Founded by the Phoenicians in the 9th century BC, Mazara del Vallo is a coastal town in western Sicily that centres around a centuries-old kasbah. Its fascinating history includes periods under Carthaginian, Roman and Arab rule and it hosts the largest fishing fleet in Italy at its vibrant port.
Things to do in Mazara del Vallo
In the heart of Mazara del Vallo is the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour, which was constructed in the 11th century when Sicily was under Norman rule. It was rebuilt in the late 17th century with blue tiled domes and a richly decorated interior featuring illusionist paintings. The Cathedral of the Holy Saviour overlooks Republic Square, which is home to the remains of a Norman-built castle.
In 1998, a bronze torso known as the “Dancing Satyr” was discovered 500 metres below the water’s surface and is now exhibited within the former Church of Sant’Egidio. In addition to its namesake sculpture, the Dancing Satyr Museum exhibits other archaeological findings from the sea floor, including medieval earthenware braziers from the Maghreb and Roman Age amphorae.
For a day at the beach, head west to Spiaggia di Capo Feto, where fine white sands overlook a protected stretch of the Mediterranean Sea. With its crystal clear waters and scrub-covered dunes, it’s considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the region. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, Capo Feto is a popular destination for kitesurfers due to its shallow waters.
Getting around Mazara del Vallo
Mazara del Vallo is around 30 minutes’ drive from Marsala and 1.5 hours from Palermo where ferries connect from Naples. Palermo Airport is just over an hour away and has flights to destinations across Europe. Regular trains connect to the Mazara del Vallo railway station and the town is compact enough to explore on foot.