Few reminders still exist of Trapani’s ancient history, but from Phoenician days it was a trading port, well positioned for commerce with Africa, Naples, and the western Mediterranean. The Middle Ages is the era most evident in its old town, now a pedestrian zone. Aging palaces, some imposing and others in various stages of decay, cluster along a peninsula stretching into the bay. Worthy of note is the ominously named Chiesa del Purgatorio, home to wooden statues known as Misteri, that are paraded through the streets on Good Friday. Further out are saltpans, and plains punctuated by medieval windmills, home to some 170 species of birds.
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