A small city on the west coast of Sicily, Trapani is traditional Italian port city and the main gateway to the nearby Egadi Islands. It is not one of the island’s more touristic destinations, but it is a fantastic place to travel if you want to soak up the sun and immerse yourself in Italian culture.
Trapani is a city that oozes sophistication and history, what with its magnificent Basilica-Sanctuary of Maria Santissima Annunziata, Fontana di Tritone (Triton’s Fountain), Museo del Sale (Salt Museum) and 12th century Castello di Terra. It is also renowned for its festivals, food and beaches.
Travel to Italy to visit this beautiful seaside city to get a true feeling of what it is really like to be Italian. Well, at least for a short period of time. Especially if you do these 4 things, which will give you a real local insight into Trapani.
Being situated on an island means that Trapani is of course a seafood lovers’ haven. If you want to eat like a local, try gastronomic specialties like fish couscous, lattume (tuna testicles) and ricci (sea urchin). All of these can be tasted at Ai Lumi restaurant, which is a bit of an institution in Trapani. The converted old stable also serves local favorites like pesto alla trapanese (pesto made with almonds), black bread and cabbucio Trapani (a sandwich with pizza bread).
There is no better way to be a local in Trapani than to speak Italian, with Scuola Virgilio offering the best courses around. The Italian language school opened its doors in 2006, offering courses taught by native teachers. They offer a wide range of courses, from private lessons to homestays. They even offer courses right on a sailboat! For a really amazing experience, join the Work’n’Learn Program, where you will be studying Italian while also working as an Au Pair.
Not just any garden, but Villa Margherita. This stunning public garden sits between old and new Trapani and is a welcome escape from the masses. Locals often come here to enjoy a quiet lunch, listen to the birds chirping and ogle at the beautiful flowers. It is an oasis in the city, complete with a lagoon, a small zoo and a theatre.
This is the main road in Tranpani, and what a road it is! It is dotted with designer shops, chic cafés, trendy bars and souvenir shops. When most people think about shopping in Italy they think of fine Italian leather shoes and bags. Well Via Torrearsa has plenty of these, especially Stefania Mode. Here, you will find some of the finest Italian designer names, like Bottega Veneta, Aquazzura, Marco de Vincenzo and Brunello Cucinelli.