Bonagia (15km/9mi north of Trapani) is one of the few places in Sicily where tuna fishing is still carried on.
On Capo San Vito (40km/25mi north of Trapani) lies the charming fishing village of San Vito lo Capo (6m/20ft above sea-level, pop. 3,600). The church was built in the 17th century on the site of a 16th century fort, the square structure of which remains. To the east the holiday village of Cala Impiso has been laid out at the foot of the 809m/2,655ft high Monte Acci.
Like many other places in the Belice valley in western Sicily, Partanna suffered badly in the 1968 earthquake. The main church in the town is the Chiesa Madre, the building of which began in 1579, although it was not consecrated until 1676. It is a columned basilica with very rich stucco decoration by Vincenzo Messina (1692-1729). This includes the sculptured group in the main apse depicting The Transfiguration of Christ, obviously inspired by that in the episcopal church in Mazara, and the decoration in the sacramental chapel in the right side aisle of the Sacred Heart between the Apostles surmounted by the Prophets and God the Father. The font bears the signature of Francesco Laurana and comes from the chapel in the castle; the latter was originally Norman, altered in the 14th, 15th and 17th centuries, and is now privately-owned.
Mazara del Vallo is an old port town with many churches, interesting buildings, and the Palace of the Maltese Knights.
LocationThe little country town of Gibellina, situated near Salemi, suffered such extensive earthquake damage in 1968 that the decision was made to rebuild Gibellina Nuova 20km/12mi further west.Well-known architects, sculptors and painters such as Vittorio Gregotti, Alessandro Mendini, Renato Guttuso, Pietro Consagra, Giuseppe Spagnulo, Alberto Burri, Mimmo Rotella and Andrea Cascella were engaged. From their plans developed a controversial drawing-board town, its character created by the most modern type of architecture and sculpture, which has very little in common with either Sicily or with the landscape and the way of life of the inhabitants.The town is entered by the gigantic "Porta di Ferra" which was designed by Pietro Consagra (1980, from nirosta steel). Next to the town hall stands the grotesque-looking church of "La grande Sfera" with a spherical choir and the concrete municipal tower by Alessandro Mendini.
Museo Civico d'Arte Contemporanea
In the Museo Civico d'Arte Contemporanea there are works by many contemporary artists on display. Especially impressive is the memorial to the earthquake of 1968, which Francesco Venezia created by reconstructing the facade of a palazzo destroyed in the disaster.
Gibellina Il Cretto
The rubble of the old town of Gibellina was buried by the sculptor Alberto Burri under white cement. Pathways 1.5m/5ft high follow the course of the streets of the former village, criss-crossing this thought-provoking memorial which is known as "Il Cretto" (= the crack).
Near the little village of Poggioreale (400m/1,312ft; 7km/4mi east of Gibellina) above the valley of the Belice there are new excavations in progress. The walls that have been uncovered so far and other finds prove that the settlement was under Punic domination from the fourth century B.C.
CommunicationsSS 113 Palermo-Trapani; railroad station.LocationThis country town in northwest Sicily was, like Alcamo in the northeast, founded by the Arabs (the first part of the place-name is from the Arabic "qalat" = castle). It became famous as the site of the first victory of Giuseppe Garibaldi and his "army of a thousand" over the Bourbon troops. After his landing in Marsala (11th May 1860) and his proclamation as dictator of Sicily at Salemi (14th May), this battle took place on 15th May.
The battle and its victims are commemorated by an ossarium which was built in 1892 on a 420m/1,378ft high hill 4km/2.5mi southwest of Calatafimi.
In Calatafimi there is an Arab castle (view across to the Temple of Segesta) and several churches, including the Chiesa Madre with a marble altar of 1514.
CommunicationsCoastal road SS 187 Palermo-Trapani; railroad station.LocationThis attractive harbor-town on the north coast was founded in ancient times as the port for the Elymian town of Segesta. An Aragonese fortress was erected by the harbor in the 14th century. The facade of the Chiesa Madre dates from 1726; inside there is a majolica statue of the Madonna.Every August the town is the host of the Sicilian song festival "Agosto Castellammarese".
Castellammare - Beach
To the east of the town of Castellammare there is a long stretch of sand, while elsewhere there are rocky cliffs.
Scopello (9km/6mi northwest) is an attractively situated fishing village with beach facilities.
Monte Inici (1,065m/3,494ft) can be climbed in three hours and there is a fine view from the summit.