The “Sicciara” (which means the place where we caught cuttlefish, “Siccia”, in Sicilian) as Balestrate until 1819 was called, was built in the 17th century around the Fardella family’s tuna-fishing-net. In 1820, by royal decree of King Ferdinand I of Bourbon on March 29, this village got its present name of Balestrate. The name comes from an anecdote: it was 1307 and King Frederick II of Aragon, in love with the beauty of the sea and beach, reserved the sovereignty of those places for a wide scope as a shot crossbow.
During the conquest of Sicily, Garibaldi was a resting place for Giuseppe Garibaldi, whose presence is evidenced by a special commemorative plaque affixed to the front of the house where he lived.
Balestrate is a small seaside resort on the Gulf of Castellammare and is the last town in the province of Palermo, bordering the first in the province of Trapani: Alcamo. Balestrate also borders Trappeto and Partinico.
Balestrate is easily reachable from Palermo, which is about 40 km, via the highway A29 Palermo-Mazara, or by train (station in the country) or via user-friendly carrier that depart from Castellammare del Golfo or Palermo..
Balestrate, being a place a tourist destination, focusing events and recreational events during the summer months, the peak of which occurs in August with the summer balestratese, they are organized exhibitions, performances in the streets, festivals and sporting events involving also the vacationers, as in a great resort…
In addition to exploring the long (7/8 Km) and wide beaches of fine golden sand and soak in a crystalline sea and shallow water great for kids and novice swimmers, you can enter in the leafy grove just outside the village and adjacent to the beach the Forgitella, or, for those who love scuba diving, discover cliffs and ravines where fish or swim.
The cultivation of land with vineyards and olive tree is the main source of income for the inhabitans, as well as fishing and tourism season. The hinterland is rich in citrus orchards, olive groves, orchards and vineyards where you can buy locally, at very minimal cost, directly from the manufacturer, oils and wines of the best quality of Sicily.
The original nucleus of the town was the small church of St. Anne, which became a parish in 1900, today the main church, from where it spread the current site. Characterized by a long beach of fine golden sand, only interrupted by the new port is a destination for both summer residence for many vacationers in the province, and for the summer holidays of thousands of emigrated in the 60s. The flow is such as to bring the number of inhabitants from about 6200 residents to 25/30.000 in summer.