Crystal Hotel, Trapani ****
Business travellers looking for comfort, convenience and excellent facilities should look no further than this hotel in Trapani, north-west Sicily. The hotel's conference rooms seat 160 people and are equipped with state-of-the-art technical equipment including wifi internet access and audiovisual aids. View hotel
Double rooms from €90
Hotel Vittoria, Trapani ***
Hotel Vittoria in the heart of Trapani, on Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. Great views over the city and out to the Egadi islands. Trapani hotels at ahotelinitaly.com. View hotel
Double rooms from €58
Hotel Baia dei Mulini, Erice Mare ****
This hotel in Erice Mare is set on the hillside of the Venere mountains with views over the Mediterranean and the Egadi islands. Renovated in 2002, this Sicily hotel's distinctive blue and white design gives a sense of its proximity to the sea. 94 modern rooms contain all modern conveniences... View hotel
Double rooms from €72
On the western tip of Sicily, the town of Trapani is often a jumping off point to the Egadi islands offshore, or inland to the historic hilltop town of Erice, which gazes down upon its neighbour from Monte Erice 750 metres above. Trapani in fact started life as the port for Erice, and it sits atop a promontory jutting into the Mediterranean. The city suffered the usual predations of invading Mediterraneans during the Classical era - invaded by Carthage in 260BC, by Rome in 241BC: the city's ancient protector, the God Saturn, apparently wasn't quite up to the job of defending Trapani.
The city suffered heavy Allied bombing during World War II but has since become a major tourist destination. This western part of Sicily is fascinatingly different to the east of the island, with little boxy whitewashed houses, palm trees, little fishing ports and relentless sun giving it a feel more of Africa than Europe. The old town is largely medieval; main sights include the baroque Palazzo della Giudecca, and the Chiesa di Santa Maria di Gesu from the 16th century. Earlier is the Church of Sant'Agostino, while the Basilica Sanctuary di Maria Santissima Annunziata dates from the early 14th century (rebuilt in 1760). Other sights include the Fontana di Tritone, while the best shopping is on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. If you are here at Easter time you're in for a treat with the Misteri - a superb procession of the town's guilds with 17th and 18th century devotional statues, and lasting a full 16 hours through Good Friday and Holy Saturday.