Marsala is another “pearl” in the “ancient cities’ necklace” of the Agrigento province. Marsala is known all over the world thanks to its wine. But on Sicily Marsala is famous not only as the wine center, but as one of the greatest Sicilian ports and the greatest fishing centre on the isle not only on Sicily but in the whole Italy.
The city was founded by the ancient Carthaginians in the 4th century B.C. and was first named Lilibeo. But in the 8th-9th centuries A.D. the Arabs captured it. They named this place Marsala. Marsala means “the God’s Port”. The Normans came in the second half of the 11th century and did not change the name, but ruined the mosques and built a fortress and churches. Just for an occasion!
There are only some interesting places built by the Normans in Marsala. The most interesting is the Cathedral of St. Thomas Beckett. It might be the first church in the world built to commemorate this saint person’s name. There is a museum in the church where the unique medieval tapestries of the 16th century are exhibited. The period of Ancient Rome in Marsala is shown in the Archaeological Park. You may see the ruins of Lilibeo there. The Ancient World is represented in the Archaeological Museum by the exhibits of the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage.
On the coast of Marsala is located a small island called Mozia. There was a Phoenician colony in the past but now the best vineyards are located there. Marsala wine is produced in Mozia. The Museum of Ancient Things in Mozia offers tourists an interesting excursion to the remains of the port erections and burial places of the Phoenicians.
The sights of Marsala arouse interest but most of the tourists are interested not in the remains of ancient civilizations but in the local wine-making process. You may watch the process of making famous “marsala” wine in the unique museum. The tourists can go on an excursion to Florio wine cellars which are more than 200 years old.
Active holidays in Marsala are popular among those people who prefer extreme kinds of sports like windsurfing and kite surfing. They usually gather on the beaches of Lido Signorino, Stagnone and Capo Feto situated 3-12 km to the south of the port. There are located salt-mines with a lot of windmills to the north of Marsala up to the capital of Trapani province along the coast. These are the most unusual landscapes on Sicily.