Rich in history and full of cultural attractions, the medieval village of Castelvetrano near Trapani in Sicily, still retains an air of nobility.
If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday that is close-by to the sleepy town of Castelvetrano, then we would recommend staying at the Verdura resort as it is less than an hour away. The resort boasts a large garden, a private beach, a beauty salon, spa and fitness centre.
After booking your hotel you should look at all the different things you can do in Castelvetrano as there are lots of historical outings you can go on and restaurants to visit. Here we guide you through the bits that you just can’t miss.
Attractions to visit
Being an ancient city, there are some great places you can visit during your trip to Castelvetrano. Considered to have some of the best example of Islamic-Norman architecture in Sicily, it is a perfect stop for history buffs, while the local food will satisfy even the fussiest foodie.
Church of San Domenico
The Church of San Domenico is seen by many as the jewel of the 16th century as it boasts stunning decorations of stuccos and paintings.
Built in 1470, this grand and colourful church was closed for over 40 years following the Belice earthquake in 1968 causing structural damage. Fortunately after a campaign called Save Art, a full restoration project took place and this now means you can see all the incredible artwork today.
A lot of the work that was saved was created by Antonio Ferraro da Giuliana and his children and you’ll be able to see these masterpieces along with other original paintings like a copy of Raphael’s “Caduta sulla via del calvario” (1574), made by Giovan Paolo Fondulli.
Parco Archeologico and Cave of Cusa
A short distance away from Castelvetrano is one of the Mediterranean’s great archaeological wonders; the Archaeological Park of Selinunte and Cave of Cusa.
The park has a real charm to it and is a great example of an ancient city with its old military architecture, temples and other sculptures waiting to be explored.
The site dates back to the second half of the 7th century BC and was founded by the Megarites of Sicily. The archaeological park has seven different areas and these can be seen below:
– Acropolis – This area is full of temples, houses and fortifications
– Hill of Manuzza – This was the political and social centre of the city and is home to an old residential building.
– East Hill – This area is also home to some magnificent temples
– Hill of the Gaggera – A sacred area outside of the walls and where the Temple of Hera Matronale stood.
– Artisan Quarter – Along the eastern walls of the city there is evidence of the furnaces and work areas that were once used for ceramic production.
– Byzantine Baptistery – Beautifully located at the mouth of the river Modione.
– Caves of Cusa – These famous caves, which were used for the construction of the temples, are around 7 miles northwest of Selinunte.
Shopping at Centro Commerciale Belicitta
If you’re after a bit of retail therapy during your holiday, then the Centro Commerciale Belicitta is the place you’ll need to head to.
With over 30 shops you can easily spend several hours browsing through all the different outlets. There are clothing and footwear retailers, hypermarkets and lots of other food outlets located in the shopping centre.
There are also three restaurants you can eat at and they serve typical Italian dishes as well as lots of other international meals. The eateries are perfect for a quick lunch so you can get back to your shopping in no time!
The Selinus Theatre, known as Teatro Selinus in Italian, is located in an impressive and dominating building that took 35 years to complete.
The first performance took place in 1908 and even if you don’t get around to watching a show during your Sicilian holiday you should take a look at the incredible neoclassical architecture.
The theatre is open from Monday to Friday, but shuts at weekends.
Restaurants to eat at
If you are staying at the Verdura resort you can look forward to some great meals, but if you fancy eating out then you’ll have plenty of places to choose from.
Pierrot in Citta
Pierrot in Citta is one of the most popular restaurants in Castelvetrano and has welcomed visitors and locals alike for over 30 years.
Serving traditional Sicilian cuisine you will be able to enjoy rich dishes that represent the area. From fresh Selinunte seafood to pizzas, there are a variety of dishes you can choose from.
Some of the most popular dishes you can enjoy are typical of the region and make the most of the fantastic local seafood.
The restaurant also boasts a cellar with an unrivalled selection of wines from Western Sicily so you are guaranteed to have the perfect drink to accompany your food.
Pizzeria Restaurant Baffo’s Castle
Another hugely popular place to dine in Castelvetrano is Pizzeria Restaurant Baffo’s Castle.
This renowned eatery invites you to taste the true Sicilian cuisine as its recipes date back years and are based on fresh fish and meat.
The gastronomic theories that run through the restaurant have been passed down by generations and food range from mussels and lobster to prawns and pizza.
The restaurant also offers diners lots of entertainment with most evenings welcoming local musicians and singers to perform over dinner.
Another great way to experience a Sicilian way of life is to visit Area 14 at breakfast, lunch and dinner as it serve up foods that a local would typically enjoy.
Breakfast is often the sweetest meal of the day in Sicily and Area 14 serve a number of delicious Sicilian hand crafted pastries and lots of tea and coffee!
At lunch you’ll be able to enjoy pizza and lasagne or their self-service menus will be able to recommend more typical Sicilian cuisine. The dinner menu also offers you traditional Sicilian meals and you pick from a range of pasta-based dishes or seafood meals.
Area 14 also sell a selection of products that have been made in Sicily such as jams, honey, salt and pasta so you can take a bit of Sicily home with you.