Marsala is a seaport city in the western Sicily. It is situated on the Boeo Cape, also called Lilibeo, south of Trapani. The town is famous for its Marsala wine and the marine area salt ponds of the Stagnone Lagoon Natural Reserve.
Marsala is a city located on one of the three "vertices" of Sicily, the one on the western side. It is also named "Capo Boeo" or "Capo Lilibeo".
Currently (2010), it has about 80.000 inhabitants. It was founded by the Carthaginians and named Lilybeo. Conquered by the Romans during the First Punic War. During the Arabic dominion it was named Marsala (probably after Marsa Allah, port of God).
In 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi, heading the "Expedition of the Thousand", landed here and began the conquer of the Reign of two Sicilies. This is considered the start of the unification of Italy.
The main patron of the city is Maria Santissima of the Quarry of Marsala.
- Palermo Airport, ((95 km)), ☎ +39 091 702 0273 ([email protected]), . Luggage service Alitalia (tel. +39 091 702 0208) passengers and the other for all other passengers (tel. +39 091 702 0209) edit
- Trapani Airport, ((15 km)), ☎ +39 092 361 0111 ([email protected]), . edit
Travel from Trapani Airport to Marsala takes a half of hour on the way. .
Travel from Trapani Airport to Marsala takes about hour on the way.
Marsala can be reached by car through the A29 highway from Palermo. It is only about 150 km, so it should be possible to reach Marsala in little more than one hour. The A29 is a free-toll highway. Please, take notice that there are no gas stations on the highway itself. However, it is possible to find some gas stations right at some of the main exits.
The route from Capo leads through the great Renaissance arch Porta Nuova, further continues to merge into the pedestrian zone of the historic center. The road leads to the elegant streets with stately buildings all the way to the Piazza della Repubblica, where one comes face-to-face with the impressive Cathedral. On the opposite end of the square, one finds the Palazzo Senatorio (Senatorial Palace), which today serves as the town hall.
The first thing that strikes those, who arrive to Marsala are the colors: the yellow stones, the blue sea, the green domes of the churches, white salt, adding to all these the colors of the wine.
Marsala is a windy city, where the air smells different from the rest of Sicily.
Castles, walls, towers and archeology sites
- Bastion of S. Francesco (Bastione S. Francesco), Villa Cavallotti, Viale Cesare Battisti, 91025 Marsala. It was constructed in the 16th century using Favara stone. Today 9 meters Bastion is part of the Villa Cavallotti. The four large marble coats of arms are walled up from the Porta Mazara, when it was demolished.
- Bastione Velasco (Bastione Velasco), The Bastion is situated between the Sibilla and Bottino streets, not far from Porta Garibaldi. It was built in the 16th century. Only part of it is visible, because it is hidden by the buildings and now is part of the garden.
- Garibaldi gate (Porta Garibaldi), Piazza Mercato, 91025 Marsala. Gate dates back to the end of the 18th century, when it was decided to replace by a new one. It is a place, where the Garibaldians entered the city, when they landed after the unification of Italy in 1860.
- Lilibeo Archaeological Park (Parco archeologico Lilibeo), Viale Vittorio Veneto, 91025 Marsala. Archaeological area of Cape Boeo is an area overlooking the headland and sea, surrounded by the modern city and promenade. Important archaeological evidence includes the remains of private dwellings framed by the cobbled streets, large rooms, which came to light in 1939, floor mosaics, spa environment.
- New gate (Porta Nuova), Via XI Maggio, 6, 91025 Marsala. It is one of the four ancient gates of Marsala. Entering Marsala from the seaside you pass grand Renaissance arch Porta Nuova from 16th century decorated by pilasters. Model is like to the Roman triumphal arch with the two empty niches by the sides.
- Cathedral of St. Thomas of Canterbury, also Mother Church (Chiesa Madre Parrocchiale di San Tommaso di Canterbury), Piazza della Repubblica, 91025 Marsala. Cathedral from the limestone was built on the place of an old Norman church. The façade of the church was completed in 1956, so, its second order and the bell-tower were built a century later in the barochetto style, when the earliest part the first order was built in Baroque style. The interior is in the Norman style, particularly the high altar, whilst some details of the side chapels are in the Baroque style.
- Church of sorrow (Santuario Maria Ss.Addolorata), Piazza dell'Addolorata, 1, 91025 Marsala. The church is characterized by a convex façade with Neoclassical style portal combined with late-Baroque motifs in the central part. Above the entrance there stands out the effigy of a pierced heart, what is the symbol of the Sorrow. In the semi-circular apse there are more evocative and significant images of Mary Sorrows.
- Church of the Purgatory (Chiesa del Purgatorio), Via Sebastiano Cammareri Scurti, 24, 91025 Marsala. The façade of the church is in Baroque style with the ribbed dome covered by green majolica. The interior is three aisles with numerous frescoes. Today Church is home to the Auditorium "Santa Cecilia" for the numerous cultural events. In front of the church you can admire a beautiful Baroque fountain, located in the center of the Lombard square called Purgatory.
