Visit of the historic center

Visit of the historic center

Visit of the historic center

Visit of the historic center


Experiences in Trapani: visit of the historic center

A walk in the historic center of Trapani,, is certainly one of the experiences to recommend to discover the many treasures that enrich the "old" city. Along the main streets or through the secondary alleys, you can admire from the suggestive sea walls to the palaces Baroque nobility, from Art Nouveau buildings to ancient churches with shining domes.

A walk that enriches and relaxes, among panoramic corners of the sea and the narrow alleys of the historic districts. It is the ideal solution to visit the city and appreciate its monuments and historic buildings, even as a family and with small children. Here are some suggestions about the main points of interest not to be missed. These are only a few ideas, a small part of the small and large treasures covered along the perimeter of the historic center of Trapani.

Central Post Office Building and Palazzo D’Alì

Designed by the architect Francesco La Grassa, the construction of Central Post Office Building ended in 1927. The style is provincial liberty, with a large entrance portal preceded by a rectangular pronaos bordered at the corners by pillars. On three elevations, it is characterized by a large facade with a long series of recessed acute arches that surround the openings. Today it represents one of the most impressive and evocative buildings in the city. Just opposite stands Palazzo D’Alì. It was built in 1904 and today is the seat of the Trapani Town Hall. The facade is on two orders, onto which the large entrance door opens, dominated by a balcony. The first order is in smooth ashlar, the second one is characterized by the complex of recessed arches. At the top the building closes with a protruding cornice.

Via Garibaldi, the historic "Rua Nova"

Opened in the XIII century and called "Rua Nova", Via Garibaldi is lined by eighteenth-century buildings. On the right you can see the baroque facade of the church of S. Maria dell'Itria, built in 1621 and subsequently enlarged; on the opposite side of the street the elegant facade of Palazzo Milo (18th century). By a stairway on the left (S. Domenico climb) you reach the church of S. Domenico which was rebuilt in the sec. XVII-XVIII and preserves the rose window on the facade of the original fourteenth-century structure. The Neo-Gothic palace of the Banco di Sicilia, which preserves the fourteenth-century portals of the pre-existing construction, marks the end of Via Garibaldi. Opposite there is the church of S. Maria del Soccorso, originally from the XV century but rebuilt in the 19th century; inside, you can admire inlaid floor of the XVII century and beautiful baroque choirs.

Piazza Ex Mercaro del Pesce

The current appearance of this characteristic square dates back to 1874, from a project by Giovanbattista Salotti, with a portico with round arches and, in the center, a fountain of Venus Anadiomene. The heart of the historic center of the old city, it was still used as a place for the sale of fish until about 20 years ago. Today it remains a precious and particular space, used for small fairs, events and demonstrations. Here is one of the entrance gates to the beautiful promenade of "Le mura di Tramontana".

Palazzo Senatorio

Palazzo Senatorio, also known as Palazzo Cavarretta, is a historic building in via Torrearsa in Trapani. It was the seat of the city Senate. Originally built in the 15th century, it was enlarged and renovated in 1672 with the addition of the elegant and majestic facade, by the Jerusalem knight Giacomo Cavarretta, on a project by the architect Andrea Palma, in the ancient Loggia dei Pisani, dating back to 1400. It is located at the point where via Torrearsa (formerly via degli Scultori) intersects with Corso Vittorio Emanuele (formerly Rua Grande). The Baroque Palace is structured on three orders. On the facade, at the top, there are the statues of the Madonna of Trapani (in the center), of San Giovanni Battista and of Sant'Alberto da Trapani, works by Giuseppe Nolfo, made in 1700. In 1827 the two characteristic chests were added with clock and date. Between the two a frieze representing the eagle with the coat of arms of the city.

Porta Oscura and Clock Tower

Porta Oscura below the Clock Tower was built around the fourteenth century and marks the limit between the original nucleus of the fortified city and the western expansion of the Aragonese period. Following the construction of the facade of the Palazzo Senatorio, the Tower also underwent transformations, with the incorporation of the room above the arch to the Palazzo and the construction of the staircase to allow access to the old clock, located on the last level . In 1825 the mechanism stopped operating the tower clock, leaving the role to the new clocks crowning the facade of the Palazzo Senatorio. In 1827 the two bronze bells were placed on the top of the Tower after the merger which took place in Trapani, . The astronomical clock was designed and built by the master Giuseppe Mennella from Trapani on the orders of the Jurors in 1596. The marble used was extracted from the Rizzuto quarry (Valderice). It is formed by the "Sun" Quadrant and the Lunary. The large hole in the center of the Lunario represents the Planet Earth. The two dials are circular with hand-made lead inserts with a blue stone border depicting the sky.

Church of Collegio dei Gesuiti

Designed in 1614 by the Messina architect Natale Masuccio, the Church of Collegio dei Gesuiti is one of the most significant Baroque monuments in Trapani. The Church of the Collegio remained incomplete following the suppression of the Society of Jesus and was recently reopened after an extensive restoration phase. With three naves the interior is richly decorated with mixed marbles, modeled on the Baroque churches of Palermo. The vault is embellished with stuccoes, a work of Bartolomeo Sanseverino, a disciple of the famous Giacomo Serpotta (18th century). On the main altar, an icon by Ignazio Marabitti (1711) represents the Immaculate Conception. The facade is a clear example of the transition between Baroque and Mannerism. Inside there are works of exquisite workmanship made by artists such as Pietro Novelli and Giuseppe Milanti.

