Trabia is a town of nearly 8,000 located in the Palermo province. Fishing and farming are, still today, the town’s main industries; the former mostly related to tuna and sardines trade. Tourism has also notably developed in recent years, the area boasting a pristine, splendid shoreline.
The city is probably rooted in an ancient Arab settlement of the 12th century called AT tarbi’ah, meaning ‘square’. The noble Blasco Trabia was entitled Baron of Trabia by the Spanish King Ferdinand. The Lanzas became Princes of Trabia in the early-1600s and in 1635, one of their members, Ottavio, was given permission to establish a settlement.
The most attractive building is the old fortress – that, in 1153, Edrisi referred to as Rocca della Trabia. Over the centuries, this has been much altered, notably in the Norman period, when its central part was fortified, and under Blasco Lanzo who had kilns built for the production of biscotti. It is set close to the shore and consists of quadrangular outer walls with a round tower rising at the centre of the courtyard, once used as prison, and two smaller round towers once dotted with weaponry. The building, past various historical vicissitudes, still belongs to the Lanzas.
The tuna-fishery of San Nicola L’Arena is an equally attractive edifice; it is situated in proximity to the castle that was partly meant to protect it. The tuna fishing long played a major role in the city economy; its decline started in the early-1900s. The building has been turned into a hotel.