||This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
|— Comune —|
|City of Marsala|
|• Mayor||Giulia Adamo (UdC)|
|• Total||241.6 km2 (93.3 sq mi)|
|Elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
|Population (30 November 2010)|
|• Density||340/km2 ( 890/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||Our Lady of the Cave (Madonna della Cava)|
|Saint day||19 January|
Marsala (Maissala in sicilian; Lilybaeum in Latin) is an Italian town located in the Province of Trapani in the westernmost part of Sicily. Marsala is the most populous town in Trapani, and the fifth-highest in Sicily.
The town is famous for the landing of Garibaldi on 11 May 1860 (the Expedition of the Thousand) and for its Marsala wine. A feature of the area is the natural reserve of Stagnone Lagoon—a marine area with salt ponds.
Marsala town until the end of 1970 had a population of about 86000 (including Petrosino – until a referendum of the local population decided to become an self-governing town).
The area of Marsala is classified in seismic zone 2 (medium). In the last 200 years three earthquakes of medium-high intensity were recorded:
- 18 May 1828 – magnitude 5.17 (about VI Mercalli scale)
- 15 January 1968 – Belice earthquake which in Marsala reached VII Mercalli scale (although its intensity was as high as X in other locations).
- 7 June 1981 – magnitude 4.60 (IV–V scala Mercalli scale) with epicentre in Borgo Elefante in Mazara del Vallo, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the town-centre of Marsala.
In 397 BC the Phoenician-Punic colony of Mozia (est. 800 BCE) near the Sician southern-western coast was invaded and destroyed by the Syracuse tyrant Dionysius I. The survivors took refuge on the Sicilian coast and founded a new town which they called Lilybaion ("Lilybaeum" in Latin), "The town which looks at Lybia". At that time the whole African coast was referred to as Lybia.
Lilybaion was conquered by Romans in 241 BCE and became one of the most important towns in Sicily. The commercial centre, home of the commissioner, was enriched with mansions and public buildings and dubbed splendidissima urbs by Cicerone, commissioner between 76 and 75 BC.
Ravaged by Vandals during the 5th century CE, the town was annexed in the 6th century to Justinian's Empire. In this period the town was marked by dysentery, neglect of Bisanzio and the forays of pirates. Arabic-Berbers' arrival at the nearby Granitola mount in the 8th century entailed the resumption of commerce and the start of the rebirth of the town, which was renamed Marsa ʿAlī "ʿAlī's harbour" or maybe, Marsa ʿāliyy, "Big harbour", for the width of the ancient harbour, placed near Punta d'Alga or also Marsa Allāh, namely "God's harbour", hence the current name. The economic and demographic growth entailed an important Arabic planning extension, based on Arabic.
However some doubt about the origin of the current name still exists. There is also the theory that Marsala comes from mare salis, or rather "salt pans by the sea" from the presence of salt pans along the whole northern coast. However, references to this theory cannot be found in literature of the time.
Since the end of the 11th century the area has been conquered by Swedish, Norman, Angevin and Aragonese troops. During this time, Marsala became wealthy, but the burying of the big harbour of Punta Alga, decided by Emperor Charles V to stop Saracen forays, brought an end to this period of prosperity.
After two centuries things started to get better in Marsala. At the end of 1700, the Englishman John Woodhouse who "invented" the wine marsala arrived. Characterized by a natural high alcoholic gradation(?), Marsalese wine wasn't suitable for transport. Woodhouse tried to add alcohol with good gradation to the wine, thus guaranteeing its stability. So, he started to export it and its fanbase flourished, including Admiral Nelson and his fleet. Woodhouse's wine was able to compete, especially the dry version, with madeira and with port, very popular among subjects of the Queen. Woodhouse triggered the Marsalese economic explosion, including the funding of infrastructure projects such as the current Marsalese harbour of Margitello.
On 11 May 1860 Giuseppe Garibaldi landed at Marsala. this was the start of the process of Italian unification.
In the history of Marsala there is another 11 may – that of 1943 during WWII. A British bombardment of the town centre permanently defaced its baroque centre and claimed many victims. For their sacrifice, many people of Marsala were awarded civil medals.
Monuments and interesting places 
Religious architecture 
- Marsala Cathedral (17th century) dedicated to Saint Thomas of Canterbury and built on the Norman implant of 1176. There is an organ with 4,317 pipes.
- Church of Purgatorio.
- Church of Addolorata.
- Church of Itriella.
- Convent church and belfry del Carmine.
- Church of Saint Matthew.
- Church and monastery of Saint Peter.
- Church of Saint John the Baptist.
Civil architecture 
- Spanish Quarter (Town Hall)
- Palace VII April (16th-17th century), built on the site of the Lodge of Pisani.
- Palace Fici.
- Palace Grignani.
- Palace Spanò-Burgio.
- Communal theatre, built during 800 with 300 seats, reopened during the 1994 and dedicated to Eliodoro Sollima.
- Cine Teatro Impero, built during the fascist period.
- Agricultural Technical Institute With Specialized School Wine "Abele Damiani" Marsala - Aggregate IPSAA Strasatti With Hospitality Section (State Public top School. - (This school March 13, 2013 at Celebrated its 140th anniversary of his birth / foundation. Once l 'Institute was a monastery of the Benedictine Friars
Military architecture 
- Villa Arab barracks carabinieri (military police, and public security), command company – operations center
- Castle of Marsala (Prison of Square Castle)
- Doors of Marsala
Enological establishments 
Large-scale wine production started in 1773, encouraged by English trader John Woodhouse. Important winemaking establishments include Ingham-Whitaker, le Cantine Florio, Martinez, Pellegrino, Rallo, Mineo, Bianchi, Baglio Hopps, Donnafugata, Alagna, Caruso e Minini. Marsala cellars are famous not just for the production of dessert wine, but also for red and white wines. They produce modern cellar wine, such as Alcesti, De Bartoli, Fina, Vinci, Birgi, Mothia, Paolini e Baglio Oro.
Mozia seen from coast of Marsala
- Diodorus Siculus, Biblioteca Historica, 23.1.2
- Official website (Italian)
- Marsala 2013 - European capital of wine page (English)
- About Marsala production