150 years have passed , but it seems that in Marsala Giuseppe Garibaldi disembarked yesterday. His photographs with his hat sideways fill the city , like a star today. Wherever you raise your head to read a license plate : here the hero of the two worlds he slept , ate , drank . Departing from Fourth and dressed in their red shirts , Garibaldi Marsala chose for their landing on the coast of Sicily , on May 11, 1860. Happy choice , because their arrival was covered by British warships , in the port wine cellars to protect the British production of Marsala wine . So the story of Giuseppe Garibaldi and the Unification of Italy binds in glove with that of the city and its most famous wine .
A TASTE OF HISTORY A visit to this corner of Sicily can not be separated either by the memory of the landing, nor a taste of Marsala , the pride of the city. The perfect place to get acquainted with this sweet wine Doc are without doubt the Cantine Florio , historical place of production. It was Vincenzo Florio to found, in 1833 , the first Italian winery production of Marsala , hitherto the preserve of the British, Ingham and Whitaker on everyone. A " discover" Marsala , or rather its forerunner Perpetuum , had been a Liverpool merchant , John Woodhouse , in 1773 , when he landed in the port of the city and began marketing , with great success in England. Fifty years later, Florio set up his beam just behind the cellars of his British rivals and began the production of Marsala in competition with them.
Barrel after barrel , visiting wineries , you can taste this long history . Again, there is a plaque commemorating the passage of Garibaldi . It is dated 1862 when , finished his exploits , the hero is granted a real tour the peninsula. Was said to be a teetotaler , but when tasted Marsala , found especially delightful and sweet variety that since then bears the name of Garibaldi higher. In the long corridors of the oak barrels rest , resisting the passage of time. The oldest date back to 1943. There could be more if the old Cantine Florio had not been bombed during the Second World War. To go further back in time , just enter the small historic wine cellar : a veritable temple of Marsala, where , among the dusty bottles , are true relics , such as the 1920 made for the American market . They were the Prohibition and to circumvent the prohibitions Marsala was sold as a medicine , complete with a matching spoon .
AROUND CELLARS Then comes the most pleasant tasting. Virgin, Fine and Superior are the three types of Marsala, which are distinguished according to the minimum years of aging. The Virgin is the one that requires more patience must pass at least five years before it is bottled. Ten when it comes to reserve. And its flavor is dry and spicy, perfect for both sweet and cheese , or foods rich flavors, such as the roe and smoked fish. The semi- dry and sweet versions , however, are ideal dessert wines. This is not the only winery in the area . There are 11 companies that are part of the Consorzio del Vino Marsala and among these six dates back to the nineteenth century . With the help of the Consortium can arrange a real wine tour through the cellars of the city: Pellegrino , Intorcia , Casano , Martinez , just to name a few.
Marsala , A WALK DOWNTOWN NELO The tour through the historic center of the city can only start from Porta Garibaldi. Once on the street of the same name , in the direction of the Mother Church , there is on the right a picturesque food market where you can find all the Sicilian gastronomic products ( open every morning except Sunday ) . From fruit fragrant fish that comes from the nearby Mazara del Vallo. Smells and colors make your head spin . The road continues to the Mother Church, dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury. The reason was the most important church of Marsala was dedicated to this saint foreigner resides in a very old story , dating from the end of 1100. A British ship was traveling to Canterbury to bring the materials for the construction of a temple dedicated to the saint, but because of a storm shelter in the harbor of Marsala . The event was interpreted as a divine will to erect the church in England, but in Sicily: marble and columns stolen from the ship then served for the construction of the Mother Church . Then he added, the intervention of Gaginis , Domenico and Antonello in particular, that in the eighteenth century were among the leading artists in charge of enriching the structure . The result is an interesting mixture of Romanesque and Baroque. Right behind this is the museum of the tapestries, which houses a cycle of eight priceless Flemish tapestries that Cardinal Antonio Lombardo wanted to give to his hometown in 1589. It was the Queen of England Mary Tudor , daughter of Henry VIII , also known as Bloody Mary , to donate the cardinal as severance pay , for his office as a court chaplain .
DRILLS AND SURROUNDINGS I´m only 25 kilometers that separate from Marsala Trapani. Before arriving in the capital , a small deviation permits to visit the Saline Paceco . Pink tanks and delicious windmills that make you think of being in Holland. Arrived in the port of Trapani , in the shadow of the statue of the inevitable Garibaldi, we are faced with a dilemma: stay in town or go to the Egadi Islands . The advice is to do both . Just a few minutes from the port of Trapani , to reach Favignana , Levanzo and Marettimo ( Siremar and Ustica Lines are the shipping lines that depart daily to the islands ) . Each of them deserves special attention , especially in summer when it´s worth to go by sea or by land , to the most beautiful coves such as Cala Rossa superb Favignana island is also famous for traps , although the bloody ritual slaughter is no longer practiced . To buy the excellent tuna, though, you can also go back to Trapani, where there are many shops that sell food specialties with what is called " the pig of the sea" , because no part of it is thrown away .
In a purchase and another , worth enjoying the walk in the historic center of Trapani , enhanced by dozens of buildings with facades like lace and the neighborhood Palace , with its narrow streets , built by the Spaniards in the fourteenth century and remodeled in the Baroque . The central Corso Vittorio Emanuele is the parlor of the city , a pedestrianized area which culminates with the baroque facade of Palazzo Cavarretta , the town hall. And it is always between Trapani and the cableway leading to Erice. In a few minutes you can climb up to touch the clouds , to a charming medieval village that overlooks intact throughout the province. It is only from here , from above, you are able to embrace at a glance all the wonders that these places offer .
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