Castellammare del Golfo must first be viewed from above. Let’s enjoy the view from the terrace that juts out from the main road over this exciting sight and breathe in the sea air with full lungs. Now we can set off.
The town is arranged around the Arab-Norman castle. Looking at the building, we discover the many changes that have taken place over the centuries following the dominations that have alternated on the island: Arabs, Normans, Swabians and, later, the lords of the city. Each has contributed to modifying the castle of Castellammare del Golfo to make it what it is today: a history book of undiminished and timeless charm.
The building overlooks the gulf, in a position that makes it unforgettable. Thanks to a pedestrian passageway, it is possible to walk along its walls.
Castellammare del Golfo has a number of sacred places and churches from every era. Why not visit the small building dedicated to the Madonna della Scala, near the port: a white construction carved into the rock. Near the castle, you will find the Church of the Rosary dating back to 1100, one of the oldest in the town. Both churches are rather sober and do not contain any significant valuables, due to the frequent invasions carried out by pirates and looters of all precious things. In the historic centre, we stop at Palazzo Crociferi, a large 17th-century complex formed by the former Crociferi’s convent and the Church of Santissima Maria degli agonizzanti.
But the beauty of Castellammare del Golfo cannot be fully appreciated without mentioning the beaches (among the best, also suitable for children in the province of Trapani) that can be reached without straying too far from the town. The most beautiful, which remain in the heart and mind, are those of Cala Petrolo and Cala Marina, as well as the long beach of Plaja, the most popular. To the west, you will find the sea caves, the most noteworthy of which is the Grotta di Santa Margherita, accessible by sea. Inside there are fascinating frescoed walls of sacred images, probably dating back to the early Christian period.
It may seem obvious to you that here you can eat fresh fish cooked to perfection, accompanied by excellent Alcamo DOC wine. It certainly isn’t surprising to discover that – once again, here! – we will taste some of the finest truffles on the whole island, gifts from the generous Monte Inici, and end on a sweet note with Cassatella di Castellammare (a hybrid dessert halfway between Cassatella di Agira and the Sicilian cannoli [link to Sicilian cannoli]). One last treat: don’t miss the Cofanetto, a tasty cheese that boasts the PAT (Traditional Agri-food Product of Sicily) seal.