Sicily is merely a 30 minute flight from Malta, so no wonder it is one of the most popular destinations with the Maltese. Many of us know the language and we can even reach Sicily by a catamaran. All year round, groups organise shopping day-trips to this Italian island, but shopping in Catania and visiting Mount Etna are by no means everything that Sicily has to offer.
For example, last year I had the opportunity to relax in an agritourism setting with the in-laws and extended family, which turned out to be five days of pure fun in a completely different environment to what I’m used to. More recently though, I was invited to join a ladies-only trip to Trapani, where we got to do a lot of fun things here as well. I have to admit that at 27 years of age, I am quite a late starter for ladies-only trips, as this was actually my first one. Well, I love Sicily, so I just couldn’t say no to this trip and ultimately, here I am writing some things you can do if you plan on exploring the Sicilian north west coast.
Trapani fishing village – photo by author
Trapani is a province on the north west coast of Sicily, bordered by the Thyrrenian Sea on the north and the Mediterranean Sea on the south. The city of Trapani is it’s capital. Being surrounded by the sea, Trapani thrives on tuna and coral fishing, the latter of which is then turned into fantastic jewellery pieces using artisanal methods. The former is served in delectable dishes Trapani is known for. Other economic activities in Trapani include salt and wine production, and artisanal hand painted ceramics.
Trapani is quite close to other towns in the province. Although you still need to book a taxi or arrange for transport, it’s all within reach. There are the ancient ruins of Segesta temple and the charming hill-top, medieval town of Erice – a must-see. If you have more time, you can even venture down to Marsala, where they produce some of the best wines. You can even book a wine tour while you’re there!
Another place you can visit during your stay is the Salt Pans and Museum at Paceco. Book a guided tour to discover how salt is gathered from the salt pans and turned into the end product, a staple in every kitchen. My favourite place, however, has got to be a beach dubbed ‘Tahiti’ by the locals, for it really feels like you’re on an exotic island with white sands, clear waters, and straw huts.
Salt Pans at Paceco
Tahiti beach – photo by author
We were staying at a B&B just off the seaside promenade. It provided the prefect excuse for us to enjoy morning walks in fresh air and sea surroundings, with a visit to the fishermen’s market on Sunday.
Trapani seaside promenade view from our hotel – photo by author
When it comes to food, you cannot really go wrong with food in Sicily as far as fish and meat go. One word of warning – if you’re ordering a pizza, don’t expect to served a thin crust – in Sicily, they tend to favour a thicker base. Your discovery of food in Sicily cannot be complete without the delicious sweets the Sicilians are known for. You will find a traditional dolceria on every corner, and they will be serving ricotta cannoli, sometimes even foot-long ones, peaches and cream, and many, many pistacchio based desserts.
You see? Sicily has got a lot more to offer than just Catania and Palermo! Where is your favourite place to go to in Sicily?
Tuna steak tagliata with a pistachio crust as served at Osteria I Vitelloni in Trapani city
All photos by Ron Kerr Imagery unless otherwise stated.