Museo Nazionale Pepoli


Tucked away in the atmospheric cloister of a 14th-century Carmelite monastery, this wonderful decorative-arts museum dating from 1906–08 houses the collection of Agostino Pepoli (1848–1910), a local count who devoted his life to salvaging Trapani's local arts and crafts, most notably 17th- and 18th-century coral carvings, all the rage in Europe before Trapani's offshore coral banks were decimated.

Don't miss Andrea Tipa's gaudy 18th-century presepe (Nativity scene or crèche) made of alabaster, coral, shells and other marine material, or the significantly less ornate but far more beautiful coral carvings by Fra' Matteo Bavera. Other highlights include an extraordinary cassetta reliquaria (relic box) from the workshop of Alberto and Andrea Tipa and remnants of painted tile floors from the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie (featuring fishing scenes) and the Chiesa di Santa Lucia (with scenes of Trapani's city centre).

The museum also has a fine collection of Gagini sculptures, silver work, archaeological artefacts and – rather unexpectedly – Trapani's still-functioning guillotine, used for two public executions in the 19th century.

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