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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Living in the Kasbah: Mazara del Vallo was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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.


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  2. Wish you could see the Kasbah now : Absolutely amazing. Got to send you some pictures . D

    • Dolly, I wish I could be there now and enjoy the summer! 🙂 There will be more Mazara articles to come, with many photographs.

  3. Gorgeous! Did you enjoy Morocco? It was once on my top 5 wishlist, but I’ve heard conflicting reports that have dropped it down my list of places to go

    • Forager, I loved Morocco and would like to return for a longer trip. Just to clear up any possible confusion, this Kasbah is in Sicily 🙂

  4. Francesco di Salvatore

    I am also visiting relatives in Mazara this summer. I would love any information your could give about food markets to visit. We went to one restaurant in the center, Alla Kasbah, which was very good.

    • Hi Francesco, we visited the fish markets In Mazara and it’s best to go earlier than later in the day. In the afternoon, you can see the boats unload their catch. Quite a lovely experience to be in the rhythm of life by the harbour. We didn’t go to any food markets there but had a great seafood lunch at La Fenice restaurant. I shall write a review on it shortly.

    • I have family living there as well. This summer I got the chance to see the whole Kasba and I think more will emerge soon as I have seen some construction in progress in Via Goti, one of the viuzze (situated between Chiesa San. Michele and Via Porta Palermo.

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  10. Hi Corinne! I am a producer for a food & travel show for Vice Media. We will be filming in Mazara during the first week of July and are looking for locals to guide us. Do you know anyone who lives in Mazara who we could get in touch with? Is it possible to reach you directly to get some more insight about the area? Many thanks!

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