In this article you will find out what to see in Mazara del Vallo. The town is named after the nearby Màzaro River and is now one of the main fishing ports in Italy. It is a city rich in history and with a strong, well-established Tunisian community. It was inhabited by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and then occupied by the Arabs and later by the Normans. Let’s go now to find out what to see and what to eat in Mazara del Vallo.

1. Republic Square

What to see in Mazara del Vallo - Republic Square
Lorenzo Casserà , CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

In this baroque square you can admire the Cathedral founded in 1093 and then rebuilt in 1690-94, the Bishop’s Palace erected in 1596 and the Seminary of the Clerics, a building from 171 0.

2. Norman castle

Norman castle - Mazara del Vallo
dapal (msg) , CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Norman castle or rather the little that remains of it is located a short distance from Piazza Repubblica, near the sea and the Jolanda garden. The castle was built by the Normans and then destroyed around 1900 to free access to the sea . Today it is possible to admire only the front door, a real shame.

4. Museum of the Satyr

Museum of the Satyr - Mazara del Vallo
Xp8888 , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The museum of the Satyr houses an important and fascinating find. A Greek statue, the Dancing Satyr, 2.5 meters high, 96 kg heavy datable between the 4th and 1st centuries BC It was found in 1998 in the waters between Pantelleria and Africa, after it was trapped in the nets of a fishing boat . The museum is very small and besides the Satyr there are few other exhibits to observe. The grandeur, beauty and rarity of this work, however, make this museum very original and worth a visit.

The museum of the Satyr has a ticket cost of 6 Euros and is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 19:00. Rates and times may change.

5. The churches

Mazara del Vallo
User: Matthias Süßen , CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

In the same square where the Satyr Museum is located (Piazza Plebiscito), there is the Jesuit College and the church of Sant’Ignazio . The Collegio is characterized by a beautiful Baroque facade and a porticoed courtyard. Of the baroque church of Sant’Ignazio, however, only ruins remain, which still make it original and fascinating.

Church of San Vito a Mare, Mazara del Vallo
Church of San Vito Francois Polito , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Further away there is a small church, located in a very original position. The church of San Vito, in fact, is located right by the sea , not to be missed. It was built in 1776 exactly on the rock where it is said that San Vito landed on his way to Rome.

Finally, the churches of San Michele and San Francesco are very beautiful , especially the internal decorations of the latter.

Church of San Michele, Mazara del Vallo
Church of San Francesco – Dapal , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Church of San Michele, Mazara del Vallo
Inside the church of San Francesco – Dapal , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Church of San Michele, Mazara del Vallo
San Micheal – Ludvig14 , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

6. The ancient Kasbah

Kasbah, Mazara del Vallo
Decorated facade – Davide Mauro , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Kasbah, Mazara del Vallo
Typical Kasbah facade – Davide Mauro , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Kasbah, Mazara del Vallo
Davide Mauro , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Kasbah, Mazara del Vallo
Davide Mauro , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Kasbah is the ancient historical center of Mazara del Vallo, which has totally maintained the Arab architectural structure with its labyrinths of alleys and streets . Today the historic center is inhabited by a large Tunisian community, which made it reborn by creating a small Tunisia in Sicily .

The first Tunisians arrived here around 1970, illegally disembarking in the waters of Mazara del Vallo . Given the great demand for labor in the fishing sector, they were able to integrate immediately and today half of the fishing boats are managed by them.

Today the Kasbah is a riot of colors, hand-painted ceramics and extravagant human height vases . Below is a map of the ancient Casbah, with all the most characteristic places. The points of interest are marked in purple and clicking on the “enlarge” symbol at the top right activates the locator.

After having listed what to see in Mazara del Vallo, let’s now discover Castelvetrano, a town not far away.

7. Castelvetrano

Town Hall - Castelvetrano
Town Hall – Castelvetrano
Trinity Church of Delia, Mazara del Vallo
Trinity Church of Delia – Clemensfranz , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Church of San Domenico - Mazara del Vallo
Church of San Domenico – Davide Mauro , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Fountain of the Ninfa - Castelvetrano
Fountain of the Ninfa – Castelvetrano
Delicatessen - Castelvetrano
Delicatessen – Castelvetrano

Just 30 minutes by car from Mazara del Vallo is located Castelvetrano . A recommended stop to end the day in style. The town is located further inland and on the road you cannot fail to notice expanses of olive groves. In fact, here in the area is produced Nocellar del Belice , the only variety of olive to which PDO has been recognized as a table olive. In the delicatessen “The corner of Riccardo di Morici Giuseppe” you can buy olives, oil and many other local specialties.

As for culture in Castelvetrano you can visit the beautiful communicating squares Don Carlo d’Aragona square and the piazza Umberto I . Splendid palaces, churches and the beautiful fountain of the Nymphs of 1615 overlook these squares. Do not miss the Civic Museum , which houses the fascinating Efebo di Selinunte, a rare Greek bronze statue representing a standing virile figure (Kourus). In addition to the statue you will find other finds all found in the fantastic Selinunte .

Finally don’t miss the church of San Domenico (1470) which boasts truly fabulous interior decorations. If you still have time available, about 3.5 km from Castelvetrano, surrounded by greenery, you can admire a beautiful 12th century Arab-Norman church, the Trinity church of Delia .

Civic museum opening hours and prices: 5 Euro ticket, opening hours: Mon-Sat: 09-13, 15-18; Sun 09-13. Times and fares may change.

What to eat in Mazara del Vallo

After having seen what to see in Mazara del Vallo, let’s think about food. The product par excellence is the red prawn from Mazara , one of the finest crustaceans in the Mediterranean. It is caught not far from Mazara del Vallo, in the Sicilian channel and is a shrimp with a sweet taste and a characteristic bright red color. Of course in general the fish in Mazara del Vallo it is the king of the table, so it is absolutely recommended to try it.

Among the specialties, however, there is not only fish but also cous cous , a dish of Arab origin based on steamed semolina, which in Mazara seasoned with fresh fish broth. Given the presence of such a strong Tunisian community in the city, this dish could not fail to be on the list of typical products.

As for the desserts, the local classics are the mustazzoli , dry cooked wine biscuits imported by the Arabs. Other typical sweets are i muccunetti , small pieces of almond paste stuffed with pumpkin. Just think that they were invented by the nuns of the ancient Benedictine monastery of Mazara who, still today as centuries ago, pack and sell them daily.

Here you will find more tips on what to eat in Trapani and surroundings (Mazara del Vallo is part of the province of Trapani), here instead you find the typical Sicilian dishes.

Where to eat in Mazara del Vallo

An excellent restaurant (Also first on Tripadvisor) is the Donna Franca Restaurant. It is located in the historic center and you can try all the specialties of the city and excellent fresh fish.

Activities loved by tourists in the surrounding area or in Sicily in general

Interactive map of Mazara del Vallo – Points of interest in purple

By clicking on the “enlarge” symbol at the top right you activate the localization. The Casbah and Castelvetrano map are not included in this map, you can find them in paragraphs 6 and 7 of this article.

What to see around Mazara del Vallo

Mazara del Vallo is located in the province of Trapani. Here you will find listed the places to visit in Trapani and surroundings .

Vote article