Many know about its sweet dessert wines, but few people realise what a charmer the town of Marsala is. Though its streets are paved in gleaming marble, lined with stately baroque buildings and peppered with graceful piazzas, pleasures here are simple – a friendly passeggiata (evening stroll) most nights, plenty of aperitif options and family-friendly restaurants aplenty.
Marsala was founded by the Phoenicians who escaped from Mozia after it was defeated in 397 BC by an army led by Dionysius I of Syracuse. They settled here on Capo Lilibeo, calling their city Lilybaeum and fortifying it with 7m-thick walls that ensured it was the last Punic settlement to fall to the Romans. In AD 830 it was conquered by the Arabs, who gave it its current name Marsa Allah (Port of God).