Visitors arriving by ferry to Marsala disembark at an historical port very famous for its Giuseppe Garibaldi dock and its delicious and award-winning wine!
Marsala is located in the westernmost side of Sicily, in the province of Trapani and is also the fifth most populated city in Sicily with a population of around 83.000 inhabitants.
Marsala is considered a city of great importance because of its strategic position which serves many routes to the Mediterranean. It has for sure a lot to offer to its visitors, from rich history to
excellent relaxing beaches and tasteful Italian cuisine and of course, the famous Marsala wine.
Being an important port of the Carthaginians, Marsala was built on the ruins of the city Lilybaeum and includes the archaeological site of the Phoenician town of Motya or Mozia in italian, also known as San Pantaleo, destroyed in 397 BC by the army of Syracuse. In the following years Romans tried to take the city by sea but the Roman fleet was defeated until 241 BC when Lilybaeum came under the rule of Rome as part of the peace treaty with the purpose to end the First Punic War. Romans dominated the city for more than 6 centuries.
After the raids of the vandals who looted and destroyed the city, the period of prosperity came with the Arabs who took advantage of the strategic position of the port of Sicily. Τhe origin of the name is said to come from the Arab words “Marsa Allah” which means “the port of Allah”, as Marsala was a connecting link between Italy and Africa. For the next years, Marsala became an important center for trade between East and West. From the end of the 11th century the domination of Normans, Swabians, Angevins and Aragonese passed from Marsala.
Τhe landmark date for Μarsala is the 11th of May 1860 when Garibaldi and his 1000 men arrived in the city and after many battles his army conquered the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies which was the most important step for the Italian Unification.
Marsala ferry routes
Marsala ferry routes occur from and to Favignana, Marettimo and Levanzo especially in summer months. Fast and comfortable ferries, catamarans or hydrofoils, connect the three islands with the westernmost part of Sicily.
Choose your departure port and date, visit our website and get all current ferry schedules and prices for Marsala!
- Favignana to Marsala is a 30 min direct boat trip
- Marettimo to Marsala is a ferry journey with a stopover and change in Favignana with a sailing time of 1h20m
- Levanzo to Marsala is a ferry trip with 1 hour duration
Marsala ferry port
The small but busy Marsala port is situated in the middle-west part of the city, southeastern of the three Egadi Islands. Known as Porticciolo di Marsala and Porto Turistico too, the port is modern, containing snack bars and grocery stores. It is also very close to the town where most hotels and apartments are based. excellent relaxing beaches and tasteful Italian cuisine and of course, the famous Marsala wine.
Transportation options in Marsala
The best way to discover the city, besides strolling through the streets, is the public means of transport. The bus network can cover the whole town but a good idea is to explore the city by bicycle so that you can rent it as there are services available.
For more information about the bus network you can visit Marsala Bus.
Marsala Center to Marsala Ferry Port
In order to enter Marsala port from the city center which abstains only 3 km, you have the following option:
Grab a taxi from the street or call +39 337 896 010 to organize your transfer.
Trapani Airport to Marsala Port
Marsala Port can be easily approached from Trapani International airport at a distance of 15km. After landing in Trapani Airport "Vincenzo Florio", take advantage of the transportation means referred below in order to reach Marsala port:
Take the bus from the arrivals terminals and reach Marsala port in around 30 minutes. More information in Trapani Airport Buses.
The bus terminal is on Piazza del Popolo, close to the Cathedral of Marsala.
There are many taxis waiting to pick you up. Get in one or call +39 337 896 010 to book it beforehand.
Places to visit in Marsala
Whatever we say about Marsala, whatever we describe regarding the places of interest is very little in relation to what you can see, visit and taste in this extraordinary city that will truly enchant you.
