Posted by gsmigic on April 12th, 2011 with Comments Off
Sicily enjoys a significant position right in the heart of the Mediterranean region, which has allowed for settlers and conquerors from the medieval Normans, Aragonese Spanish, Moorish North Africans, ancient Greeks, Phoenicians, and Romans to come here and thrive. What few people know is that Sicily’s Roman ruins are on par with the ruins of Rome itself, and anyone with an interest in Roman archaeology will love exploring the ancient ruins of Sicily.
Anybody who loves archaeology on a trip to Sicily must visit the Valley of Temples, the biggest and greatest collection of ancient Greek ruins worldwide. As well, you will discover necropolises, houses, streets and other things usually present in an ancient city. Make sure to visit the small amphitheater, the various auditoria, as well as the excellent archeological museum.
Food and wine are among Sicily’s main attractions, and you may have sampled something of both long before arriving in Sicily. When most people think of Italian food, pasta and pizza come to mind. But Sicilian cuisine, and the Mediterranean Diet, transcends these ubiquitous culinary delights. If you plan to go on a diet, go to Sicily first. (You can always diet later.)
Marsala is a seaport city located in the Province of Trapani on the island of Sicily in Italy. The low coast on which it is situated is the westernmost point of the island. It is best known as the source of Marsala wine.
Marsala occupies the site of Lilybaeum, the principal stronghold of the Carthaginians in Sicily, founded by Himilco in 396 BC after the abandonment of Motya. Neither Pyrrhus nor the Romans were able to reduce it by siege, but it was surrendered to the latter in 241 BC at the end of the First Punic War as a condition of the peace treaty. In the later wars it was a starting point for the Roman expeditions against Carthage, and under Roman rule it enjoyed considerable prosperity. It obtained municipal rights from Augustus and became a colony under either Pertinax or Septimius Severus.
The Arabs gave it its present name “Marsala,” which is derived from the Arab “Marsa Allah” (port of Allah) or “Marsa Ali” (“port of Ali”, intended also as “great port”, as Ali in Arabian language is synonymous with “great” and the ancient harbour of Lilybaeum was enormous). The ancient harbor that lay on the northeast was destroyed by Charles V to prevent its occupation by pirates. The modern harbor lies to the southeast.