The Info List - Lilybaeum

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(Sicilian: Maissala; Latin: Lilybaeum) is an Italian town located in the Province of Trapani
Province of Trapani
in the westernmost part of Sicily. Marsala
is the most populated town in its province and the fifth in Sicily. The town is famous for the docking of Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
on 11 May 1860 (the Expedition of the Thousand) and for its Marsala
wine. A feature of the area is the Stagnone Lagoon Natural Reserve — a marine area with salt ponds. Marsala
is built on the ruins of the ancient Carthaginian city of Lilybaeum, and includes in its territory the archaeological site of the island of Motya, an ancient Phoenician town. The modern name likely derived from the Arabic مَرْسَى عَلِيّ (marsā ʿaliyy, “Ali's harbor”), or possibly مَرْسَى اللّٰه (marsā llāh, “God's harbor”).[1]


1 Geography

1.1 Territory 1.2 Weather

2 History 3 Notable people 4 Monuments and interesting places

4.1 Religious architecture 4.2 Civil architecture 4.3 Military architecture 4.4 Other

4.4.1 Enological establishments

5 Gallery 6 References 7 External links

Geography[edit] Situated at the extreme western point of Sicily, the town was founded on Lilibeo Cape from where the Aegadian Islands
Aegadian Islands
and the Stagnone Lagoon can be seen. Territory[edit] The territory of Marsala, 241 square kilometres (93 sq mi), has a rich cultural and landscape heritage; its area includes the Stagnone Lagoon, a Natural Reserve in which is located the island of Mozia. The city of Marsala
had a population of about 86,000 until the end of 1970, when Petrosino, a village formerly part of Marsala, decided to become a self-governing town after a local referendum. The area of Marsala
is classified as a seismic zone 2 (medium). In the last 200 years three earthquakes of medium-high intensity were recorded:

18 May 1828 – magnitude 5.17 (about VI Mercalli scale) 15 January 1968 – Belice earthquake which in Marsala
reached VII Mercalli scale (although its intensity was as high as X in other locations). 7 June 1981 – magnitude 4.60 (IV–V scala Mercalli scale) with epicentre in Borgo Elefante in Mazara del Vallo, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the town-centre of Marsala.

Weather[edit] The weather is warm in summer with a maximum of 39 °C (102 °F).[citation needed] Winters are rainy with temperatures between 10 °C (50 °F) and 17 °C (63 °F).[citation needed] History[edit]

In 397 BC the Phoenician colony of Motya
on the southwestern coast of Sicily
was invaded and destroyed by the Syracusan tyrant Dionysius I. The survivors founded a town on the mainland nearby that they called Lilybaion (Lilybaeum in Latin), "The town that looks at Libya", on the site of modern-day Marsala. The First Punic War
First Punic War
began here when the Punic
army landed at Lilybaion in 265–264 BCE, then marched across Sicily
to Messina, where the opening clash of the war took place.[2]

Route taken by Punic
army in order to reach Messana.

The Punic
fortress Lilybaion was never conquered although it was besieged several times, e.g. by Pyrrhus of Epirus
Pyrrhus of Epirus
and by the Romans. In 241 BC it was given to the Romans as part of the peace treaty ending the First Punic War
First Punic War
and became one of the most important towns in Sicily. The commercial centre was enriched with mansions and public buildings and dubbed splendidissima urbs by Cicero, who served as quaestor in the region between 76 and 75 BC. Ravaged by Vandals
during the 5th century AD, the town was annexed in the 6th century to Justinian's Byzantine Empire. In this period the town was struck by dysentery, raided by pirates, and neglected by Constantinople. The arrival of Arabic Berbers
at the nearby Granitola mount in the 8th century entailed the resumption of commerce and the start of the rebirth of the town. The town was renamed Marsa ʿAlī "ʿAlī's harbour" or maybe, Marsa ʿāliyy, "Big harbour", for the width of the ancient harbour, placed near Punta d'Alga. Another possible derivation is Marsa Allāh, "God's harbour". Another theory is that Marsala
comes from mare salis, "salt pans by the sea" from the presence of salt pans along the whole northern coast, although mention of this theory cannot be found in contemporary references and the installation of the bigger salt ponds on the group of islands composing the contemporary single island "Isola Lunga" was made just during the 19th century. Since the end of the 11th century, the area has been conquered by Swedish, Norman, Angevin and Aragonese troops. During this time, Marsala
became wealthy, primarily through trade. However the blocking up of the harbour of Punta Alga, decreed by Emperor Charles V so as to stop Saracen
forays, brought an end to this period of prosperity. The development of Marsala wine
Marsala wine
at the end of the 18th century, headed by English merchants settled in Sicily, considerably improved local trade. This triggered an economic expansion in Marsala, including the funding of infrastructure projects such as the current harbour of Margitello. On 11 May 1860 Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
landed at Marsala, beginning the process of Italian unification. On 11 May 1943, in the lead-up to the World War II
World War II
Allied invasion of Sicily, an Allied bombardment of the town permanently damaged its Baroque
centre and claimed many victims: " Marsala
Wiped Off the Map" titled the New York Times on 13 May 1943.[3] Notable people[edit]

