The ecosystem along this stretch of coast between Trapani and Marsala is unique in Sicily, making a visit here fascinating.
Several times a day the water dips below sea level in the lagoon: through the centuries, the sea-salt industry - a harsh but lucrative business - has flourished here. The earthworks which delineate the saltpans have given this lagoon landscape its shape. Windmills installed in the early 19th century dot the coast like so many glimmering white butterflies.
Stagnone is a deep lagoon, bounded on the sea side by the deserted Isola Grande. The Phoenicians immediately identified Mozia, in the centre of the lagoon, as an ideal place for a colony. Here they made clay pots which were traded in Sicily and Sardinia for iron ore, which in turn was transported back across the Mediterranean to the Phoenician metropolis in north Africa.
The whole island is now an extraordinary archeological site, thanks to the efforts of Joseph 'Pip' Whitaker, the wealthy Marsala producer who at the close of the 19th century bought the island to indulge his passion for archeology and birdwatching. Digging here, he unearthed a goldmine of immense knowledge and beauty.
We do not provide accommodation on the island of Mozia but are more than happy to help with suggestions for alternative lodgings to ensure that your visit to our island estate is fascinating and relaxing.
The island of Mozia is in the Stagnone lagoon, an expanse of saltpans between the towns of Marsala and Trapani; here, the aromatic herbs so typical of the Mediterranean area are shaped into sculptural forms by the winds which blow across the island. Salt is the first product to catch your attention in this unique part of Sicily: the smell is on the air and the reflection off the dried-out saltpans is blinding. Fish dominates the local cuisine; a host of species unknown in other parts of Italy is often served with couscous – a tribute to the extraordinary variety of seafood surprises to be experienced in this corner of the Mediterranean.
The Whitaker estate
Isola di Mozia - 91025 Marsala (TP)
Tel. +39 091 645 9711
From Palermo, take the A29 motorway (which later becomes the A29dir) towards Trapani, continuing past the Trapani exit to Marsala-Birgi where you should turn off and follow signs to Mozia. Park your car at the jetty. A local fisherman will ferry you across the Stagnone lagoon to the island.