Date: 29th July 2018
Travelled: 64 kilometres from Trapani to Mazara Del Vallo, both in Sicily.
Visited: Mazara Del Vallo
Stayed: Vacanzeemamé Sosta, €28 all the usual services + pool. N37.67818, E12.59920
You could tell today was likely to be a day of little achievement. Whilst the air-conditioning ensured a comfortable night, it’s already hot. We have a coffee and some fruit before paying our bill and rolling out onto the SP21 south. The next place on our hit list is the ancient ruins of Selinunte, but its at least a couple of hours drive and we thought we should have a look at the town of Marsala on our way.
Marsala doesn’t catch our interest, so we drive on. Should you be visiting Italy or Sicily for that matter, remember anywhere in Italy looks better as the sun sets. Places just open up in the early evening, hence the problem you cannot visit every town at sunset.
Thirty minutes later we drive into Mazara Del Vallo. The ocean looks beautiful, we don’t fancy wandering the ruins of Selinunte in the mid-afternoon. So we pause and review our options, the first being a beachside campsite just up the road. So we go and have a look. Frankly it was awful and they wanted €40, we just walked away…
We thought about moving on, but decided to have a look at Vacanzeemamé Sosta. No one is home when we arrive but the sign gives a number to call and 10 minutes later Rossella arrives and lets us in.
We may have preferred more shade and to be on the beach, but this sosta has good security and a magnificient pool and shaded gazebo. So the afternoon drifts away lazing about the pool and catching a nap. This was Pam’s sosta of the month and Rozzella a pleasant and helpful proprieter.
Rossella recommended going into Mazara Del Vallo in the early evening. She provides a map to the old moorish quarter, so come 6pm we climb on our trusty scooter and ride the 3 klms to town.
We park almost outside the Cathedral of Saint Salvatore. It’s the best photo I can get given the narrow street, but it is beautifully adorned.
The Cathedral is well lit by the setting sun. But just when we were taking it in, Pam was asked to leave as she was inappropriately dressed (shoulders not covered is a red card in Italy).
The arched loggia of what is now a museum, faces onto the Palazzo.
On the Palazzo Vescovile. The green tiled domes of the Cathedral against the blue sky. Rossella said there were 50 churches and chapels in Mazara, there are four just in this block.
So we wander up and down several narrow laneways. Each having a curve, so you cannot see more than 50 metres ahead at any time. Mazara is certainly got my vote for Sicily’s tidy town award.
Many of the laneways have murals or tiled panels referring to the town’s Moorish heritage.
Just wandering as we do, we see a couple of people walking through a set of large double timber doors. So we follow them in. It’s a large circular space lined with columns and arches. A later google search identifies it as Ruderi della Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio. The ruin of a Jesuit Church founded in 1701, it’s roof collapsed in 1933.
We eventually find our little corner, order a drink and watch the shadows grow longer.
We only get lost once on the way back to the sosta. We prepared dinner this afternoon, so it just needs to be re-heated. We have another drink or two, then a swim before calling it a night.