Michele Genna Angelo "Bloody Angelo" Genna Vincenzo Genna Antonio Genna Jr. Salvatore "Sam" Genna Pietro "Peter" Genna Alberto Anselmi Alborosie Joe Masseria Ignazio Boschetto, tenor of the Italian operatic pop group Il Volo

Monuments and interesting places[edit] Religious architecture[edit]

Cathedral (17th century) dedicated to Saint Thomas of Canterbury and built on a Norman implant dated to 1176. There is an organ with 4,317 pipes. Church of Purgatorio. Church of Addolorata. Church of Itriella. Convent, church and belfry of the Carmine. Church of Saint Matthew. Church and monastery of Saint Peter. Church of Saint John the Baptist.

Civil architecture[edit]

Spanish Quarters (Town Hall) VII April Palace (16th–17th century), built on the site of the Lodge of Pisani. Fici Palace. Grignani Palace. Spanò-Burgio Palace. Communal theatre, built in 19th Century consists in 300 seats, reopened during the 1994 and dedicated to Eliodoro Sollima. Cine Teatro Impero, built during Fascism. Agricultural Technical Institute With Specialized School Wine "Abele Damiani" Marsala
– Aggregate IPSAA Strasatti With Hospitality Section (state public high school).

Military architecture[edit]

Villa Araba, Carabinieri (military police, and public security), Command Company and Operative Centre Castle of Marsala
(formerly a State Prison up to a few years ago) Ancient Gates and walls of Marsala

Other[edit] Enological establishments[edit] Large-scale wine production started in 1773, encouraged by English trader John Woodhouse. Important winemaking establishments include Ingham-Whitaker, le Cantine Florio, Martinez, Pellegrino, Rallo, Mineo, Bianchi, Baglio Hopps, Donnafugata, Alagna, Caruso e Minini. Marsala
cellars are famous not just for the production of dessert wine, but also for red and white wines. They produce modern cellar wine, such as Alcesti, De Bartoli, Fina, Vinci, Birgi, Mothia, Paolini e Baglio Oro. Gallery[edit]

The main square, "Piazza della Repubblica", still called "Piazza Loggia" by inhabitants

Porta Garibaldi, one of the two remaining ancient gates to the old town

The Natural Reserve of Stagnone: salt pans and one of the wind mills close to the wharf to Mothia

Il Cassaro (Via XI Maggio), the Main Street

seen from coast of Marsala

The Church of the Purgatory


^ "marsala Origin and meaning of the name marsala by Online Etymology Dictionary". www.etymonline.com. Retrieved 2018-01-03.  ^ Diodorus Siculus, Biblioteca Historica, 23.1.2 ^ The New York Times, New York, Thursday, 13 May 1943

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marsala.

(in Italian) Official website Marsala
2013 - European capital of wine page (English) About Marsala

v t e

· Comuni of the Province of Trapani

Alcamo Buseto Palizzolo Calatafimi-Segesta Campobello di Mazara Castellammare del Golfo Castelvetrano Custonaci Erice Favignana Gibellina Marsala Mazara del Vallo Paceco Pantelleria Partanna Petrosino Poggioreale Salaparuta Salemi San Vito Lo Capo Santa Ninfa Trap