Travel in Pictures: A Quick Trip to Trapani, Sicily, to Attend My Photography Prize-Giving


Last week I was excited to make a flying 48-hour visit to Trapani, north west Sicily, to attend the award ceremony for the Instagram photography competition for which I was one of the winners there last month. So here’s a little bit about the award ceremony, and also about my trip to Trapani. It’s less on the tourist trail than some Sicilian cities. And that’s just one of the reasons why Trapani’s totally worth a visit of at least a few days if you’re planning a trip to Sicily.

Jump to:
– The Winning Photos
– The Prize-Giving Ceremony

– 48 Hours in Trapani

– Visiting Trapani: How to Get There

The Winning Photos

The photography competition was for the best pictures of Trapani’s Easter Misteri procession. There were three winners – of which my photo below came third – plus several specially commended photos.

My photo of the Easter Misteri Procession in Trapani, Sicily, which won third prize in the photography competition. Proloco Trapani said “In third place is the work of the English food blogger Valerie Ferguson with the following motivation: “a well-constructed photograph in which the geometric composition of the scene is combined with the baroque elements of Rua Grande. The image presents a great wealth of elements and colours. The faithful, following the Addolorata [the grieving Madonna] wrapped in her black cloak, give the image a strong component of humanity”

Proloco Trapani – the promotional partnership for the city of Trapani – ran the competition, in conjunction with Sicilian Tourist Board Visit Sicily. This is their article about the competition winners on their website. And this is an article about the competition winners on a Sicilian local news website.

On Proloco Trapani’s website you can also see the other beautiful winning/commended photos.

The wonderful 1st prize winning photo by Francesco Anselmo. Proloco Trapani said “The photograph compositively contains the elements that characterize the theme of the competition and contextualizes the subjects through the iconic presence in the background of the Church of Purgatory. Excellent synthesis between form and content, between composition and message that the image wants to express “. Many Congratulations Francesco!

And this is the 2nd prize winning photo by Assia Kysnu Ingoglia. Proloco Trapani said “Synthesis of the theme of the competition on the processional rites of Holy Week, the image links sculpture and humanity with the architecture of the baroque church, home of the groups of the Mysteries, which acts as a scenic backdrop”. Well done Assia!

The Prize-Giving Ceremony

The prize-giving was conducted in Italian, of course! But I’ve only recently started learning Italian, so I’m not very good. It was very kind indeed of Proloco Trapani to sit someone next to me to interpret. So I was able to understand what was going on, and also to do my short speech/Q&A in English.

The Winners

Here’s the winners with their plaques at last week’s award ceremony:

(L to R) Me; 1st prize winner Francesco Anselmo; Chiara Treglia, who took one of the specially commended photos; and 2nd prize winner Assia Kysnu Ingoglia

The Prizes

Each winner received a plaque
Each winner also received two Sicilian cookbooks written/edited by Paulo Salerno, who presented the prizes. One’s all about the heritage and recipe for traditional Trapanese cùscusu (fish couscous). The other is a comprehensive collection of fabulous Sicilian recipes. It’s the best selling book of Sicilian recipes of all time, and I saw it in several languages in the gift shop at Trapani Airport.
Directly after the ceremony, I got a unique opportunity for some foodie blogging research! Here I’m delighted to be getting some serious personal discussion time with Paulo Salerno, author and editor of the book of Sicilian recipes, and the book about traditional Trapanese cùscusu (couscous), which formed part of the photography competition prizes

The Venue

Food is obviously a hugely important part of Trapanese and Sicilian cultural heritage. So it was fitting that the prize-giving ceremony was held at Trapani’s Nuara Gastronomic Cultural Centre. Nuara does some great work promoting Trapanese and Sicilian food traditions, and I will write more about it another time.

Click individual pictures to enlarge & scroll

48 Hours in Trapani

The Food

This was my third trip to Trapani. And since food is such a big part of its culture, I made sure I sampled some of the regional cuisine I hadn’t yet had the chance to try. As well as some old favourites of course!

I hadn’t before tried Cùscusu Trapanese, about which I’d received Paulo Salerno’s book. So taking Paulo’s recommendation, I sought out the restaurant Il Moro – one of the places in the city that takes pride in serving this fish couscous dish in the traditional way. Fish sat atop the couscous, and came with a jug of extra sauce, which was red/brown, rich and pungently fishy, and reminded me strongly of French soup de poisson.

Click individual pictures to enlarge & scroll

Tuna fishing and processing has been a traditional industry in the waters around Trapani. The fresh red tuna that I tried at Il Moro restaurant was absolutely the reddest I’ve ever had – a deep oxblood red, not done justice by my photo below taken in dim restaurant lighting.

I was disappointed to run out of time for visiting the museum dedicated to the tuna industry –  Ex Stabilimento Florio della Tonnare di Favignana and Formica. It’s housed in the former tuna processing factory on the island of Favignana, which can be reached easily by boat in about 20 minutes from Trapani port. I’ll be sure to make time for it next I’m in Trapani, which I hope will be in the summer.

No trip to Sicily is ever complete without having at least one Cassata Siciliana, which is genuinely one of the best cakes I’ve ever had! (If you want to have a go at making one at home, here’s a recipe I published previously, given to me by a boutique hotel in Taormina). And here alongside it are some of the other dishes I managed to squeeze in (clearly, this was 48 hours lost from my low-carb eating regime!)

A Little Sightseeing

During my flying visit, I also took in just a few conventional, and less conventional, sights around Trapani.

Click individual pictures to enlarge & scroll

Visiting Trapani: How to Get There


Where is Trapani?:  Trapani is in the north west of the Italian island of Sicily. 

Getting There: Trapani is served by the local international airport Vincenzo Florio Airport Trapani–Birgi. As at June 2018, the airlines Alitalia, Blue Air, Mistral Air, AliBlue Malta and Ryanair serve Trapani Airport. I got there from the UK by flying with Alitalia, via Rome on the way out, and via Milan on the way back. The ATS bus service connects Trapani airport to the city centre (around €5, and 30 minutes, each way).

For a bigger range of flight options, the motorway connects Trapani with the airport in Sicily’s capital Palermo (around 1 hour’s drive), or the airport on Sicily’s east coast in Catania (around 3¼ hours drive). 

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