- St Joseph's Church (Chiesa di San Giuseppe), Via XI Maggio, 71, 91025 Marsala. It was finished in 18th century. The façade is divided into two orders. First one has a gray marble portal situated among the pilasters and the second order presents an arched window. A triangular pediment crowns the building. The interior is a single nave church arranged in Baroque style.
Fountains and monuments
- Monument to the Thousand (Monumento ai Mille), Via Colonnello Maltese, 4, 91025 Marsala. It is exclusive monument dedicated to the Garibaldini landing, an event, which started the Unification of Italy, which occurred at Marsala in 1860. It is located in the area of the port of Marsala. The idea to build the monument came up not once, but finally has been realized only in 2016.
- Wine fountain (Fontana del Vino). In the square of Francesco Pizzo, stands the Fountain of Wine, a sculptural group of the master Salvatore Fiume. The statue represents the primary wine producing work activity of Marsalese.
- Archaeological Museum Baglio Anselmi (Museo Archeologico Baglio Anselmi), Lungomare Boeo, 34, 91025 Marsala. Tel.+39 092 395 2535 [email protected] . It was built with the aim to house one of Marsala's main finding, the Marsala Punic ship. In addition to it, there were found numerous finds in this area, what was preserved and exhibited in the museum.
- Flemish Tapestry Museum (Museo degli Arazzi Epoca Fiamminga), Via Giuseppe Garraffa, 57, 91025 Marsala. Tel.+39 092 371 1327. It displays 16th century tapestries.
- Marsala Civic Museum (Museo civico), Via Ludovico Anselmi Correale, 12, 91025 Marsala. Tel.+39 092 395 2535 This museum is divided into the sections: Archeology, Garibaldi and Popular Traditions.
- National Exhibition of Painting (Ente Mostra Nazionale Di Pittura) Piazza del Carmine, 91025 Marsala. Tel.+39 092 371 3822 [email protected] .
- New Municipal Art Gallery, Palazzo Grignani, Piazza del Carmine, 18, 91025 Marsala.
Palaces and villas
- VII April Palace (Palazzo VII April), Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1, 91025 Marsala. The building was built on the site of the former Lodge of Pisani at the end of the 15th century. Its façade is distinguished by a two-story structure with the row of elegant arcades and a tower in the center, where situated a clock and bell, used in the past to call the members of the Civic Council.
- Salinella Park (Parco Salinella), 91025 Marsala. It is located in the northern part of Marsala with a perfect panoramic point of view on the most evocative Mediterranean coastal stretches. In the stretch of the sea there are the remains of the ancient port dating back to Roman times and the remains of the Spanish barrage.
Streets and squares
- Cape Boeo also Cape Lilibeo. It is the westernmost point of the island of Sicily, what it is located in the municipality of Marsala. Important evidence is found here is "Roman Insula", which is dated to the late Roman-imperial age 4th century.
- Lungomare Boeo. Street with the many planted palm trees, arranged green areas and landmarks at the seaside.
- Piazza Giacomo Matteotti. It is name dedicated to Italian social leader. In the past it was the most important gateway in the city and the crossroad of many streets.
- Republic square (Piazza della Repubblica, also Piazza Loggia). This square is the heart of Marsala, located in front of the Duomo.
- Via XI May. It is the main street of Marsala crossed by many side streets, well maintained overlooking excellent shops and boutiques. It crosses the historic center of Marsala and has its continuing from the north-west Piazza della Vittoria and in the East-South ending by Piazza Giacomo Matteotti. There is located the marble bust of Garibaldi dedicated to the famous person in Italy history.
- Victory Square (Piazza della Vittoria). It is a nice square having the social function. The main accent of the square is the historical ficus benjamin. Also, it is a real entrance door to the Archaeological Park.