San Lorenzo Cathedral

Dating back to the 14th century, it was built as a parish by Alfonso il Magnanimo in 1421. Over time it has undergone several changes. In 1639 it was renovated, also occupying the Consulate of the Genoese, on a project by the architect Fra Bonaventura Certo. From 1748 it took on its current appearance by the architect G.B. Amico, with the construction of the side chapels, the choir loft, the choir, the dome, the bell tower and the facade. The neoclassical stuccoes were made by Girolamo Rizzo and Onofrio Noto, while the fresco paintings on the vault are a work of Vincenzo Manno. The interior has three naves and houses a Crucifixion, attributed to the Flemish painter Van Dyck, a Dead Christ, in local stone, called "incarnate", by Giacomo Tartaglia, an Eternal Father by Domenico La Bruna, a San Giorgio by Andrea Carreca. On May 31, 1844, the church was elevated to the status of Cathedral with a bull of Gregory XVI.

Walls of Tramontana and Porta Botteghelle

The wall perimeter of the ancient city was equipped with eleven doors including "Porta Botteghelle", built at the end of the thirteenth century by Giacomo d’Aragona. To better defend themselves from the attacks of Turkish predators, the Spaniards, who controlled the city at that time, fortified even more the walls to the north of the city. A part of them, from which the cold and strong north wind blows, was called "Mura di Tramontana". Thanks to some restoration interventions carried out over the years, today the "walls" are very popular, allowing you to enjoy beautiful views of the sea and the mountain of Erice.

Church of San Francesco d’Assisi

The church and the adjacent convent stand on the site of the ancient church and monastery founded in 1272 by the Franciscan friar Angelo da Rieti dei Minori Conventuali, who arrived in Trapani in 1224. The complex was rebuilt in the second half of the 16th century. The church, which was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, was completed in 1672 by Father Bonaventura Certo. The internal layout is a Latin cross, with a single nave with side chapels and transept. On the walls there are sculptures depicting the Moral Virtues, made by Cristoforo Milanti from Trapani. In the eighteenth century, the architect Giovanni Biagio Amico embellished the entrance of the convent with a portal in a classicist style. Recently renovated, it is the church of Trapani fishermen and sailors, very devoted to San Francesco.

Church of San Pietro and Monumental Organ

The Church of San Pietro is one of the oldest churches in the city, probably from the early Christian era. In 1076 Count Roger wanted to expand and rebuild it. Over the centuries the church has undergone several changes. In the main facade there is the sixteenth-century portal, in the tympanum a statue of the Gagini school of the Virgin and Child. Inside there are preserved the wooden crucifix by G. Milanti, the transfiguration by A. Carreca, the Vocation of St. Andrew and two paintings with St. Paul and St. Peter by A. Carreca, sculptures with St. Peter of Ciotta and the Pietà by F. Nolfo. It also houses the most complex organ in Europe, built between 1836 and 1847 by Francesco La Grassa: it is a masterpiece of mechanical engineering, it has seven keyboards that can be played by twelve hands. Thanks to a prodigious game of multiple series of levers, from the 5000 pipes of different metals and woods, every kind of sound comes out, from brass to fanfare, to accordion.

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The treasures of Trapani

A very rich heritage to be discovered, walking with your family, with friends or even alone. Some of the places mentioned are not accessible and / or usable all year but only in certain periods and / or on the occasion of special events. Some suggestions:

  • Fardelliana Library
  • Bell Tower and Cloisters of the Church of San Domenico
  • Cappella della Mortificazione
  • Cathedral of San Lorenzo
  • Church of Collegio dei Gesuiti
  • Church of the Immaculate Conception
  • Church of San Francesco d’Assisi
  • Church of Santa Maria del Gesù
  • Church of San Domenico and Chapel of the Crusaders
  • Church of San Pietro and Monumental Organ
  • Church of Santa Maria del Soccorso
  • Church of Santa Rita
  • Church and Crypt of San Nicola
  • Palazzo D’Alì and Palazzo Poste e Telegrafi
  • Torre Oscura and Torre dell’Orologio
  • Porta delle Botteghelle and Tramontana Walls
  • Piazza ex Mercato del Pesce
  • Casina delle Palme
  • Piazzetta del Tramonto in Torre Ligny
  • Bastioni on Viale delle Sirene and Torre Ligny
  • Villino Nasi
  • Colombaia Castle

For further information:

  • The places to visit in the "le vie dei tesori" circuit
  • Recommended places to visit (on the website of the Municipality of Trapani)
  • Places of interest in Trapani - recommended by the Touring Club

For information, also contact the municipal tourist office:

  • DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM - TEL +390923590255
  • EMAIL:

Safe and protected Trapani

The containment and prevention rules adopted by the Municipality of Trapani reflect national and regional guidelines, with specific customizations according to the characteristics of the urban fabric and the territory. Trapani also benefits from "natural protection", given by the environmental and weather-climatic characteristics, which make it "inhospitable" towards the virus.

Trapani protected: find out why
Trapani Safe summer: prevention and containment rules
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Contact us

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+390923544533 / +390923590255