|Our guide met us at 8 for a guided walk through the town of Trapani which is an important port and was the first landing of the Phoenicians. The name of the town is derived from the word for sickle - the shape of the harbour. Once again this is a city showing its history in the buildings and the various occupants and of course it suffered damage in World War II. The Jesuits had a college here but they were sent away with the unification of Italy in 1860.
We then travelled along a coast road toward Marsala to an area where salt is collected using series of salt pans and there are some interesting windmills in the area originally used to move the water between the pans, now replaced by a power driven machine which seems based on the Archimedes screw. Incidentally Archimedes came from Siracusa.
We caught a flat bottomed boat across to the Island of Mozilla a site of early settlement by the Phoenicians where we saw the main archaeological sites and the Whittaker Museum. Joseph Whittaker played a large part in the excavation of the sites and had a home on the island. The museum holds the archaeological finds including a magnificent statue thought to possibly represent a charioteer. On the island are areas of grape vines. They are deliberately kept very low because of the wind and these are the grapes used to produce Marsala.
We just caught the boat back to the mainland although we were offered the option of wading as there is a passage across which is not deep and there was a white bird wading a long way off the land, obviously in shallow water. The island is also a staging post for migratory birds.
Back on the mainland we had a leisurely lunch starting with a delicious seafood risotto followed by tuna steak with potatoes; very big serves but followed up with fresh fruit.
On along the sea road to Marsala itself where siesta is the norm with shops closed from 13:30 to16:30. We were able to get into what had been a church which had been restored following the war but as the local council supplied the money it took control and it now has the appearance of a church but the seating of a theatre. Very strange.
There was a liquor shop open where we got to tast both the dry Marsala, a bit like a very dry sherry, and the sweet Marsala which is what I use in the frozen Christmas pudding.
An early start again tomorrow to fit in the last couple of Sicily experiences before we catch the plane and head to Sardinia via Rome.