Trapani itinerary in one day, Italy.

Where to go from Palermo

Ideas and routes for independent traveling in Italy. Where to go for a day trip from Palermo and what to see in the surrounding area: Monreale, Mondello, Cefalu, Trapani and other interesting travel destinations.

Palermo, in terms of transport accessibility, is one of the best places to start (and/or end) a trip in Sicily. It can be reached by different means of transportation, including planes, trains and ferries. Staying in Palermo, it’s convenient to drive around the northwestern part of the island. (Read more about where to live in Palermo in the relevant article.) However, it is worth noting that public transport in Sicily in general and around Palermo in particular is not very well developed (if compared with the mainland of Italy and especially with the northern Italian regions). So ideally you should rent a car (see, etc.). This way you will be able to visit many interesting places, including those discussed below. Nevertheless, in this article about travel routes from Palermo we will focus primarily on those destinations that are reachable by train (here and below, see and by bus (links to specific sites will be given below).

So, where can I go from Palermo for a day?


If you decide to use Palermo as your base for trips around the area, a visit to Monreale is a program to a minimum. Firstly, because the cathedral of Santa Maria Nuova with its stunning mosaics is a must-see. Secondly, because it is easy to get here from Palermo. The city can be reached by bus Linea 389 (see The trip takes about 20-40 minutes, depending on traffic jams (not uncommon in Palermo). The interval between buses on the 389 is about an hour and a half. As an alternative, the AST buses (see, which depart from Palermo Central Station, can also come in handy.


Mondello was also once a suburb of Palermo and is now part of the city. It is known for the beach of the same name, which is considered one of the best in Sicily. It is a bold statement to be challenged as there are many beaches in Sicily and there are places for all tastes, but Mondello is indeed a good and popular destination for Palermoans and tourists alike. It is worth coming here to see the place for yourself. And, of course, if the weather permits, a swim will also be more than appropriate. Soft white sand, clear turquoise water, a picturesque bay – what more do you need for a good beach holiday? There are both paid sections of the beach, equipped with everything you need, and public areas, where you can sunbathe for free. In addition, the Capo Gallo nature reserve is worth a visit for lovers of wild rocky beaches, for those who like long walks, for divers and lovers of exploring caves (if you take a boat, you can visit the Grotta dell’Olio).

You can get to Mondello by city buses. From the center of Palermo it is about 20-30 minutes away (Linea 806, see

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In principle, Mondello can be considered as an alternative to Palermo, especially if you plan to combine a beach vacation with educational excursions. Staying here, you can not only relax by the sea, but also to see the sights of Palermo and travel around the area. There are plenty of options for accommodation. Look out for the Splendid Hotel La Torre and the Mondello Palace Hotel as well as bed and breakfasts like the B&B il Girasole and apartments like the Case D’a Mare Mondello. There are just a few nuances to keep in mind:

  1. Traveling around the area based in Mondello is more convenient by car. If you take public transport, in most cases, you will have to make a connection in Palermo, which is not very convenient.
  2. Mondello is a very popular beach. Especially many people here in July and August, the peak is on weekends. (Traveling around Sicily in July and August is a dubious venture altogether. It’s too hot). September and October are much freer on the beach, and the water is still warm and sunny. May, June and November are also good options, but the water tends to be noticeably cooler. All other months are fine too, but only if you’re not going to swim (well, if the bracing water doesn’t scare you).

On the other hand, apart from Mondello, there are other seaside resorts close to Palermo. Read about them in this review.


Bagheria is another small town in the close vicinity of Palermo (just 10-15 minutes by train). It is known for its aristocratic villas of the XVIII century. The most notable is Villa Palagonia, also called the Villa of the Monsters, due to the characteristic appearance of its sculptures. Everyone can see such an unusual architectural creation (information about visiting hours can be found on the website It is for the sake of this villa tourists usually go to Bagheria. Two or three hours for such a trip will be enough. At the same time, there are other places of interest.

