Marsala. Archeology, nature and gastronomy.
Home of the homonymous wine DOC, obtained after years of aging in oak barrels: do not miss a visit to the historic wine cellars that have made Sicilian wines famous all over the world, like Florio, Donnafugata and Pellegrino.
The small town was founded on the head that bears the ancient name of the city, Lilybeum, Lily, water and Beo, Evia, pre-Phoenician inhabitants. It is thought that Marsala was founded in 397 BC by Phoenicians fled Mozia after defeat by Syracuse.
The present name derives from Marsah El Ali, Ali port (or Allah), God then, reflecting its importance as a seaside town. And it is tied to its port which is one of the most significant events in its history: the landing of a Thousand in Sicily, led by Garibaldi.
The hot sun reflected on the sea, the wind is channeled in the alleys of the old buildings, palm trees, the fish market, always crowded, often gets the impression of being in an African city, far from Europe.
During Easter the city comes alive with the Holy Thursday procession, which retraces the steps of the cross streets of the center (main characters are men and women who embody the characters). The evening takes place then the sacred representation of the Crucifixion and Resurrection.
The ancient Porta Garibaldi leads into the old town, museums, Spanish buildings, churches and artwork.
The heart beats around the city in Piazza della Repubblica (or Piazza Loggia), bounded by Cathedral and Palazzo VII Aprile, now the City Council of the sixteenth century and so called after 1860, in memory of the popular insurrection against the Bourbons. The square is on course XI May, Decuman ancient Roman city, flanked by eighteenth century buildings. To the north is the church of the College of 600.
The Cathedral (Cathedral Church or “Madrice”), built in the Norman period, but rebuilt in 700, is dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury and holds numerous sculptures of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and numerous paintings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as well as a treasure with gold and silver objects are not exposed to the public.
The church has an imposing façade embellished with statues and tufa developed on two levels: the bottom is mannerist-baroque, the top is a later period.
Baglio Anselmi Archeological Museum – Housed in an old wine factory, designed by Basile, the museum houses the remains of a Punic ship (third century BC.) Recovered in 1969 near Mozia. It ‘s probably a “liburna, fast warship 35 m long, which is supposed to be sunk at the end of the First Punic War, the Battle of Egadi (241 to AD). Analysis of the structure made it possible to determine the construction technique of the Phoenicians, which involved the use of prefabricated parts marked with letters.
Incredible is the alloy with which they were made the nails that held the planks together: after more than 2000 years at sea no trace of oxidation. The museum also contains significant artifacts that tell the history of Marsala and the surrounding area from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. Particularly interesting are the windows dedicated to Mozia and some finely crafted jewelry Hellenistic seers widening of Cape stu Boeo.
Insula of Cape Boeo – At the end of streets Vittorio Emanuele, on the head. The remains of three Roman islets. One was almost entirely occupied by a large villa of the imperial period (third century. AD) with private baths. A distinction is still some of the mosaics that decorated the floors and suspensoria, the pillars, taking the raised floor, allowed the movement of hot air. The area was bounded by roads paved with white stone of Trapani. Just beyond stands the Church of St. John outside the walls that enclose the legendary cave of the Sibyl Lilibe.