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Europe > Italy > Sicily > Trapani (province) > Calatafimi Segesta

Calatafimi Segesta

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Calatafimi Segesta is in Sicily.

Understand[edit]

The town takes its name from the Arab "Qal’at Fimi" (that is Rock of Eufemio): he was an officer of Byzantium who, according to an old tradition, favoured the conquest of Sicily by the Saracens. Some scholars link the name Calatafimi with Acesta, a little town contemporary of Segesta, or with Castrum Phimes, from the name of a noble landowner of Segesta, named also by Cicero. The present town originated around the “Castle of Phimes”, and its oldest part stands here. Calatafimi, with the Castle of Eufemio and its churches, is characterised also by its lanes and small streets of Arab derivation. At about 10 km from this town there is the archaeological site of Segesta, with the Greek temple and the ancient theatre, where they hold classical performances.

Tourist Information[edit]

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Calatafimi is about 60 km from Aeroporto "Falcone e Borsellino" of Palermo-Punta Raisi and 50 km from Aeroporto "Vincenzo Florio" of Trapani-Birgi (phone: +39 0923 842502).

From Airport Palermo-Punta Raisi, you can get the train from Punta Raisi to Alcamo Diramazione railway station (one every 30 minutes) and take a taxi from there.

By car[edit]

A view of Autostrada A-29 near Segesta
  • From Palermo — Through the A29 Motorway Palermo-Trapani, at Segesta exit, after passing the archaelogical area, you enter the National Road 113 (S.S.113) towards Trapani. The junction for Calatafimi is at about 3 Km.
  • From Trapani — Through the A29 Motorway, towards Palermo, at Segesta exit; otherwise you can go along the National Road 113 and take the junction after those for Vita and Pianto Romano.

By ship[edit]

By rail[edit]

  • 3 Railway Station of Alcamo Diramazione (At about 9 km from the town, near the junction Alcamo Ovest A29 Motorway). It is on the railway line Palermo-Trapani.

By bus[edit]

Get around[edit]

Map of Calatafimi Segesta

Owing to the particular geographical position of Calatafimi, many streets have a steep slope. Moreover, Eufemio Castle and the Church of Santissimo Crocifisso are two perfect points of reference as they are visible from different places. After going uphill for Via Segesta (take the ingresso della cittadina if you are coming from the National Road 113), you get to largo Duca degli Abruzzi which is the right starting point for any exploration. On the left there is Via Alcide de Gasperi (an almost new area), while the main road link is corso Garibaldi, on the right. From via Marconi, an important main road which continues to Corso Vittorio Emanuele, you will arrive at piazza Plebiscito and can start an artistic tour of the town. Here you can admire the Church of Madonna di Giubino, built by Giovan Biagio Amico from Trapani, close to the 16th-century small church of the Benedictine nunnery of Santa Caterina, and, on the other side of the square, the Church of San Michele, with the Civic Library on its right. Further on, along via Marconi, you will meet the Town Hall (Palazzo Comunale), between palazzo Pampalone, where the hero of the Risorgimento (19th-century struggle for Italian unification), Garibaldi rested after the battle of Pianto Romano, and the 16th-century church of San Giuliano. From via Marconi you will arrive at piazza Nocito and, behind it, piazza Nullo. At the end of the slope, there is the mother Church of San Silvestro Papa, and, if you go on climbing, you get to the hill’s peak (338 metres high) where Eufemio Castle rises. Coming down viale Oberdan you will find the medieval quarter of Borgo (the old village), that keeps integral its environmental features inside the small streets and courtyards.

Taxi service[edit]

As the town centre of Calatafimi is quite small and its streets are narrow, there is no bus service, so you can walk, or for long distances, you can use your car or get a taxi.

See[edit]

Segesta archaeological site[edit]

Segesta is the site of an ancient Graeco-Roman city.

The site is immediately off the main A29 road, straight after a long tunnel if travelling from Palermo. Onsite there is free parking.

Tarantola Bus goes between Palermo and Calatafimi (aka Calatafimi-Segesta) a few times daily, stopping at Segesta en route. You may have a long wait for a return bus. (Perhaps confusingly, Segesta Bus does not go to Segesta.)

Entry to the temple is on foot - about a 5-minute uphill walk. A bus (€1.50) is available every 30 minutes to the site of the Amphitheatre at the top of the hill. It's a brisk, uphill, 20-minute walk otherwise (no entrance fee). Coffee and pizza are well deserved at the cafe near the car park if you walked to the amphitheatre.

There are 3 major sights at this location, and there are other remains from the Roman and medieval periods which are documented by signs in five languages across the site.

Tempio di Segesta
  • 1 The Doric temple, Archaelogical area of Segesta. Built between 430-420 BCE, 61 m (190 feet) long, 26 m wide, built upon a platform of 4 steps, it has 36 Doric columns supporting the stone roof-frame of the structure (14 columns along the lengths of the building, 6 columns across front and back). They are of a "rough" finish as the temple has never been completed. The temple seems also to have lacked a roof over the cella (main chamber) in antiquity, rather uniquely - scholars are in disagreement as to whether the temple was planned this way, or just never completed. Entry is charged.
  • 2 The Greek Amphitheatre. It is on a hilltop and was built by the Greeks at about 400 BC. It was discovered in the 19th century. They play classical comedies and tragedies in July and August.
  • The Greek sanctuary, contrada Mango (on the Provincial Road leading to Segesta). In the archaeological area of Segesta there are the remains of an ancient sanctuary, dating back perhaps to the 6th century BC and built outside the town centre of Segesta.

Other sites[edit]

Pianto Romano, the memorial of the battle of Calatafimi
  • 3 Pianto Romano (Colle pianto Romano) (About 5 km toward Trapani on the National Road 113, S.S.113). The Ossuary of Pianto Romano, built in memory of the soldiers who died in the battle between the Mille and the Bourbon troops, from a design made by E. Basile. It was inaugurated on 15 May 1892. From its top you can admire wonderful landscapes in all directions.
  • 4 Castello Eufemio. It is on a hill dominating the whole town. It is probably a 12th-century reconstruction of an older castle built for defence. Today there remain only a tower, some warehouses, the cells and the courtyard.
  • 5 Chiesa Madre (Chiesa di san Silvestro papa). This church was built in the first half of the 13th century and dedicated to Saint Silvestro the Pope; it was then rebuilt in 1547. It has a nave and two aisles, with Roman arches. There are a lot of stuccoes, paintings, marbles and wooden statues.
  • 6 Chiesa del Santissimo Crocifisso (Church of the Most Holy Crucifix). This church was built at about 1750, to G.B. Amico's plan. In the façade there is a portal coming from the former church of Stimmate (Stigmata) in Palermo. Inside you can see frescoes by the painter Gianbecchina, stuccoes and paintings of different periods.
  • 7 Chiesa di san Michele (Church of St. Michael), piazza Plebiscito. Founded by the Congregation of Saint Michael in the 14th century and restored by the Third Franciscan Order, who enlarged the adjoining friary. It has a nave with two aisles and is rich with stuccoes, paintings and wooden statues.
  • 8 Chiesa di Maria Santissima del Giubino, Via Mazzini. This church adjoins the former Benedictine nunnery and is a very beautiful church. It was built on the plan made by Giovanni Biagio Amico and is dedicated to the cult of Madonna di Giubino, patroness of Calatafimi.
  • 9 Santuario di Maria Santissima di Giubino (colle tre croci) (circa 2 km). It is on the northern side of the hill Tre croci. It is a Marian sanctuary linked to the memory of the Blessed Arcangelo Placenza from Calatafimi and to the cult of Maria Santissima di Giubino.
  • 10 Itinerario dei vicoli (il Borgo), below via Oberdan. It is like a voyage inside people's history: on the walls of these lanes you can see Garibaldi's deeds again, the farmers' proverbs, the ceramics coloured butterflies and the holy water stoups.
  • 11 Museo Etnoantropologico Comunale, Corso Vittorio Emanuele 78, +39 0924 951151, +39 0924-952696. Th-Sa 10:00-14:00, 15:00-19:00. It represents the historical memory and Calatafimi people's vocation which is merely agricultural; you can see implements, tools and objects almost forgotten now, which were used in the fields, by artisans or in the houses. Free.
  • 12 Casa-Museo di Garibaldi, Via Guglielmo Marconi, 25. Th-Sa 10:00-14:00, 15:00-19:00. The building dates back to 1700 and reminds the Garibaldian epic deeds: there are two marble memorial tablets on façade and inside it, dated 16th May 1860 and July 1862. Both of them are testimony of the presence of garibaldi at calatfimi and at the Pampalones' house. Free.
  • 13 Ex Convento di San Francesco (ex Saint Francis' friary). The former church, dedicated to saint James the apostle, may have dated back to the 13th century. Today, on the eastern side, there are a window (which is walled up) surmounting a door, with small columns and an archivolt of the 16th century. It was enlarged in 1544 and the interior has been restored at about 1750. It hosts some paintings an wooden statues.

Do[edit]

  • 1 Biblioteca Comunale (Civic Library), Piazza Plebiscito, +39 0924 951071. M-Sa 09:00-13:00; Mar, Gio 16:30-18:00.
  • 2 Bosco di Angimbè, National Road 113, S.S.113 (north-east of Calatafimi). The evergreen forests represent an environment full of fashion, not only for the species of their trees, like the cork oak and the holm oak but also for the richness of shrubs and herbaceous plants which develop in the underwood.
  • 3 Cavalieri Del Castello Eufemio A.S.D. (Amateur sport association), Contrada Barbaro S.P. 68 (Segesta archaelogical area). Its main activity is the formation of new horse-riding champions who take part in a lot of competitions.
  • 4 Scuderia Vivona (Horse breeding, manège, boarding house), Contrada Pantano, +39 339 2878407. It organizes trips and excursions on horses.
  • 5 Terme segestane (Ponte Bagni), near the Castellammare del Golfo junction of the National road (S.S.) 113. The establishment has three thermal bathing pools and three sulphuric water springs (two inside and one outside it) that naturally pour out at the temperature of 44° and 46° C. You can carry out an efficient and valuable therapy in these natural warm-damp and sudorific rooms.

Events[edit]

The cart of the Borgesi di San Giuseppe
  • 6 Procession of the Most Holy Crucifix, Church of the Most Holy Crucifix. on 3rd May.
  • Garibaldians' Day: on 15th May
  • 7 Procession of Corpus Domini (Church of Saint Michael), Piazza Plebiscito (near the Town Hall). half June.
  • Procession of Our Lady of the Assumption: on 15th August.
  • Procession of Madonna del Giubino: on the fourth Sunday of September.
  • Procession of the Immaculate Conception: on December 8th (evening and night).
  • Estate Calatafimese (Calatafimi's Summer): from the end of July to the first days of September).
  • 8 Calatafimi Segesta Dionisiache (Greek theatre), Segesta. July-August. A series of classical theatrical performances held in summer.
  • 9 Feast of the Most Holy Crucifix, Church of the Most Holy Crucifix. Every 5 years from 1st-3rd May.
The class of Mastranza marching

Buy[edit]

  • Banca Don Rizzo Credito Cooperativo, Via Segesta, 66.
  • Credito Siciliano, Largo Duca degli Abruzzi 4.
  • Unicredit, Via Mazzini 23.
  • Ceramiche Maior, via Roma, 24, +39 333 2187158, .
  • Planet Gems, via Comm. Sebastiano Simone, 36, +39 0924 952944. Mediterranean coral pictures and embellished porcelain.

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

  • La pagoda (Risto-pub), Piazza Nicolò Mazara, +39 333 590 1023.

Sleep[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Connect[edit]

  • Poste Italiane, Via Segesta, 2, +39 0924 954811. Mon-Fri 8:30-13:30, Sat 8:30-12:30.
  • L'angolo dello Sport (Internet Point), Corso Garibaldi, 23, +39 0924 954367.
  • Internet Point (Azzarelli Giovanni), Piazza Nocito, 12, +39 0924 954319.

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Calatafimi Segesta is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.