Below, you can see some of the most important places to visit in Marsala:
- Piazza della Repubblica is the main square of the old town and is a good start for a visit to the most important sites of Marsala
- Marsala Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Thomas of Canterbury and is the largest in town. Situated on Piazza della Repubblica, the Norman origin church has a long history from the 2nd century till today. Several times it has been rebuilt and restored until the Second World War when it was damaged for another time. In 1950 the facade, which represents Baroque style was restored, while in the interior visitors can notice the Norman style
The Flemish Tapestry Museum is housed in a building next to the Cathedral with a unique collection of tapestries made of wool and silk, donated by the Archbishop of Messina Antonio Lombardo
- Porta Garibaldi, one of the gates of the city, is the symbol of the historic center of Marsala originally called “Porta di Mare”. In the upper part there is a crowned eagle, the symbol of the family of Habsburg of Spain. It was built in 1965, in replacement of the old one, at the request of the King of Spain for the defense of the city. You will reach Porta Garibaldi if you follow Via Giuseppe Garibaldi from Piazza della Republica but also on the way you will find the best palaces and monuments of the town
- The Archeological Museum Baglio Anselmi, situated on the seafront, houses elements from the Prehistoric and Phoenician periods as well as the remains of the wreck of a 30 meters long Punic ship. In the museum you can also see the findings from the excavations of Motya
The archaeological island of Mozia entitled to Giuseppe Whittaker and the salt pans on the shore are worth visiting as well as the museum of Mozia, with the archaeological finds from the island and the famous Greek marble statue of “the Youth of Mozia” known as “the Charioteer”
- Palazzo VII Aprile, built in 1756 and completed during the 18th century, named by the date of the revolution against the Bourbons on 07 April 1860. The gorgeous palace is located in Via Giuseppe Garibaldi 1
- Chiesa del Purgatorio is a church that was completed in 1710 with a facade in baroque style. Today cultural events are organized and is the seat of the Auditorium “Santa Cecilia”
- Chiesa dell’ Addolorata with the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows of the 18th century, also called Madonna del Fulmine. It is said that during a huge storm in 1691 the terrified residents went to Porta di Mare to ask the Virgin for protection
Popular activities in Marsala
There are a lot of activities you can do during your visit to Marsala some of them are the following:
- Hop on - Hop off bus is a perfect idea if you like to explore Marsala and the surroundings. The start point is Piazza del Popolo next to the bus station
- If you like a panoramic view of Marsala you can take the Hop on/off train with an audio guide during the tour in order to see all the interesting places of the town
- Join a winery tour in order to see and taste the famous Italian Marsala wine. Also you can taste the veal Marsala with mushrooms, an Italian local delicious dish cooked with the famous wine. The visit to a wine cellar is a must as you will see the production procedure and taste different local products that can be served and combined with this famous Sicilian fine wine. The story of Marsala wine begins with an Englishman John Woodhouse who was forced to dock at the port of the town due to a strong storm in 1773. Almost by chance he tasted the local wine. He liked it so much that he decided to export it in England as the fortified Marsala could be transported for a long sea trip
During the following years a mass production of the famous wine began with deliveries in Europe and America
- Participate in a tour of the Stagnone lagoon to see the islands of Mozia, Lunga and Schola or enjoy an unforgettable experience of horse riding by the lake. Admire the sunset with a view of the Egadi islands
Going to the beaches of Marsala is a nice idea since they offer clean waters, plenty of sand and beach bars or restaurants where you can relax under the hot sun and enjoy a refreshing cocktail or meal next to the sea. Most of the Marsala beaches are accessible by public transport or car and are located in the north and south coast which is the most visited part of the town during summer. The southern beaches are more easily accessible from the center by public transport as they are closer.
Below, you can find some of the most visited Marsala beaches:
- Punta Tramontana in north Marsala is ideal for families with children as it is sandy with a shallow sea bottom. It is a free beach but also has an organized part with umbrellas and loungers. It is located in the Stagnone “Protected Natural Reserve” and the windsurfers will love it
- For some, the Marakaibbo Beach is the most beautiful in Marsala. Totally organized, equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas, is a good idea if you want to spend a fantastic day near the sea with your friends and family. A good restaurant and a bar are available
- Alcamo Marina Beach extends for 7km and it is found at a distance of 1 hour driving from Marsala. It is a very popular beach with fine gold sand, close to holiday houses and resorts
- If you want to stay in the center of Marsala, you can choose the Lido Boeo, an organized beach with umbrellas and sunbeds. All the facilities are available such as a restaurant, bar and parking lot
- Lido Signorino is a beautiful beach in the southern part of Marsala, equipped with all the necessary swimming facilities. Tiburon beach by Lido Signorino is the largest in Marsala offering a delicious restaurant and bar, a play area for children, a small shop and a variety of activities for everyone
Useful tips for your trip to Marsala
- Pets are accepted on board under conditions
- Before leaving home check with the ferry company the luggage restrictions for this trip
- It is advisable to be at the port 1 hour before departure for embarkation as during the summer period the port could be crowded, especially on weekends
- Do not miss to taste an Italian dessert with Marsala or a red Marsala wine together with a meat dish in one of the local restaurants of the city. Try the Chicken Marsala and you will not regret it!