A BIT OF HISTORY
Covered with honors but still at the center of the expansionist wars of Rome, Marsala suffered considerable repercussions in the years of the decline of the empire: devastated by the Vandals in 500, it flourished again under the domination of the Arabs who changed its name to Marsa-Alì (port of Ali ).
The city was then enriched with refined palaces and mosques, unfortunately completely destroyed. The historical-artistic greatness of Marsala lies precisely in the fact that its lands were crossed by different populations and cultures, each of which has left its marks in local art and traditions. If nothing is left of the architecture of that period, it is also true that the traces of Arab domination can be found in some typical dishes, such as cous cous, cubbaita and sfinci, in toponymy and in numerous dialectal words.
It was then the turn of the Normans, Swabians, Angevins, who took turns controlling the territory.
In 1282, the year of the Sicilian Vespers, the population rebelled against the harsh government of the French and came under the hands of the Aragonese. The Spanish domination represents the most difficult period in the history of the city, left to a slow decline, torn by bandits and pirate raids. The construction of the military quarter, in Via Garibaldi, now home to some municipal offices, dates back to the second half of the 1500s. It is also true, however, that, in the 1500s, Marsala appeared as a center endowed with a thriving economic activity based on cereal-growing, breeding and salt production for which the plants still operating in the Stagnone area were built.
Marsala wine remained an activity reserved to local needs until 1700, when English merchants made it famous all over the world.