Trapani was founded by the Elymians to serve as the
port of the nearby city of Erice (ancient Eryx), which overlooks it from Monte
San Giuliano. The city sits on a low-lying promontory jutting out into the
Mediterranean Sea. It was originally named Drépanon from the Greek word for "sickle",
because of the curving shape of its harbour. Carthage seized control of the city
in 260 BC, subsequently making it an important naval base, but ceded it to Rome
in 241 BC following the Battle of the Aegates in the First Punic War.
Two ancient legends tell of mythical origins for the city. In the first legend, Trapani stemmed from the sickle which fell from the hands of the goddess Demeter while she was seeking for her daughter Persephone, who had been kidnapped by Hades. The second myth features Saturn, god of the sky, who eviscerated his father Cronus with a sickle which, falling into the sea, created the city. In ancient times Saturn was the god-protector of Trapani. Today Saturn's statue stands in a piazza in the centre of the city.
The city was badly damaged during World War II when it was subjected to intense Allied bombardments. It has grown greatly since the end of the war, sprawling out virtually to the foot of Monte San Giuliano. Tourism has grown in recent years due to the city's proximity to popular destinations such as Erice, Segesta and the Egadi Islands.
... for more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trapani