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Castellammare del Golfo is a northern Sicily's coastal town lying on a wide gulf extending from Capo Rama to Capo San Vito, on the site of the ancient Segesta's emporium, dedicated to commerce and trade. In the old city stands an imposing Arab castle, enlarged and fortified by Normans and Swabians to defend the town from pirate raids.
Calatafimi - Segesta
San Vito lo Capo
Mazara del Vallo
More About Castellamare del Golfo
According to the legend, a British attack on July 13th 1718 was rejected with the help of Madonna del Soccorso (Our Lady of Help), the city's patron saint, forcing the invaders' retreat. The Saint is celebrated in late August with a procession at sea of the Virgin's statue followed by boats carrying fishermen and devotees.
For the rest of the year, the Madonna del Soccorso's majolica statue is kept in the main church decorated with nine altars and Baroque stucco and frescoes.
Several tuna traps were scattered around the Castellammare area. The most famous is the Scopello trap, declared a national monument, topped by ancient watchtowers and facing some stacks. Scopello is the main southern gateway to the Zingaro Natural Reserve, Sicily's first protected area stretching over 1,650 hectares on the peninsula of Capo San Vito, between Cala Mazzo di Sciacca and Tonnarella dell'Uzzo.
No coastal roads spoil the stunning landscape wild cliffs overlooking the sea and secluded coves with crystal clear, unpolluted water. Crossed by a network of trails that wind up to the slopes of Mount Speziale, the Zingaro Natural Reserve is a real paradise for hikers. Rocks, thickets of dwarf palm trees and Mediterranean maquis are the ideal habitat for a fauna of small wild animals such as rabbits, foxes and porcupines and some species of birds of prey, including kestrels, buzzards, peregrine falcons and the rare Bonelli eagle.