Lat: 37° 39' 21.96471" N - Long: 12° 35' 24.19109" E
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Mazara del Vallo rises at the mouth of the Màzaro river and is less than 200 km from the Tunisian coasts.
Walking through its narrow alleys, a real tourist attraction, made even more evocative by decorations made of ceramic tiles, sometimes you have the feeling of walking through the streets of Tunis: it is not uncommon to see groups of Tunisian fishermen with a hookah.
Mazara, already inhabited in the Paleolithic era, has seen the alternation of various dominations that have left their footprints.
Here there are prehistoric remains, such as the settlement of Roccazzo, punics (amphorae, pottery and various objects found especially at the mouth of the Màzaro), romans (two villas now located in the space in front of the church of San Nicolò Regale).
Mazara reached its maximum splendor with the arabs, 16 June 827, becoming the largest center of Sicily as well as an important commercial, cultural and artistic center.
It was in this period that the characteristic Islamic urban layout arose, called Casbah, characterized by narrow lanes that, starting from a central axis, lead to the numerous courtyards where the accesses to the houses are opened.
From 1072 the normans endowed the town with the Cathedral and between 1093 and 1097 elected it as governmental seat and residence of Count Roger.
Even today it is visible the Norman arch that belonged to the ancient castle, in the current Piazza Mokarta.
Also from this period are the beautiful churches of San Nicolò Regale and the Madonna dell'Alto, which show the coexistence of arab and norman art.
Frederick III of Aragon chose the town as his home.
The Sicilian Region established in the Mazara area, also endowed with natural beauties, the Lago Preola and Gorghi Tondi Integral Nature Reserve and the Capo Feto Reserve, a coastal marsh inserted in 2000 among the Special Protection Areas.
The ornithological Museum, which houses 366 naturalized birds, among which many are rare and many are now extinct, is also of natural interest.
Noteworthy are also some folk traditions such as the Rite of the Aurora, about 350 years old, which takes place on Easter Sunday morning, in Piazza della Repubblica, to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus: with the procession of 24 hooded men and the statues of the risen Christ and of the Madonna.
Another tradition strongly felt in Mazara is 'u fistinu di Santu Vitu (the feast of St Vito), the celebration in honor of the patron saint of the town, held between the penultimate and the last week of August: the party includes a procession in seventeenth-century dresses that winds through the streets of the town, a procession with living pictures that illustrates the fundamental events of the life of St Vito, the embarkation of the statue on a fishing boat, the Blessing of the Sea and the throwing of a laurel wreath in water, in memory of the Mazara sailors who died in the sea.
What happened in Sicily: 24 June
Today we discover...
Dionigian walls of Syracuse
The most extensive boundary walls of the classical world
Mura Dionigiane di Siracusa
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Last Inserted Points
One of the most representative sites of Sambuca di Sicilia comes-back from the waters
Gnuni has 676 Points!