North Western Sicily
Continuing west from Agrigento the island seemed to become more empty.
We stopped at Sciacca, but once again, I was struck by the fact that
virtually none of this area has been developed for tourism.
There are few roads along the coast, and in most areas, none at all.
Those that do go down to the coast are small and pot-holed, and here
and there are the gaping remains of hotels that have not found
We visited one town that boasted more Greek remains than in Greece,
which sounded a bit far-fetched, but the village itself was so
depressing we left almost straight away. The beach was full of gravel
and stones and reminded me of walking along the coast at Brighton.
Maybe it was the wind that put me off. But here we were on a hot day in
september, and the place was shut except for one hotel. No beach bars,
no restaurants, no shops, nothing.
I'd already booked a room in a hotel at a tiny place called
Triscinamare. This again was an odd village. It stretched for a couple
miles along the coast, but no road ran along the coast itself. All
roads branched off the inner road and came to a halt in sand, rocks,
rubbish, and what looked like garages and sheds. This was scarcely a
tourist area, yet that is what it was touted as.
The hotel was pleasant enough, but the area itself was dead.
The following day we travelled to Marsala. This was the first town in
Sicily that I actually liked. I didn't get lost, and I found my way out
when I needed to leave. The food improved immensely, and we seemed to
have moved into a different culture altogether.
It was greener at this end of the island. Gone were the brown fields.
Every olive grove was set in green grass. And we seemed to have changed
to a more African style of things. There was taboulé and tajins
on the menu, and people were cooking with couscous instead of pasta.
And of course there is the local wine to sample at source: Marsala.
The north-western corner of the island seems to be much more organised
than the south-east. There is another airport at Trapani, where the old
military airfield has been converted for civilian use. This means the
area is served by two airports, as Palermo is only forty miles or so to
Unfortunately, the saga of derelict hotels did not cease. We stayed in
a huge place just outside Trapani, which was almost empty. The rooms
were huge, the corridors several yards wide, and the view looked onto a
courtyard, while the sea reposed at the bottom of a steep hill in the
opposite direction, viewed only from the corridors. Architects are
Scarcely 100 yards up the road was a rather fine empty house. I dont
have a contact number, but if anyone is ever in that district and is
interested, it is in the town of Valderice, about 300 yards on the left
down the road to SantAndrea.
There is a medieval town at the top of the mountain behind Trapani
which gives you a view right across to Tunis according to the guide
book. (It was covered in cloud the whole time we were there, so I did
not see one of my old stamping grounds.) And everywhere you look are
derelict hotels. There is a massive one on the eastern side of the
mountain. There was another next to my hotel, and there were others
wherever I looked.
The scenery can be quite spectacular along the north coast, and the
view from a wonderfully sited restaurant across the bay and over the
town of Castellammare is quite something.
And if you want a little place overlooking the beach at Terrasini, just
a few miles from the airport, and commuting distance from Palermo,
there are a few for sale. Here's a view from the window.
I have included some more properties for sale in this area on the next
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