Not far from Villa Palagonia, for example, is the Villa of the Valgoarner family. It can also be visited (by appointment), but the most interesting thing is that you can stay here for one or more days (see here), giving yourself a kind of tour with an immersion in the atmosphere of a real nobleman’s house.

Another place worth seeing is Villa Sant’Isidoro (see where you can see Sicilian noble objects (furniture, clothes, etc.). This is already Aspra. You can reach it from the same station of Bagheria, only Villa Palagonia and Villa Valguarnera are on one side of the railroad tracks and Villa Sant’Isidoro is on the other, from the sea side. If you want, you can also walk to Aspra promenade (by the way, there is also a small beach here). It’s quite nice, quiet and quite a provincial place, despite its proximity to Palermo.

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All three villas mentioned above produce a double impression. Each of them is beautiful in its own way but at the same time you can see that their brilliance has long been extinguished and their best times have been left behind. What better reason to reflect on the past, the present and the future.


Cefalù is an ancient Sicilian town located within an hour’s drive from Palermo (by train). It is worth a visit if only to see the Duomo (it deserves no less attention than the above mentioned cathedral in Montreal). It is also worth the climb to La Rocca, which towers over the city and offers stunning panoramic views. Finally, we must mention the beaches of Cefalù. The main town beach is sandy, long and very picturesque. About 20 minutes walk from the city center you will find a small stony beach called Spiaggia Caldura, which is no less picturesque. In short, Cefalù is an excellent resort and a great destination for a day trip from Palermo.

Trapani and Erice

Trapani is a city very suitable for walking. There are several interesting churches (first of all the Church of the Purgatory Souls, Chiesa delle Anime del Purgatorio, with twenty mysteries dedicated to the Passion of Christ), baroque palaces in Sicily, promenades with postcard views, and the city in general looks rather neat and tidy (although not without flaws of course) against a pan-Cicilian background. In other words, it is quite possible to spend at least two or three hours here with interest. If you want to go to Trapani, don’t miss Erice.

The small town of Erice is situated on a high mountain (about 750 m above sea level) at the foot of which you can find Trapani. From Trapani you can get to Eriche either by bus or by cable car, which is much more interesting (see The views from here are breathtaking, and it’s nice to just wander through the town. In short, it is worth a visit, despite the fact that this place has long been turned into a tourist attraction.

To get to Trapani from Palermo you can take the Segesta bus (you can find the timetable as well as information on the location of the stops at The journey takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Before getting off the bus, you can get off at the Trapani terminus near Trapani train station and walk to the Trapani Erice cable car station. The stop is Via Marsala,195 on the above-mentioned website, but you can also get off at the next stop, Via Fardella,292 (alt. Via Roasi). In both cases the walk to the cable car takes about 25-30 minutes.

You can also combine a trip to Trapani with a visit to Marsala or Sciacca, a walk to the Island of Favignana, or a trip to Segesta, described below.


Segesta is known all over the world for its well preserved ancient Greek temple. Also here you can see the ancient theater, which offers great views of the surrounding area, and other ruins from different ages.

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It is more convenient to go here by car, but there are also some public transportation. Perhaps the most convenient option is the buses of Tarantola (see, which can take you directly from Palermo to the archaeological park of Cegesta. The journey takes about an hour and a half. It is also possible to get to Cegesta from Trapani by bus from the same company.

In addition to the destinations discussed above, you can find many other interesting places in the vicinity of Palermo. Most of them, however, are not easily accessible by public transport, although (again, most of the time) this is possible. Be that as it may, in addition to all of the above, we list a few more noteworthy places and places.

Firstly, it is worth mentioning a series of seaside resort towns to the west of Palermo. These include Castellammare del Golfo, Scopello and San Vito lo Capo. It is also home to the Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve.

