Saturday, 23 February 2019

West Sicily - FEB2019

A short mid winter cycling trip along the west coast of Sicily


09 FEB 2019: Mazara del Vallo & Granitola
10 FEB 2019: Mazara del Vallo - Marsala (40km)
11 FEB 2019: Marsala - Trapani (40km)
12 FEB 2019: Trapani - Favignana - Erice
13 FEB 2019: Trapani - San Vito lo Capo (40km)
14 FEB 2019: San Vito lo Capo 

09 FEB 2019: Mazara del Vallo - Granitola & Surroundings

The trip starts in a sunny day from the small village of Granitola, about 10 km South of Mazara del Vallo.
Mazara del Vallo was founded by the Phoenicians in the 9th century BC, with the name of Mazar (the Rock). It then passed under the control of Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, before being occupied by the Arabs in the year 827.
The city centre, known as the Kasbah, retains Arab architectural influences.
In 1072 Mazara was conquered by Normans, then after the death of Emperor Frederick II, Sicily passed to the Angevins, then followed by the Spaniards of Aragon. The Aragon period (1282–1409) is characterized by a political, economic and demographic decline of Mazara. The city passed under the control of the House of Savoy in 1713, a reign which lasted only five years, being replaced by the Habsburg Empire (for 16 years) followed by the Bourbons. In 1860 the city was finally conquered by Giuseppe Garibaldi and the Mille, thus joining the then newly formed Kingdom of Italy.

Today Mazara is widely considered to be one of the most important fishing centres of Italy; tussles about fishing rights, especially with the North-African countries, figure large in the town's recent history, boat sequestrations being a common event. Currently the fishing business in the city seems to be withering, mainly because of the increasing lack of people willing to work on boats. Mazara del Vallo is among the Italian cities with the highest percentages of immigrants; it is estimated that the city hosts at least 3,500 registered immigrants, mainly from nearby Tunisia. (source Wikipedia)

10 FEB 2019: Mazara del Vallo - Marsala

Marsala, located in the Province of Trapani in the westernmost part of Sicily, is famous for the docking of Giuseppe Garibaldi on 11 May 1860 (the Expedition of the Thousand) and for its Marsala wine.
A feature of the area is the Stagnone Lagoon Natural Reserve, a marine area with salt ponds. 
Nowadays has also become pretty popular for kitesurfing and other sea sports. (source Wikipedia)

11 FEB 2019: Marsala - Trapani

Founded by Elymians on the west coast of Sicily, Trapani is still an important fishing port and the main gateway to the nearby Egadi Islands. Much of its economy still depends on the sea. Fishing and canning are the main local industries, with fishermen using the mattanza technique to catch tuna. Coral is also an important export, along with salt, marble, and marsala wine.
The nearby coast is lined with numerous salt-pans. (source Wikipedia)

12 FEB 2019: Trapani - Favignana - Erice

13 FEB 2019: Trapani - San Vito lo Capo

14 FEB 2019:  San Vito lo Capo

"The End" .... the trip is over .. so we go back to Mazara to pick-up the car

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