- Beaches of Marsala. Beaches Punta Tramontana and Lido Signorino both are sandy beaches with clear waters at the shore. The first is near the Stagnone lagoon, on the northern border of the lagoon. The second is in the most Southern tip of Marsala. This beach is well outfitted with facilities and summerhouses. If you love rocky beaches, it is the most suitable beach in Capo Boeo rocky promontory. edit
- Events, . edit
- Impero theater (Teatro Impero), Piazza della Vittoria 1, 91025 Marsala, . The construction of the summer cinema arena with a masonry screen dates back to 1920. It was transformed into a cinema and was called "Cinema Impero" in 1936. Façade stands out of two tall and heavy columns typical of the monumental style of the fascist period. edit
- Kite Surfing, Flow Kitesurf School Sicily, Contrada Birgi Vecchi, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 391 412 2728 ([email protected]), . edit
- Marsala Wine Festival. The international show of sweet and distilled wines and liquors takes place here every two years at the middle of October and includes various activities. edit
- Sailing from Marsala, ☎ +44 161 706 0182 ([email protected]), . Marsala can boast the beautiful beaches, where many athletes using an advantage of the winds take delight in the new fashion of the kite surfing. edit
- Scuba diving, . Admire the mysteries of the underwater world. edit
- Summer together (Estate Insieme). Each year, from July to September, many events take place throughout the center of Marsala. They include open-air cinema within the breathtaking St. Peter’s monumental complex; musical, theater and cabaret performances; traditional folk and cultural activities. The combination of colors, lights and life renders in the city a truly magnificent scene. edit
- Wind Surfing School (Volaturi VelaClub), Contrada San Teodoro, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 338 504 9616, . A friendly locally run windsurfing school where you can take one or many lessons. Operates south of Marausa, towards the Airport and Mozia - collection by minibus by arrangement. edit
- Wine-road area, . Different possibilities for tourists researches. edit
The production of wine on an industrial scale was introduced by the Englishman John Woodhouse in Marsala in 1773. Many major establishments such as Ingham-Whitaker, the Florio, Pellegrino, White Cellars and Donnafugata.
- Antica Trattoria da Pino, Via S. Lorenzo, 27, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 340 326 2337, . Restaurant edit
- Cellarius Osteria, Via Mazzini, E, Via Mazzini, 100, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 092 356 5093 ([email protected]), . Pizzeria edit
- C'era una volta, Via Frisella, 58, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 092 395 3756 ([email protected]), . Restaurant Pizzeria edit
- Divino Rosso, Largo Andrea Di Girolamo, 13/V, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 320 162 1386, . Restaurant Pizzeria edit
- I Bucanieri, Lungomare Mediterraneo, 41/45, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 092 395 3477 ([email protected]), . Restaurant edit
- Torre d'Occidente, Contrada Dammusello, 616, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 092 398 2386. Restaurant edit
“Marsala“ is a fortified wine, dry or sweet, produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala. Taste different kinds of Marsala wines paired with olives, almonds, caponata, bruschetta, typical cheese and other offered components.
- Antico Mercato, Via Garibaldi, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 327 126 6625. Pub edit
- Biblos Lounge, Via Lungomare Boeo, 91025 Marsala (adjacent Baglio Anselmi), ☎ +39 391 458 8545. Espresso Bar edit
- Cantine Mothia Srl, Via Giovanni Falcone Magistrato, 22, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 348 529 3470 ([email protected]), . Winery edit
- Caruso & Minini Srl, Via Salemi, 3, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 092 398 2356 ([email protected]), . Bar edit
- Coccigrill, Via Vincenzo Florio, 15, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 092 374 6213 ([email protected]), . Bar edit
- MilleCaffè Marsala, Via Scipione l'Africano, 47, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 092 395 6755 ([email protected]), . Bar edit
- Carmine, Piazza del Carmine, 16, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 092 371 1907 ([email protected]), . Hotel edit
- Casa Mia, Via Armando Diaz, 107, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 348 903 3051. Vacation house edit
- Grand Hotel Palace, Lungomare Mediterraneo, 57, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 092 371 9492 ([email protected]), . Hotel edit
- La Casa della Zia Armenia, Via Vaccari, Marsala, ☎ +39 347 672 2491 ([email protected]), . Vacation house edit
- Porto Marsala, Via Stefano Bilardello, 138, 91025 Marsala, ☎ +39 328 254 6441, . Guest House edit
- San Giovanni & il Mare, Via Sibilla, 63, 91025 Marsala, . Hotel rooms with the sea view. edit
- Marsala tourist information office, Via XI Maggio 100, Marsala (near Piazza della Repubblica), ☎ +39 092 371 4097. edit
- Mozia (also known as Mothia, Motya). Today San Pantaleo is an island of the Lagoon of Marsala. It is a private island, belongs to the Whitaker Foundation. Visitors come here to admire and study the archaeological remains found by the English scholar Joseph Whitaker. Also on the island are located crops of vineyards and complex of saline. The best time to visit is just before the sunset, to admire the amazing colors.
- Saline of the Laguna Marsala (Saline of the Laguna Marsala), Contrada Ettore Infersa, 91025 Marsala. Tel.+39 348 380 4301 [email protected] . The salt pans were built along this shoreline in the 15th century.
- Stagnone Nature Reserve, Contrada Spagnola, 228, 91025 Marsala +39 347 343 0329 [email protected] . This is a nature reserve located in shallow lagoon called Stagnone. The water level in the lagoon varies from a few centimeter to a maximum of 2 meter. This is the largest lagoon of Sicily and includes four islands: the archaeological site of Mozia, now called San Pantaleo, Schola, Santa Maria and Isola Grande. The nature reserve stretches the shoreline of Marsala, in front of the Aegadian islands and up to Trapani city.
- Mazara del Vallo. It is the neighboring seaside town. Take a look at Satiro Danzante (Dancing Satyr) statue in the local museum.
- Aegadi Islands