Secondly, you can pay attention to the small towns known for their castles. These include Caccamo, Castelbuono and Sperlinga. It is also worth mentioning Enna, with its Lombard fortress and beautiful cathedral.

Thirdly, mention should also be made of the famous Valley of the Temples near Agrigento . It’s not far from Palermo (about two hours by car and by train) but if you are interested in the monuments of ancient architecture, you must visit Agrigento.

By the way, it is worth to consider Agrigento as a place to stay for a couple of days (read here about the best place to stay), because the area has other sights besides the Greek churches: for example the Turkish Steps (Scala dei Turchi) . From here you can move on to Catania and continue your journey through the eastern part of Sicily. Read more about travel itineraries from Catania in the related article.

Trapani, Sicily

Trapani, capital of the province of Trapani, is located in the west of Sicily, 110 kilometers from Palermo. It is a port city built on a narrow promontory, washed by the waters of the Strait of Sicily and the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Trapani is an interesting old town with a majestic cathedral and many palazzos. It is also worth seeing the Jewish quarter, home to local Jews until the 15th century. The Palazzo Ciambra-Giudecc, built during Aragonese rule, remains in this ghetto. Three kilometers east of the cathedral the Basilica of the Annunciation with the miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary by Nino Pisano is worth seeing. All places of interest in the city can easily be seen on foot.

The best time to visit is just before Easter to see the Procession of the Sacraments (Processione dei misteri di Trapani), which has a history of over 400 years. The procession starts at 14:00 on Good Friday (the Friday before Easter) and ends 24 hours later. The feast has its roots in the traditions of Spain, particularly Andalusia. The procession consists of 20 groups of worshippers. They walk through the main streets of the city from the Church of the Souls to Purgatory, carrying large wooden platforms with sculptural compositions on the theme of the Passion of Christ. Each group represents a community of artisans or a religious fraternity. The procession is joined by brass bands, children in costume carrying flowers, flags and Christian symbols, and simply men and women carrying large candles.

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Getting to Trapani

Trapani by public transport:

Trapani can be reached by train or bus from Palermo, Agrigento and other cities. Near the town is the international airport of Trapani-Birgi or Vincenzo Florio Airport.

By plane:

Nearby is its own small airport, 15 km from the city center.

Airport: Vincenzo Florio Airport (IATA: TPS) or Trapani-Birgi Airport.

  • Ryanair (Beauvais, Bologna, Brussels/Charleroi, Cagliari, Genoa, Girona, Hahn, Malta, Milan/Bergamo-Orio al Serio, Parma, Pisa, Rome-Ciampino, Treviso, Trieste, Turin, Verona. Seasonal flights: Ancona, Billund, Cuneo, Eindhoven, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Kraków, Leipzig/Halle, London-Luton, Maastricht, Memmingen, Perugia, Stockholm-Skavsta, Tampere, Valencia).
  • Alitalia
  • Air One (Milan).

From Trapani airport:

  • There is an AST bus from the airport to Trapani: ticket 2 €, approx. 40 min. trip, departures every 45 min. Timetable
  • There is a bus line from Trapani airport to Palermo: 11 €, 2 hours trip. There are 5 to 7 trips per day. For children up to 5 years old free of charge. Schedule. Itinerary.
  • From Trapani airport to Marsala by bus. Schedule. Itinerary
By train:

Regular trains from Palermo (Trapani is the terminus, travel time is 2-3 hours (with change in Alcamo) or by direct train 3,5 4 hours) Some of which stop in Segesta. Also trains to Marsala, Mazara del Vallo and Castelvetrano (to the ruins of Selinunte).

The Trapani railway station is about 1 km east of the cathedral.

