Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Italy chapter on Sicily has to say about Trapani:
“The lively port city of Trapani makes a wonderful base for exploring Sicily’s western tip. Its historic centre is filled with atmospheric pedestrian streets and some lovely churches and baroque buildings. The surrounding countryside is beautiful, ranging from the watery vastness of the coastal salt ponds to the rugged mountainous shoreline north of town.
Once situated at the heart of a powerful trading network that stretched from Carthage to Venice, Trapani’s sickle-shaped spit of land hugs the precious harbour, nowadays busy with a steady stream of tourists and traffic to and from Tunisia, Pantelleria and the Egadi Islands.
The narrow network of streets in Trapani’s historic centre remains a Moorish labyrinth, although it takes much of its character from the fabulous 18th-century baroque of the Spanish period – a catalogue of examples can be found down the pedestrianized Via Garibaldi. The best time to walk down here is in the early evening (around 7pm) when the passeggiata is in full swing.
Trapani’s other main street is Corso Vittorio Emanuele, punctuated by the huge Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, with its baroque facade and stuccoed interior.
Just off the corso, south along Via Generale Dom Giglio, is the Chiesa del Purgatorio, which houses the impressive 18th-century Misteri, twenty life-sized wooden effigies depicting the story of Christ’s Passion.
I Misteri (Easter Holy Week), Sicily’s most venerated Easter procession, is a four-day festival of extraordinary religious fervour. Nightly processions, bearing the life-sized wooden effigies, make their way through the old quarter to a specially erected chapel in Piazza Lucatelli. The high point is on Good Friday when the celebrations reach fever pitch.”
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