Trapani has the shape of a sickle, Drepanon in Greek, and an enviable geographic location: between the two seas, beneath Mount Erice, near the archaeological site of Selinunte, in front of the Egadi Islands and the salt marshes. Walking through the old town, the signs of the passage of various civilizations over the centuries are immediately evident, and all left architectural, artistic and monumental evidences.
The Mysteries of the Chiesa del Purgatorio
The eighteenth-century Purgatory Church safeguards the “Mysteries”, 20 sculptures made by Trapani artisans, depicting the Passion of Christ.
In this church of Spanish origin, every Good Friday we can witness one of the oldest religious events in Italy: The procession of the Mysteries. The twenty masterpieces are carried through the streets of the city. The grand procession winds through the streets during 24 hours, creating an exciting experience of religiosity, sounds, lights and colours. The sculptures, adorned with precious ornaments and floral arrangements, are carried on the shoulders by the “Massari”, who beat the “annacata” to give the sacred sculptures a movement that follows the rhythms set by the notes of the musical bands.
Count Agostino Sieri Pepoli, patron of Trapani, founded the museum in 1906 on the site of the fourteenth-century former convent of the Carmelite Fathers, next to the sanctuary of Maria SS. Annunziata.
The museum hosts a collection of Sicilian works of art from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries, including sculptures of the Gagini School and collections of figurative and decorative arts of the region. There is an impressive collection of corals, majolica, and gold and silver artefacts. Here the mid-fourteenth century marble statue of the Madonna of Trapani by Nino Pisano is preserved.
3 – Mozia
Here is the island museum! A suggestive dive into the past of Phoenician sailors and Greek settlers.
The island can be reached by boat, a short ride across the lagoon lulled by the sun, the slight rocking motion and the chatter of the boatman. The pier is next to the salt marshes near Marsala and it is in itself a unique place.