Trapani & The Aegadian Islands

January 1, 2015 Italy Write a Comment 3,918 Views

Trapani & The Aegadian Islands: A Holiday Spot When Flowers Bloom.

The New Year is here and therefore our travel planning for 2015 begins. This means that we take out our old-school atlas to browse the world for new places we want to explore. But also areas already known to us are very often worth a re-visit. This is the case for Trapani and the Aegadian Islands in Sicily.

Longing For Sun-Rays.

Springtime, longing for sun-rays and a long weekend at the beginning of May meant that we needed to fly somewhere South. Trapani in Sicily made the cut.

Unless you fly with a European budget airline, getting to Sicily from Vienna is impossible without a stop-over in Rome. But since Bratislava is less than an hour away from our capital city, we booked a Ryan Air flight from here directly to Trapani. Less than two hours after take off, we landed smoothly on the west coast of Sicily.

Ciao Regione Siciliana.

A short walk around the area after checking into the apartment and a glass of red wine at one of the open bars brought the real holiday feeling, which was exactly what we were after.

Trapani begins where the sea ends. The city is an important fishing port, being set on a low peninsula stretching in an arc. The fish market is one of the top spots in the city and the place where the people of Trapani meet every morning. You’ll find all sorts of fresh fish here, from tuna (the largest tuna fishery in Sicily is here), swordfish, shrimps, sardines, squids to other sea creatures. Since we had an apartment with a nice kitchen, it was clear that one of these fresh fish would land on our dinner plate. You really can’t visit Trapani without trying the local cuisine. It’s influenced by Trapani’s role as a marine town, therefore menus are dominated by fish, especially recipes including tuna, which is prepared in many different ways: fried, grilled, baked, boiled or used in the preparation for sauces.

Gateway to the Aegadian Islands.

Apart from the salt and fish production, Trapani is also the main gateway to the nearby Aegadian Islands. We took the Hydrofoil to Favignana, the largest of three islands. This fairly easy access hasn’t spoiled the island (yet), because it’s a pretty low-key destination. Visitors are mostly Italians.

Upon arrival, we were greeted with the lovely smell of flowers. The entire vegetation was blooming this time of the year and the scent of lavender, thyme and many other flowers will accompany you throughout your stay here.

Travellers who come here are happy to fit in with the leisurely island way of life. Simply rent a scooter and you’re good to go. Small bars and typical Italian restaurants are the perfect spot to stop by after a long day out in the sun. One of the charms of this island is that it has never been populated with villas, nor frequented by high society, so compared to the crowded tourist island of Capri for example, Favignana has a refreshing simple authenticity.

Locking the harbour where Peter III of Aragon landed in 1282, Trapani still gives the impression of simple Sicilian authenticity. .
Locking the harbour where Peter III of Aragon landed in 1282, Trapani still gives the impression of simple Sicilian authenticity. .
When walking along the Admiral Stati in Trapani, you will notice the ancient castel "Castello della Colombaia". Hannibals father, built the tower around 260 B.C. called "Peliade" at the same spot where the castle lies today.
When walking along the Admiral Stati in Trapani, you will notice the ancient castle “Castello della Colombaia”. Hannibal’s father, built the tower around 260 B.C. called “Peliade” at the same spot where the castle lies today.
The fish at Trapani's fish market is as fresh as you can get it. We highly enjoyed watching the locals barter for their fish and visit with each other during this morning ritual.
The fish at Trapani’s fish market is as fresh as you can get it. We highly enjoyed watching the locals barter for their fish and visit with each other during this morning ritual.
The real action happens at around 5.00am in the morning when the fisherman come in with their catch, while most of the locals go and do their shopping after 8.00am.
The real action happens at around 5.00am in the morning when the fisherman come in with their catch, while most of the locals go and do their shopping after 8.00am.
The fish market in Trapani has all kinds of shellfish and other sea creatures besides just fish.
The fish market in Trapani has all kinds of shellfish and other sea creatures besides just fish.
Trapani's fish market is colourful and noisy and a great possibility to get to know a bit of Trapani’s daily life. You will get to see some really bizarre fish - and also human - examples.
Trapani’s fish market is colourful and noisy and a great possibility to get to know a bit of Trapani’s daily life. You will get to see some really bizarre fish – and also human – examples.
Favignana is a great place to absorb the islands idyllic atmosphere.
Favignana is a great place to absorb the islands idyllic atmosphere.
Even though life on the island of Favignana, the younger generation knows how to have fun - here in a cute little Piaggio.
Even though life on the island of Favignana, the younger generation knows how to have fun – here in a cute little Piaggio.
Cala Rossa beach on Favignana island lies a pretty bay with turquoise sea and is one of the most visited beaches of the island.
Cala Rossa beach on Favignana island lies a pretty bay with turquoise sea and is one of the most visited beaches of the island.
It's quite a scramble to get down the rocks of Cala Rossa beach, but determined holiday-makers don't this obstacle keep them from it.
It’s quite a scramble to get down the rocks of Cala Rossa beach, but determined holiday-makers don’t this obstacle keep them from it.
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