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Castellammare del Golfo, the town with a heart of stone

Castellammare del Golfo,
the town with a heart of stone

16 May 2022

The many faces of a town that merges with the sea

A natural amphitheatre overlooking the sea. This is Castellammare del Golfo, a town nestled between rugged mountains with rich vegetation and a gulf with beautiful turquoise waters, the largest in Sicily. Two sandy beaches, one on each side of the headland, complete the picture, making this a truly magical and stunning place. The charm and strategical position of the town were not lost on the Arabs who, in around the 9th century, built the stone castle on the lush headland which juts out into the sea, giving the town its name. Today the castle is the undisputed symbol of not only Castellammare but the whole island, testimony of the continuous historical and cultural changes that Sicily and its people have seen in the past ten centuries, with the occupation of the Arabs, Normans, Suevians, Anjous and Aragons. The castle was recently converted into a museum, perpetuating its role as “defender” of the history of the Mediterranean and promoting the historical, artistic and ethno-anthropological heritage of a land that has so much to offer its visitors.
During the day, tourists are drawn to the different beaches, the deep blue of the sea and the dramatic natural landscape inland, while in the evening the main attraction is a pleasant stroll through the town. Here, as well as exploring the pretty streets, visitors are enchanted by the beautiful stairways offering breath-taking views of the sea, the high ramparts which rise above the harbour and the beautiful churches that tower majestically over the roofs. Castellammare is a magical place, where every corner is a reminder of its prosperous past, an open-air lounge where you can enjoy the company of friends in the evening.
There are lots of bars and restaurants ready to welcome the many customers late into the night, before or after a stroll in the town centre or along the seafront.

Local cuisine, traditional dishes, interesting facts

Castellammare del Golfo is a fishing village, so its culinary tradition has always been inspired by the day’s catch. Fresh fish is a staple in the homes of the locals and in the kitchens of the town’s restaurants, pizzerias and trattorias which cater to the different culinary tastes of visitors wanting to experience the local flavours. Castellammare del Golfo has been a cultural crossroads throughout its history and its delicious seafood couscous, typical of Castellammare and the whole Trapani area, is testimony of this.
For about ten years now, San Vito Lo Capo, a small town a short distance from here, has been the venue for the famous Couscous Festival, attracting thousands of visitors every year.

Where to eat enjoying a bottle of Acqua San Benedetto

Pizzeria Canale Vecchio,
Castellammare del Golfo (TP)

Hot springs suspended in time

Castellammare is a paradise for nature lovers because, as well as the sea, it has a high, rugged coast whose mountains afford a dramatic backdrop to the town. Here, amid reeds and tamerisks and surrounded by rocky walls of white Travertine streaked with pink, are the free baths of Segesta, also called Polle del Crimiso. The water in these hot volcanic springs comes out of the ground at around 47 degrees and visitors can enjoy the beneficial effects of the water, mud and caves. There are three springs - Bagno delle Femmine, Grotta Regina and Nuova Sorgente – which, together, create a unique, unforgettable landscape.

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