Castellamare del Golfo is a popular holiday destination in the Trapani province. It is located on the shore of a cozy bay, at the foot of the mount Monte Inici and surrounded by the exuberant subtropical greenery. The town is located right in the middle of the Castellamare Cliff between Cape Capo Rama and Cape San Vito. The main sight of Castellamare del Golfo is the medieval castle built on a small peninsula. There are two wonderful sand beaches on the both sides of the castle. By the way, the town was called after the castle. Castellamare is decoded as a “Castle by the Bay”. And if you really wish to make a worth tour of Trapani province, it is highly recommended to start with Castellamare.
In Sicily Castellamare is known as a major agricultural centre. Maize, vine and haricot are grown in the vicinity of Castellamare. Fishing is also a major source of income of the locals. In Castellamare one can take part in the traditional tunna fishing. This tradition is more than one thousand years old and it is very interesting.
Mainly families prefer to spend their vacation in Castellamare del Golfo. In spite of the fact this town is known as a homeland of the Sicilian mafia’s godfathers, it still hardly seems to be the somber citadel of organized crime. Castellamare is calm and cozy and, of course, this attracts tourists here from all over the world. Besides, the world-known Sicilian spa resort Terme Segestage is located in the immediate proximity of the town.
The main sight of Castellamare del Golfo is its coastal landscapes with cliffs and tiny bays. One can get there only by sea and grottos Cala Bianca and Cala Rossa. Among the main sights of the city Madonna del Soccorso Cathedral with its frescos dated from the 15th century can be singled out. In a tiny Via Ponte Castello square there is one more church, Madonna del Rosario Church, with its wonderful bas-relief in which Madonna and a Child are depicted between the Crucifixion and the Saint. In the very centre of the city one can find a cultural centre located in S.Maria degli Agonizzanti Church and a monastery of Holy Fathers adjoining it. Of course, one shouldn’t forget about the castle that witnessed many Sicilian lords, staring with the Arabs and Normans up to the Spaniards. However, time and wars have almost completely destroyed the castle. Just the Artillery Tower and the wall with the gun slots have survived to this day.
The museums of Castellamare also deserve your attention. At least two of them are worth seeing: The Zingaro Natural Museum (it is a part of the National Zingaro Reserve) and the Museum of Marine Activities.
A small village Scopello is one of the most interesting places in Castellamare and its outskirts. It was built instead of the former Arab villa. The main advantage of Scopello is its landscapes: a small bay surrounded by the cliffs jutting out of the sea and two ancient towers. In Scopello one can see the construction that is called tonnara: a small miniport that was used by the tunny fishermen. One can get Scopello from Castellamare by the highway in Trapani.
If you want to visit Castellamare del Golfo, then you can get there by:
- Palermo-Trapani train. You should alight at Castellamare del Golfo station and then take a bus.
- By bus. Use the Autoservizi Russo srl line. You will depart from Palermo right from the Piazza Marina. You can also choose the Azienda Siciliana Trasporti line. Then you will depart from Trapani.
- You can also get there by car by Palermo Mazara del Vallo (A129) highway.