Marsala is situated on the far north west coast of Sicily, next to Stagnone Lagoon, a marine area with salt pans. The city was founded by the last remaining survivors of Mozia, an island in the middle of the lagoon, and once a major Phoenician and Carthaginian trading post. The inhospitable, salty land was transformed into an affluent area, well defended by its position in the lagoon. When the town was invaded and destroyed by Dionysus I in around 400BC, the survivors founded a town on the mainland nearby that they called Lilybaion (Lilybaeum in Latin), “The town that looks at Libya”. The town was later invaded and ruled by many different nations but the present name ‘Marsala’ has Arabic origins. Around the end of the 18th century production of sweet wine, Marsala, began to improve the economy of the area. It was here on 11th May 1860 that Garibaldi arrived to start his campaign to unify Italy.
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