The phoenician road in western Sicily
Through Spain, Italy and Tunisian, following the sailors, explorers and traders path, let us know the Phoenician people, more pacific than Greeks and Romans, from which they were defeated for military reasons.
Phoenicians settled in Sicily between 750 and 700 AC, so Mothia, Lilibeo ( know Marsala) and Trapani born.
Nowadays we can see some traces also in Erice, Favignana and Palermo.
In the past Trapani was one of the most important port in the Mediterranean Sea, because it is in the middle of it. But the city life was in the oyster of Mediterranean, Mothia. The small island towards Marsala, where in old age could be go there towards a street only when the Sea was low tide.
Mothia represented the best commercial area for Phoenician and local people.
It was the great wall around it and there were 4 frontdoor, one of each side. Today we can see only 2, North and South. After settled the small island, they built their temples, houses and places where they had business, that you can see right now, thanks to Joseph Whitaker who bought the Island in 1902, for studying Nature and architecture.
Very amazing is the Tofet, the temple where phoenicians sacrified babies for their gods. In fact some urn was been discovered around there. Archeologists discovered the ancient industrial area in Mothia, trough the shellfish fossils that were used to color furs. The most important statue discovered was the “Giovinetto di Mothia” ( The young man from Mothia). A big statue 1.80 mt high, wearing a tunic, as a magister, lower, discovered under the sea. Today it’s in Mothia Museum.
Throught the same street towards Marsala, we can see the Saline Area, a Natural Reserve, to make salt. If you are fortunate, you can see flamingos, endangered.
Road by road you’ll arrive in Marsala, the silent city divided into 2 domination: Marsa Alì, born by Arabic domination, with its baroque architecture, up the hill; and Lilibeo, the underground Phoenician city. The city loved by Cicerone. The archeologic Phoenician area includes Capo Boeo, that shows the different Seas: Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean Sea, and the “Baglio Anselmi” Museum, where there is the most ancient Phoenician rest in the world: a ship. 35 mt longer ship, made by wood and nails never ruined that tells us a story from 2 thousand years.
To go back to San Vito lo Capo, the best way is the highway, looking up suggestive panoramas with mounts and sunshine.
Arriving in Trapani, you can see the Colombaia, a castle in the sea. It was a stronghold surrounded by the sea, astonishing building that seems to be built by the sea.
It was made by phoenician, linked to Astarte, Vanity and love goddness, after became Afrodite, and Venere at the end.
It is an example of military architecture, with its elliptical shape with a tower. Instead of the period of destroying it, inside there are many sign. The castle is one of the symbol of Trapani, together with Torre di Ligny.
Opposite to Trapani, you can see Erice mount. Phoenician never stay on in, but they pass it, leaving trace. The temple, in Erice, sit up the mount, needed to sailors to oriented oneself, also because it is seeable from East and West.
Across the Phoenicians path, we arrive to Selinunte, the Archeologic Park biggest in the Mediterranean area. The city settled by Phoenicians, in VIII sec. AC, opponent to the closer Segesta, dominated by Romans.
In the archeological park issued some industrial area to make ceramic and terracotta, the biggest ancient industrial area never known!