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Trapani (TP)

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Trapani (Trapani Province) is a coastal town on the northwest coast of Sicily, on the plain sloping down from Monte Erice (San Giuliano), alt. 3 m, area 271.9 sq km. It has a population of over 69,600, post-code 91100, tel. 0923. Economy: agriculture (citrus fruit, cereals, almonds, apples, vegetables); industries (food preservation, wine, marble, salt); tourism.

The city developed around a Sican village, later called by the Greeks Drepanon (sickle) possibly because of the shape of the gulf. In the 8th century BC it became a Phoenician port of call and, in the first Punic War, a Carthaginian strategic base. Later, under the Romans, it was a minor trade and maritime center. In 440 AD, it was invaded by the Vandals, in 477 it fell to the Byzantines, and in about 830 it was taken by the Muslims, who made it one of the richest and most prosperous cities in Sicily, developing its maritime activities and its gold and coral handicraft. The process of Islamization is still evident in place names and certain local traditions and customs. It continued to prosper under the Normans, who conquered it in 1077. In 1282 it took part in the uprising against the Angevins (the War of the Sicilian Vespers). Between the 13th and 15th centuries, its size was extended. It started to decline in the late 16th century. In the following century, Charles V fortified the town walls and trade again prospered. Many new salt-pans were created, some of which are still active today. However, this did not stop the general decline of the economy. It became a provincial capital in 1817. It was actively involved in uprisings against the Bourbons and in 1860, even before the arrival of Garibaldi and his army, forced them to feee the city. It was extensively bombed during WW II and large parts of it today are quite new.

Of interest is the Museo Pepoli and the Palazzo d'Ali (20th century) which houses the town hall. Also the Palazzo Adragna-Riccio, Palazzo Cavarretta (18th century), Torre di Ligny (1671), Museo della Preistoria e Protostoria, Torre della Colombaia, Lazzaretto, and Palazzo della Giudecca (16th century).

The former Chiesa di San Giacomo (18th century) now houses the Biblioteca Fardelliana (founded in 1830). There is also the Museo del Sale and nature reserve.

The Provincial Archives (Archivio di Stato) has a web site at They are located at:
Archivio di Stato
Via Liberta' 31
Via Eraclea 29
91100 Trapani, TP

The Diocese Archives are located at:
Curia Vescovile
Diocese di Trapani
Corso Vittorio Emanuaele, 42
91100 Trapani, TP

Churches (Trapani Diocese) include the following:
S. Lorenzo MartireS. Lorenzo Martire (Cathedral)
Chiesa di Santa Maria dell'Itria (historic)
Chiesa di Santa Maria del Soccorso (historic)
Chiesa di San Nicolo Mirense (historic)
Chiesa di San Domenico (14th century) (historic)
Chiesa del Collegio dei Gesuiti (18th century) (historic)
Chiesa del Purgatorio (1683) (historic)
Chiesa di San Francesco (redone in 18th century) (historic)
Chiesa di Sant'Agostino (14th century) (historic)
Chiesa di Santa Maria di Gesu (16th century) (historic)
Maria SS. Annunziata
Maria SS. Ausiliatrice
Nostra Signora di Fatima
Nostra Signora di Loreto
Nostra Signora di Lourdes
S. Alberto
S. Cuore di Gesu'
S. Francesco D'Assisi
S. Giovanni
S. Massimiliano Kolbe
S. Nicolo'
S. Pietro
S. Teresa del Bambino Gesu'
San Lorenzo Cathedral (17th century, over a 14th century church) (historic)
Santuario dell'Annunziata (historic)
SS. Salvatore (Fontanelle Casasanta - suburb of Trapani)
S. Giuseppe (Fulgatore - suburb of Trapani)
SS. Crocifisso (Guarrato - suburb of Trapani)
Maria SS. Immacolata (Locogrande - suburb of Trapani)
Immacolata Concezione (Marausa - suburb of Trapani)
S. Paolo Apostolo (Mokarta - suburb of Trapani)
Maria SS. di Trapani (Rilievo - suburb of Trapani)
S. Giuseppe (Salina Grande - suburb of Trapani)
Gesu' Maria Giuseppe (Ummari - suburb of Trapani)
S. Lorenzo Levitta (Xitta - suburb of Trapani)

Families researched in these records include the following:
lo Presti

Links to other sites about Trapani include:
Ancient Sicily
Trapani Photos
Trapani Province

My latest book on CD is titled Sicily, Part 1 and Part 2 is now available on 2 CDs. With a file for each town (plus many other files), it relates the history of Sicily as reflected in the photos, records and festivals of its towns. It contains over 2500 text and photo files and can be ordered at CD order.

Order Italy Kathy Kirkpatrick

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© Kathy Kirkpatrick 2002-2013