—  Comune  —
Città di Marsala
Marsala salt ponds

Coat of arms
Marsala is located in Italy
Location of Marsala in Italy
Coordinates: 37°48′N 12°26′E / 37.8°N 12.433°E / 37.8; 12.433
Country Italy
Region Sicily
Province Trapani (TP)
 - Mayor Lorenzo Carini
 - Total 241.6 km2 (93.3 sq mi)
Elevation 3 m (10 ft)
Population (30 November 2010)
 - Total 82,765
 - Density 342.6/km2 (887.3/sq mi)
Demonym Marsalesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 91025
Dialing code 0923
Patron saint Our Lady of the Cave (Madonna della Cava)
Saint day January 19
Website Official website
Church of the Purgatory.

Marsala is a seaport city located in the Province of Trapani on the island of Sicily in Italy. The low coast on which it is situated is the westernmost point of the island. It is best known as the source of Marsala wine.



Marsala occupies the site of Lilybaeum, the principal stronghold of the Carthaginians in Sicily, founded by Himilco in 396 BC after the abandonment of Motya. Neither Pyrrhus nor the Romans were able to reduce it by siege, but it was surrendered to the latter in 241 BC at the end of the First Punic War as a condition of the peace treaty. In the later wars it was a starting point for the Roman expeditions against Carthage, and under Roman rule it enjoyed considerable prosperity. It obtained municipal rights from Augustus and became a colony under either Pertinax or Septimius Severus.

The Arabs gave it its present name "Marsala," which perhaps is derived from the Arab "Marsa Allah" (port of Allah) or, more probably, from "Marsa ‘Alī" ("port of Ali", or "Marsa ‘āliyy", "great port"). The huge ancient harbor that lay on the northeast was destroyed by Charles V in the 16th century, to prevent its occupation by pirates. The modern harbor lies to the southeast.

On May 11, 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi and his Expedition of the Thousand landed at Marsala and began his campaign to overthrow Bourbon rule in Sicily, during the Unification of Italy process.


The town is situated on the Mediterranean coast, in the south-western side of Sicily. It lies on the road between Trapani and Mazara del Vallo.

Main sights

Little remains of the ancient Lilybaeum. Fragments of the city walls, squared stones, and some foundations of buildings between the walls and the sea are visible. The so-called grotto and spring of the Sibyl is located under the church of San Giovanni Battista (1555), and is traditionally considered the tomb of the Cuman or Siculian Sibyl.

To the east of the town is a great fosse which defended it on the land side, and beyond this again are quarries like those of Syracuse on a small scale.

The modern town takes the shape of the Roman camp within the earlier city, one of the gates of which still existed in 1887. Sights include the campanile and convent of the Annunziata, and the Baroque Church of the Purgatory.

The main street (the Cassaro) perpetuates the name castrum. The Biagio Anselmi Archaeological Museum houses an example of Carthaginian ship used during the Battle of the Aegates Islands (241 BC), as well as other ancient remains from the area.

Natural sights include the stagnone ("Big Marsh") lagoon preserved area.

See also

  • Florio
  • Marsala Ship
  • Phoenicians and wine

External links

Media related to Marsala at Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Marsala — Vorlage:Infobox Gemeinde in Italien/Wartung/Wappen fehlt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • marsala — [ marsala ] n. m. • 1892; de Marsala, nom d une ville de Sicile ♦ Vin doux produit en Sicile. Des marsalas. ● marsala nom masculin (de Marsala, nom propre) Vin de liqueur sicilien, obtenu par mutage des moûts à l alcool. Marsala port de Sicile, à …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • MARSALA — MARSALA, town in Sicily. Though Jews probably lived in Marsala in Roman times, the first mention of them is made in the city statutes of the Norman period restricting the rights of Jews and Muslims with regard to property claims. In 1282, after… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Marsala — Mar*sa la, n. [It., fr. Marsala, in Sicyly.] A kind of wine exported from Marsala in Sicily. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Marsala — (spr. marßāla), Stadt in der ital. Provinz und dem Kreise Trapani (Sizilien), an der Westspitze der Insel (Kap Boëo) und an der Eisenbahn Palermo Trapani gelegen, hat Reste alter Stadtmauern, ein Kastell, mehrere wichtige Kirchen, ein Rathaus… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • marsala — marsàla ž DEFINICIJA agr. talijansko slatko i jako vino ETIMOLOGIJA tal., prema sicilijanskoj luci Marsala …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Marsala — [mär sä′lä] n. [after Marsala, seaport in W Sicily] a dry or sweet, amber colored fortified wine made in western Sicily …   English World dictionary

  • Marsāla — (das alte Lilybäum s.d.), Stadt in der sicilianischen Provinz Trapani, am Meere u. dem Vorgebirge Bono, von dem aus man bei heiterem Wetter die Küste von Afrika sieht; Hafen, welcher, seitdem Karl V. ihn zum Schutz gegen die Seeräuber mit Steinen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Marsala — Marsāla, Seestadt auf Sizilien, am Kap Boëo, (1901) 57.567 E., Ausfuhr bes. von Marsalawein; 11. Mai 1860 Landung Garibaldis …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Marsala — Marsala, Seestadt auf der Westküste Siciliens, mit 22000 E., Ausfuhr von Landeserzeugnissen, namentlich von dem trefflichen M.wein, der bei Val di Mazzara gebaut wird …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • mârşală — MÂRŞÁLĂ s.f. (reg.) Mâzgă depusă pe pietrele care stau în apă. Trimis de gall, 09.04.2008. Sursa: DLRM …   Dicționar Român

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.