Visit Castellammare del Golfo
Explore Castellamare del Golfo
Castellamare-del-Golfo is on a pretty stretch of the Sicilian coast with beaches in the immediate vicinity and lovely craggy cliffs and bays as you head east or west. The town itself is on a small bay with a deep inlet and a small harbour spreading around the bay.
A promontory takes the town out towards a castle at the edge of the bay. The harbour was once the location of an important tuna fishing industry but this is now finished though fishing remains important to the town and the fishing boats set out each morning to fish for the day's catch.
A walk along the edge of the harbour leads to a number of bars and restaurants and is particularly pleasant in the evening when the road is closed to traffic.
There is a beach behind the harbour but there are much nicer beaches just along the coast and these can be reached by car or by taking the local bus.
The streets of the old town are pleasant to wander and various churches are dotted around with some artworks worth admiring. The main church is the Mother Church on Matrice Square and houses some 18th century frescoes by Giuseppe Tresca, an important Sicilian artist.
The castle of Castellamare del Golfo is home to the Museum of the Mediterranean and has an archaeology section and a section dedicated to farming tools and techniques and the ancient lifestyle. There is also a section about the tuna fishing industry that was once so important to the town.
There is also an exhibition devoted to a festival that takes place every year. The festival of the Madonna del Soccorosa is a re-enactment of a battle which took place in the 18th century. According to local legend a Royal Navy ship chased a Spanish boat into the harbour. The ship was fired upon but had much superior fire power and soon the locals fled up the mountain. However when a vision of the Madonna appeared and a flock of angels swept down the hill the Navy ship fled the scene.
Be sure to go to the Belvedere a little way up the mountains behind Castellammare del Golfo in order to see the fabulous views of the town and the bay stretched out below. It is well worth the hike uphill!
Take a boat trip to the sea caves west of Castellammare. Santa Margherita is the main one and inside are frescoes of religious images which are thought to date back to the early Christian period.
The Zingaro Natural Reserve is very popular with walkers and also has various pretty coves with small beaches though they do become a little crowded in the summer. Guidaloca beach is easy to drive to and has facilities including a pool for children.
The ancient site of Segeste is nearby with its imposing Segeste Temple.