Mazara del Vallo

Piazza della Repubblica, pictured, is the heart of the city of Mazara del Vallo in southwestern Sicily. Mazara del Vallo is considered the most important fishing port in Italy. Founded by the Phoenicians as a trading post, it was significant during the Arab era, when it was the capital of Val di Mazara, one of the three administrative divisions of Sicily. The cultural vibe of the city is decidedly north African–it has a large population of Tunisians and boasts an ancient Kasbah quarter, complete with a labyrinth of alleyways and courtyards, not far from the Piazza della Repubblica. Be sure to eat some seafood couscous while you are here and to see the magnificent Satiro Danzante, Dancing Satyr bronze statue.

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