An ancient defense system of the Trapani coast

In the past, the coasts of Sicily used a defensive system based on watchtowers. Even today, numerous of them can be found all around the island. In the area between San Vito Lo Capo and Trapani alone there are more than ten.

Very suggestive for their position, almost always overlooking the sea, some can also be visited inside.

These were not only used to spot the arrival of enemies but were also used as a means of communication along the coastal strip of the Kingdom of Sicily. From each tower, in fact, it was possible to see the next one and therefore send light signals to transmit a message or ask for help. In some periods, a message could travel around the island in a single day.

Before reaching San Vito Lo Capo, on the Gulf of Castelluzzo-Macari you can admire the Isulidda Tower, recently restored, while going towards Zingaro you come across the 'Mpisu tower (or 'Impisu, hanged man) and the Torre dell'Uzzo .

 SanVitoWeb La tua vacanza a San Vito Lo Capo in Sicilia a Trapani

These towers were built around 1583 by the Florentine architect Camillo Camilliani, commissioned by the Viceroy of the time to organize the coastal defenses of the island against pirate raids. They all have an identical square-based structure, with a few simple internal divisions and a large cistern to collect rainwater.
As a rule, there were three soldiers assigned to guard each tower.

 SanVitoWeb La tua vacanza a San Vito Lo Capo in Sicilia a Trapani

On the Piana di San Vito the Camilliani had built another tower called "Roccazzo", destroyed in 1935 to make way for a military building.
Near the port there is another very beautiful tower, well restored, which should become the site of an archaeological museum: the "Torrazzo", a cylindrical structure completely different from the others in the area, probably of Arab construction.

The Sanctuary of San Vito Lo Capo also has a watchtower in one of the corners of the fortress. It can be admired by visiting the Sanctuary Museum, accessing the terrace, from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the town and the beach.

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