Trapani, city, northwestern Sicily, Italy. It is situated on a promontory overlooked by the town of Erice (Monte San Giuliano), west of Palermo. The ancient Drepana, it was the port for the Elymian settlement of Eryx until it was captured and made a naval base by the Carthaginians in 260 bc. It passed to the Romans in 241 bc and flourished in the Middle Ages under the successive rulers of Sicily. It was heavily bombed by the Allies in World War II. Notable buildings of the old part of the city include the 14th-century church of San Agostino, the magnificent Santuario dell’Annunziata (1315–32, rebuilt 1760), the cathedral (1635), the 15th- and 16th-century church of Santa Maria di Gesù, and the Baroque Palazzo della Giudecca (Casa Ciambra). Trapani is an episcopal see, and its museum houses notable collections of paintings and sculpture.
This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen.
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