Castellammare del Golfo, situated in a bay between Cape Gallo and Cape San Vito, is famous for the beauty of its coastline, coves and cliffs. It was originally the port for the powerful ancient city of Segesta, which lies a few kilometres inland, and was known to the Romans as Emporium Segestanorum. The Swabians later renamed it “Castrum ad mare Gulfo”, from which it takes its current name.
The Arabs fortified the old city, renaming it al-Madarig, or “the steps”, and made it impregnable with the construction of the fortified stronghold in the port. It was later expanded by the Normans and reached its apogee under the Aragonese (1281-1410), when the city became an important wheat exporting and trading centre.
Today, Castellammare is a major tourist destination that attracts many visitors every year in search of its heritage and the natural beauty of its coasts and hinterland. Besides being the gateway to the Zingaro Reserve, in the surrounding area you can also visit Scopello, a village that fascinates visitors with its cliffs and ancient tuna fishery. It has a baglio, a building around a courtyard, typical of rural Sicily, and outside in the square there is a fountain with a trough from which the animals used to drink.