San Vito Lo Capo

Coordinates: 38°10′N 12°45′E / 38.167°N 12.750°E / 38.167; 12.750
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San Vito Lo Capo
Comune di San Vito Lo Capo
Location of San Vito Lo Capo
San Vito Lo Capo is located in Italy
San Vito Lo Capo
San Vito Lo Capo
Location of San Vito Lo Capo in Italy
San Vito Lo Capo is located in Sicily
San Vito Lo Capo
San Vito Lo Capo
San Vito Lo Capo (Sicily)
Coordinates: 38°10′N 12°45′E / 38.167°N 12.750°E / 38.167; 12.750
ProvinceTrapani (TP)
FrazioniCastelluzzo, Macari
 • MayorGiuseppe Peraino
 • Total60.12 km2 (23.21 sq mi)
6 m (20 ft)
 (28 February 2017)[2]
 • Total4,690
 • Density78/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0923
Patron saintSt. Vitus
Saint dayJune 15
WebsiteOfficial website

San Vito Lo Capo (Sicilian: Santu Vitu) is a town and comune in North-Western Sicily, Italy, administratively part of the province of Trapani. The small town is located in a valley between mountains, and is home to a public beach that is destination of local vacationers.


The town's eastern border is provided by a small range of mountains, the northernmost of which is peaked by a large cross visible from the public beach below, the E' Bue Marino beach.[3] Loggerhead sea turtles sometimes choose the beach to lay their eggs.[4] With human settlements spreading, the size of the beach is shrinking.[5]

The mountain is home to numerous caves, most of which are inaccessible without professional climbing gear. A cave, accessible by foot at the southern base of the mountain, was named "Caverna della Capra Guasto," or "Cave of the Dead Goat" by explorers Christian D'Angelo and William Spears.

To the south is the Riserva naturale dello Zingaro.


Other sights include the sanctuary-fortress, the chapel of Santa Crescenzia, the historical lighthouse, several tonnaras and the Torre dell'Usciere, a coastal watchtower.

Rock climbing[edit]

San Vito Lo Capo is a well-known rock climbing destination. Along the coast on the west side of San Vito lo Capo is a coastal cliff nearly 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) long featuring as many as 1600 bolted climbing routes.[6]


The town's primary industries are tourism[5] and agriculture, particularly olive groves owned by small farmers. Thanks to its various cultural events, the tourism season in the city lasts eight month.[7]

Cultural events[edit]

Since 1998 during the last week of September, the little town of San Vito Lo Capo has hosted the Cous Cous Fest, an international festival of Mediterranean culture and gastronomy, during which, in addition to live musical performances, there is an international couscous gastronomic competition "The Couscous World Championship".[8]

The festival of books, authors and bougainvillea takes place in the period July–September of each year, presented by Giacomo Pilati as a series of meetings with the author in Via Venza, the town's outdoor lounge. Italian writers present their latest literary works in front of an audience. In May – after a tour of all Sicily – the International Kite Festival ends with a final stop in San Vito Lo Capo.

On 15 June the feast of the patron St Vito Martyr takes place. Celebrations begin in the afternoon with the ancient game of the antenna in the sea, in which competing participants have to walk on a 10-metre wooden beam suspended over the sea and made slippery with a layer of soap, the goal being to grab a flag at the end of the beam. The Disembarking of the Saints (a representation of the original) on the beach of St Vito Lo Capo follows, during which three performers arrive from the sea on a small boat at sunset, each representing the young Vitus, the nurse Crescenzia and master Modesto, while the fishermen wait on the beach to welcome them. In the meantime, inside the sanctuary the statue of St Vitus is covered by the votive of the faithful; then it is solemnly presented to the faithful and carried on the shoulders by the devotees in the final procession that tours around the village. The festivities end with a fireworks display.

In October, there is the San Vito Climbing Festival, an international festival for climbers, who can climb the mountains in the area.


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ Population data from ISTAT
  3. ^ "E' Bue Marino a San Vito Lo Capo la spiaggia più amata dagli italiani". Retrieved 2023-09-30.
  4. ^ "Un nuovo nido di Caretta caretta sulla spiaggia di San Vito Lo Capo". Kodami (in Italian). 2023-07-10. Retrieved 2023-09-30.
  5. ^ a b Balocco, Fabio (2021-08-31). "Gli effetti del turismo di massa e il caso di San Vito Lo Capo". Altreconomia (in Italian). Retrieved 2023-09-30.
  6. ^ "San Vito Lo Capo. Full stop and start over again". Retrieved 2023-09-30.
  7. ^ "Turismo, San Vito Lo Capo da record". la Repubblica (in Italian). 2015-04-06. Retrieved 2023-09-30.
  8. ^ "Cous Cous Fest: 8 Paesi a San Vito Lo Capo per la 26^ edizione". TeatroNaturale.It (in Italian). Retrieved 2023-09-30.

External links[edit]

View of San Vito La Capo Marina, showing the coast, the city and the mountains