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Introducing Trapani

Hugging the harbour where Peter of Aragon landed in 1282 to begin the Spanish occupation of Sicily, the sickle-shaped spit of land occupied by Trapani's Old Town once sat at the heart of a powerful trading network that stretched from Carthage to Venice. Traditionally the town thrived on coral and tuna fishing, with some salt and wine production. Over the past century, there has been much construction here – most of it unattractive – and it is often alleged that this is the result of healthy injections of Mafia-laundered money into the local economy. The busy port is the main embarkation point for the Egadi archipelago and the remote Moorish island of Pantelleria; ferries to Tunisia also leave from here.