The large village of Mazara del Vallo is overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, in Sicily. The site at the mouth of the river Màzaro, is less than 200 km from the Tunisian coast of North Africa. The old town center, a time enclosed within the walls Norman, includes numerous monumental churches, some dating back to the XI century. Presents the characteristic traits of the districts to urbanistic plant typical Islamic of the medinas, called Casbah (also Kasbah), of which the narrow alleys are a species of trademark.
The first human settlements in the territory mazarese date back to the early Palaeolithic, at Roccazzo's, where have been found traces of scatchers, Engravers, blades of flint and other handicraft products. Subsequent settlements, dating back to the Mesolithic period, were found at the Gorghi Tondi. You have testimonies of human settlements also during the neolithic period, with the tombs to caves, there and during the Eneolithic, with several settlements capannicoli and necropolis. During the Bronze Age settlements were concentrated along the valleys of the Mazaro and Arena, in the districts Gattolo, Granatelli and Malopasso. Around 1000 BC, the Sicilian region left monumental tombs to dromos. In the XI century b.c. you have the first contacts with the Phoenicians, who find in Mazara a ideal place to make stops during long journeys to Spain. Initially they were transient, subsequently founded a emporio, with establishments and permanent deposits, as witnessed by the vases, glasses and coins of Phoenician origin found between the mouth of the Mazaro and Cape Feto. other ruins that confirm the presence fenicia in Mazara you have in excavations in the palace of the Knights of Malta, which overlooks just a few meters from the mouth of the Mazaro. But only during the Greek period-selinuntino the city became an urban center organized, a flourishing emporium of Selinunte, a first period of great expansion of the city so that were minted its own coins with the inscription ἐμπόριον (empòrion). Destroyed Selinunte by the Carthaginians in 409 BC, Mazara went through a period of some 150 years about now under the domination of Syracuse, now under the Carthaginian, up to the conquest of the island on the part of Rome. The Punic period and romano is testified by the abundance of finds in the city: sarcophagi, urns, tombstones, mosaics, and Roman villas. It is in this period that Christianity is taking its first steps in the city, and it is in this period that is born San Vito. The most likely place of meeting early proselytes of the new religion were the caves of San Bartolomeo, in contrada Miragliano.
The raids of the Vandals and the Goths didn't save the city, who lived a period of decadence socio-economic and demographic changes. Only in 533, when Belisario, driving of the Byzantines, defeated the Vandals, the town regained a climate of calm, starting repopulated. Excessive taxation of new domination, however, hindered the then fledgling trade and local crafts. It was only with the Muslims of Ifriqiya, Arabs and especially the Berbers, landed at Capo Granitola, near Mazara on 16 June 827, that you had the economic awakening of the city that became the largest center in the legal status of Sicily and an important commercial point, artistic and literary. In 1072, with the Normans, the city saw the construction of the Cathedral, and the establishment of a new diocese. In the period from 1093 to 1097, it became the seat of the government and residence of Count Ruggero. In 1154 the geographer Idrisi lived in Mazara, and described in the book of Ruggero. After the Normans, the city experienced a new period of depression: Federico II of Swabia in 1216 decided to transfer all the Muslims present on the territory in the plain of Lucera, in Puglia, seriously damaging to the local agricultural production and craft. Even with the subsequent Angevin domination things changed. At the end of 1317, King Frederick III of Aragon with all his court stared at his home in the city. Back in Palermo, in July 1318 enacted a series of measures that few cities of the time could boast: abolished the charges of the barons on vettovaglie, granted the use of wood in the forests of Berrybaida and Castelvetrano, instituted a Franca Fair of the duration of 30 days.
The city experienced a period of Lordly dominion, under the Peralta (1392-1397), the auditors Cabrera (1418-1445), Duke of Calabria Ferdinand (1450-1479), the Regina Giovanna (1479-1518) and finally the conte Cardona (1521-1531). During this period the city had to redeem their freedom for well twice, at its own expense, returning to the Royal Property, under which knew, in the seventeenth century, years of misery, culminating in the uprisings of 1647. In the following century the city took part with enthusiasm to the movements of the indipendentistici 1820, 1848 and 1860, and during the plebiscite of 21 and 22 October 1860, the Citizens signed the national unit with only twenty electors against. There followed a period of economic depression and demographic, started with migratory flows toward the United States of America, Australia and the states of South America, and culminated with the first world war. Between 1920 and 1930, the fleet remo sail-became a fleet to mechanical propulsion, and this led to an increase of the catch. The second world war suspended, momentarily, the economic development of the city, which resumed immediately after the end of the war event.
The Immigration of Tunisia in Sicily began around the end of the sixties, after a little less than a millennium from the decisive victory on Muslims of Count Roger the Norman in the year 1073, which recaptured the island. Despite the work of transformation worked by the Normans, the town of Mazara still preserves many distinctive characteristics of the Arab culture-Berbera. The most obvious sign is the impression the islamic road of the ancient Arab city, today called "Kasbah": alleys and small streets and winding, which extend from a central axis and lead to numerous courtyards, where open access to dwellings.