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Intro

Villas in west Sicily

Western SicilyWestern Sicily is ancient and rugged, sunny and sinister, a fascinating composite of the island’s history and culture.

Its roots are pure North Africa - small fishing fleets cluster in the harbours of Trapani and Mazzara del Vallo, where the features and physiognomy of the fishermen are almost indistinguishable from the Tunisian immigrants who fill the ports.

The real pleasures of Western Sicily are not those of great museums and grand churches; instead, they lie along the beautiful coastline. At its heart is the Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro, Sicily’s first nature reserve, distinguished by coves and rocky beaches, washed by the clearest of waters.

For decades Western Sicily was written off as a remote and uninteresting corner of the island, with little to recommend it save a couple of Greek ruins and - for those fascinated by the macabre - its reputation as a hotspot of seismic instability and Mafia activity.

Consequently, the area never developed the sophisticated tourist industry that attracts visitors to Taormina and Syracuse. But to ignore the west is to miss out on a region that is defined and shaped by the multiculturalism that has influenced the island from prehistory to the modern day.

Villas in west Sicily

Windmills used to pump water into salt ponds near Trapani

The Tonnara in Scopello

Greek ruins in Selinunte

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