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Western and Tyrrhenian Coast

Villas in west Sicily

Villas in north Sicily

Western and Tyrrhenian CoastTravelling along the northern coast of mythic Trinacria is a sort of journey through time, inspired by the remains of those ancient cultures which contributed to the greatness of the island, still immersed as they are in their original and unique natural scenery.

An inestimable evidence of the early Mesolithic period can be found in Genovese's Cave in Levanzo, an island in Egadi archipelago. Graffiti and rock paintings show a series of human and animal figures realistically depicted, whose uniqueness is only equalled by the hunting scenes and initiation rituals graffiti in the Addaura Cave in Palermo, dating back to the middle Neolithic period.

Evidences of ancient Phoenician settlements are gathered within the alluring silence of Mothya, a tiny island near Marsala, whose name meaning "spinning wheel" is related to the wool-weaving and dye works typical of Phoenicians. Although the settlements were destroyed during the siege of Syracusan tyrant Dionysius, the island still shows many traces of them: high defensive walls, dry docks for the loading and offloading of ships, and the disturbing Tophet, a kind of cemetery for remains of children and animals offered in sacrifice to Phoenicians divinities. The rich museum hosted on the island shows very interesting materials from the ancient town as well as the magnificent Young Man of Mothya, probably part of a plunder from a conquered Greek city. Marsala Museum' s pride and glory is a big Punic warship, retrieved from the depths of Mediterranean sea and reassembled.

Selinunte Archaeological Park preserves remains of ancient Greek buildings. The whole town of Selinunte was destroyed by Carthaginians in 409 BC, but the Acropolis and the ancient temples still loom against the landscape in their sheer purity, overlooking Sicily Channel.

The splendid Doric temple (V century BC) at the foot of Mount Barbaro in Segesta, erected by the Elymians, is another glorious example of ancient ruins retrieved from the sands of time in this region. The slopes of Mount Barbaro also host the remains of the famous Amphitheatre (III century BC), marked by 20 tiers of steps, still used as an open-air theatre for modern spectators as it was in ancient times.

Founded by Phoenicians (in spite of its Greek name Panormos, meaning all port), Palermo hosts a particularly rich Archaeological Museum, displaying outstanding archaeological findings. Worth admiring is a collection of ancient pottery and black or red figures vessels, which represents a synthesis of vase painting history and tradition in ancient Magna Grecia.

Everything in the Aeolian archipelago recalls the mythical past of the islands' ancient inhabitants. Evidences of ancient Mycenaean settlements were founded in the necropolis and in huts excavated on Capo Graziano in Filicudi (Bronze Age). Mycenaean culture influenced the locals, leaving traces in their art and tradition, as witnessed by the pottery collections decorated with geometric figures gathered in the renowned Lipari's Museum. The latter also boasts an extraordinary collection of terracotta masks used in ancient Greek drama, with their typical conventional features and exaggerated expressions.

Tindari Archaeological Park is also worth a stopover. Tindari was founded in IV century BC and destroyed by a landslide in the I century, as reported by Plinius the Elder. Tindari is home to the well-known Sanctuary and to an impressive Ancient Greek-Roman Theatre. This architectonic jewel measuring 62 m in diameter was readapted for circus games in the imperial age.

Villas in west Sicily

Villas in north Sicily

The Ruins in Motya

The Ruins of the Northern Gate in Motya

The Temple E in Selinunte

The interior of the Temple E in Selinunte

Rubble and balanced column of Temple G in Selinunte

Facade of the Greek Temple in Segesta

The Greek Theatre in Segesta

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