Europe Italy Mazara del Vallo Sicily Travel

Living in the Kasbah: Mazara del Vallo

Standing on a private rooftop in the Kasbah of Mazara del Vallo, cracking pistachios and sipping Moretti beer, I feel as if I am in a movie set. Around me, a conglomeration of clay roofs, crumbling walls, church spires and minarets stud the fading sky in the late afternoon. Fishing boats and trailers bob along a stretch of the River Mazaro, a reminder that I am in a fishing town along the south west coast of Sicily.

Mazara del Vallo Kasbah

Mazara del Vallo is a small fishing town and an ancient Phoenician port at the mouth of the River Mazaro. Like many strategic towns that attract ancient civilisations, it was ruled by the Carthagians, the Romans and was later occupied by the Arabs.

Mazara del Vallo Kasbah

Below lies a labyrinth of narrow streets and lanes with Norman, Baroque and North African architecture. An ancient precinct within a small town, the Kasbah breathes a different life, with echoes of societies that have left their mark throughout history.

Mazara del Vallo Kasbah

I pan the surrounding vista with a sense of excitement and disbelief. Our accommodation for the next six days is going to be in the Kasbah, a small but significant detail that my relatives omitted to tell me.

Mazara del Vallo KasbahMazara del Vallo Kasbah

As the light begins to fade and the sun sinks in the Mediterranean ahead, I ponder at the many experiences that await our first visit to Sicily. But for now, we are on Sicilian time. Life is about beer and pistachios with family.

Mazara del Vallo Kasbah

La vita è bella.


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.