Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Italy chapter on Sicily has to say about Marsala:
“Best known for its sweet dessert wines, the historic centre of Marsala is an elegant town full of stately baroque buildings and book shops within a perfect square of walls. It was founded by the Phoenicians who escaped the Roman onslaught at Mozia. Not taking any chances, they fortified their city with 7m-thick walls, which ensured it was the last Punic settlement to fall to the Romans. In AD 830 it was conquered by the Arabs, who gave it its current name, Marsa Allah (Port of God).
It was here in 1860 that Giuseppe Garibaldi, leader of the movement for Italian unification, landed in his rickety, old boats with his 1000-strong army.
Marsala’s finest treasure is the partially reconstructed remains of a Carthaginian liburna (warship) in the Museo Archeologico Baglio Anselmi Sunk off the Egadi Islands during the first of the Punic Wars nearly 3000 years ago, the ship’s bare bones are the only remaining physical evidence of the Phoenicians’ seafaring superiority in the 3rd century BC. The ship resonates with history – especially if you see it after you visit the excavations on San Pantaleo – giving a glimpse of a civilization that was extinguished by the Romans.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD