This post is dedicated to one really marvelous and splendid, ancient and oldest fortified construction, and symbol of Trapani. I have in mind the Castle of Colombaia or also known as Il Castello di mare (The Castle of the Sea). This is an undisputed historic monument nei pressi di (close to) the port of Trapani. The only way to reach the fortification with the 32-metre tower is by sea.
So, if you are somewhere there in the western Sicilian town of Trapani, don’t miss your chance to take a boat and visit it because that visit will turn you back directly to the 13th century BC when the small islet of Combaiai was inhabited by the Trojan refugees of the town.
But, actually, the real fortification was erected a little bit later, in the 2nd century BC. And do you know by whom? By Hamilcar Barca, a Carthaginian general and the father of Hannibal, who wanted to get a tower and military barracks built during the First Punic War.
The small islet and the fortification got their name in this period of time. It came from the Greek word for a “dove”, “pigeon”, i.e. from Peliàdes (“colomba” in Italian)
Later on, the fortified construction was utilized as a lighthouse by the Arabs. Then it was used as a fortification till the 19th century when it was turned into a prison. In 1965 it was abandoned, unfortunately.
No matter what, the Trapanese pigeon is still vivid and attractive and it’s worth paying a visit and enjoying its splendor.