Mozia & Laguna dello Stagnone

Archeology & nature

Mozia was founded in the eighth century. a.c. on the island of S. Pantaleo, in the center of the beautiful Lagoon of Marsala. The small town of Mothya was one of the most prosperous Phoenician colonies of antiquity.

Due to its strategic location for trade, it also became an important naval base. His Kothon, the dry dock of the ships, is the only one (after that of Carthage) found in the western Mediterranean.

Among the most interesting areas to visit is the Tophet, a sanctuary rich in urns and votive steles. In 397 BC, Motya was destroyed by Dionysius of Syracuse and the survivors moved to the coast, founding the colony of Lilibeus, the present Marsala.

Since then Mozia remained uninhabited, until in our century Giuseppe Whitaker (belonging to an illustrious family of English exporters arrived in Sicily for the wine trade) bought the island and decided to start excavations.

Numerous archaeological discoveries have been made on the island, from the urban remains of the old city (the city walls, the harbour basin) to the famous marble statue of the “Youth of Motya”, found in 1979 and exhibited in recent years in the most prestigious museums in the world.