By bus:
  • Palermo (€9.60, 1:55 en route, company Segesta Autolinee S.p.A.)
  • Marsala – Bus Trapani – Agrigento, 50 minutes trip. Schedule.
  • Mazara del Vallo,
  • Alcamo (6.20 €, 1 hour trip, Segesta Autolinee S.p.A.),
  • Sciacca- 1.15 minutes trip, departures 9:00, 12:40, 16:20. Timetable. Or here.
  • Agrigento (9:00, 12:40, 16:20, 2.5 hours). PDF timetable.
  • Palermo Airport: at 10:45 and 16:45 (from the stop Via Amm. Staiti,13 – PORTO (CAPOLINEA)) (1:10, 10.00 €). – Direct buses every 2 days, departing at 15:30 and arriving at 6:15, 33€ 1 way.

Buses in the city : 12 routes of buses.

Tickets: € 1,20 – single ticket for 90 minutes. If you buy on board the bus, it is € 0.20 more expensive. You can buy tickets at ticket offices or at tobacconist’s/newspaperstands.

By ship:

The port is located here, where regular ships to the Aegadian islands depart from. Night ferries go to Pantelleria, and about once a week there is a ferry to Tunisia.

The companies are SIREMAR and Ustica Lines.

By car:

Highway A29 – east – Trapani – Palermo

SS115 – south – Trapani – Marsala and Madzara del Vallo

Parking lots:

Large parking lots in Trapani are located in the historic center on Piazza V. Emanuele and Via Isola Zavorra.

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Near the port the parking is at Piazza Scalo d’Alaggio, Via Catulo Lutazio.

  • € 0.70/hour for parking up to 10 hours.
  • € 7.00 from 10 to 24 hours.

History of Trapani

Trapani was born from a legend, according to which the goddess Ceres dropped a sickle. On this site, on a narrow curved promontory at the foot of Mount Erice, a town called Drepanon arose.

In the 13th century B.C. the city belonged to the Aelimans, one of the peoples that inhabited the western part of Sicily. Later the city passed into the hands of the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, who turned it into an important port.

In 242 B.C., at the Battle of Egadi, the city was conquered by the Romans, led by consul Gaius Lutatius Catulus, who lost their autonomy. After the division of the Roman Empire into eastern and western empires, Drepanon remained under the rule of Constantinople.

The current name of the city was given by the Arabs, who captured it in the 9th wen. They called it Itràbinis, Tarabanis and Trapanesch. In 1077, Trapani was conquered by the Normans, led by Count Roger I. The city began to actively develop, becoming in the Middle Ages one of the most important cities in the Mediterranean. The port was home to the offices of all the major maritime cities of the time: Genoa, Pisa, Amalfi and Venice.

In 1280 the city came under the dominion of Aragon, and in the 14th and 15th centuries, the city grew to become the main political and economic center of western Sicily.

In the 17th century, after numerous rebellions, famines and plague epidemics, Trapani began to decline. The city changed hands several times: in 1713 to the Dukes of Savoy, in 1720 to Austria and in 1738 to the Bourbons, who did a lot to restore the city and ruled it until 1860. In 1861 the city became part of the united Kingdom of Italy.

The production of olive oil, wine and salt allowed the city to develop rapidly after the First World War. World War II brought the bombing of Allied forces. The city fell into decline and slowly recovered during the second half of the 20th century, suffering from earthquakes (1968) and floods (1965, 1976). Despite all its troubles, by the 1990s Trapani had already become a famous tourist destination.

Trapani sights

A map of Trapani

Traditional Sicilian cuisine:

  • Salsiccia pasqualora – traditional homemade pork sausage.
  • Busiati – local version of pasta, traditionally served in a tomato sauce with fried zucchini or eggplant or with fried fish.
  • Gnocculi – pasta in the form of dumplings.

Often pasta here is dressed with the local sauce “pesto alla trapanese”, here in the traditional pesto of basil, olive oil, garlic, added crushed almonds (instead of pine nuts), tomatoes and grated pecorino cheese.

As it is a port city, seafood dishes are popular here: pasta with seafood, pasta with lobster broth seasoned with tomato sauce and spices, spaghetti with tuna caviar.

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