted on the islands underwater centers in a position to satisfying the requirements of all operate.
Even if accessible to all, the sea of the Egadi Archipelago isn't "easy" sea in how much unforeseeable one and to face it without to know it is not
prudent. We advise therefore to dip itself accompanies from a guide whom it knows to you with certainty where to go and to be able therefore to enjoy the extraordinary wonders fully that only it reserve can offer.
In the night between the 14 and 15 January 1968 a violent earthquake destroyed until to the foundations the city of Gibellina, and with it nearly also the history, the culture, the values and the hopes of one population. The Gibellina new, risen on the model of the city-garden, has a elliptic plant and centrifuge, many opened spaces, a tracing of streets outside measure, no combining center where the roads converge, constructions to two plans that are opened on goes pedestrian spaces to you.
Gibellina is now an alive museum, a laboratory of contemporary sculpture, where the works have become references of the daily distance, elements of guideline and differentiation as well as more important the how much the more shape of the city are dispersive and escaping. The works same have been donated from the artists and therefore a collection has been delivered up in little years, the only one of contemporary art in Sicily, than also for its expositive activity it represents a center of attraction for tourists.
Today Gibellina it is a great yard, an organism that grows and that dumb: therefore as they go growing the 3,500 palms that will give in the time a more homogenous and Mediterranean face to the city. Of forehead to the impossibility to reconstruct the lived one on the ruins, the city administration decides to leave on the place a testimony of the tragedy to perennial memory of the victims and the great endured suffering. The assignment comes entrusted to Alberto Burri, that amplified version of its Cretti conceives one famous.
The titanic enterprise begins in 1985 and comes interrupted in 1989. Sculpture of the world is extended. Indeed, more than a sculpture it is a carved landscape, of one impressive beauty. The Great Cretto di Gibellina is introduced like enormous pall of concrete a white man, than it is unfolded on the flank precipitous of the mountain. It has shape of a irregular quadrilateral of approximately 300x400 meters. Given to the exposure South Sud-Est and the immense proportions, he turns out very visible also from great distance, for who comes from the other localities of goes them of the Belice: Salaparuta and Poggioreale.
From a height on the skillful flank the work can be observed gives near. Its aspect remembers an immense waved surface, cracked from deep leaks and cracks. The effect has had to its particular structure to great blocks of concrete, large way quadrangular, separates to you between they from deep furrows. The blocks measure 10-20 meters of side and are high approximately 1,60 meters. It furrows they measure in width approximately 2-3 meters, and it's possible to run they on foot. He is fundamental to notice that the tracing of the blocks and the cracks traces the ancient system of streets substantially, with its isolates and its little streets.
In its simplicity and austerity, one offers as the strict one I pay to those who are missed, and also a homage to those who is survivors and that their things have lost all. With its leaks and its splits, the Great Cretto of Burri recalls the terrible effects of the nature. Immortalize the moment of the tragedy, in which all it is crushed. In this locality, they come represented every year the Orestiadi di Gibellina, a program of theatrical performances that goes beyond the theatre, in order to become authentic events.
It rises on the Caputo mount, in sight of the valley of Palermo and of it goes them of the Oreto river, counts approximately 27.000 inhabitants and to m 310 l.m. Monreale it is reached crossing all the Calatafimi Course leaving from Palermo. The birth of the city laughed them to the low Middle Ages and is a covering of baroque appearance, one of the jewels of the Italian artistic patrimony where the cultural universes are met Muslims, Byzantines, Romanesque.
To see: the Norman Dome with mosaics and the cloister Benedictine. In the outskirtses, Saint Martino of the Scales with the Benedictine Abbey, the Jato Mount, that it is located between S. Cipirello and San Giuseppe Jato. On the Jato mount it is from identifying the aboriginal center of Iaitas, the diggings have carried to the light traces of a city elima, the theatre, the agorà, the temple of Aphrodite and one hellenistic room.
is the regional capital of Sicily, which is the largest and
most heavily populated (about 5,000,000) island in the Mediterranean.
The area has been under numerous dominators over the centuries,
including Roman, Carthaginian, Byzantine, Greek, Arab, Norman,
Swabian and Spanish masters. Due to this past, to the cultural
exchange that for millennia has taken place in the area,
the city is still an exotic mixtute of many cultures. Many
of the monuments still exist giving the city somewhat unique
The city of Palermo, including the province of Palermo,
has around 1,300,000 inhabitants and has about 200 Km of
coastline. The old town of Palermo is one of the largest
in Europe, full of references to the past.
Palermo reflects the diverse history of the region in that
the city contains many masterpieces from different periods,
including romanesque, gothic, renaissance and baroque architecture
as well as examples of modern art.
The city also hosts it's rich vegetation of palm trees,
prickly pears, bananas, lemon trees and so on. The abundance
of exotic species was also noticed by the world-famous German
writer Goethe who in April 1787 visited the newly opened
botanical gardens, describing them as "the most beautiful
place on earth".