An example of muslim influence in local architecture. Mazara del Vallo is on the SW coast of Sicily. It began as a Phoenecian trading post and was later associated with Selinunite. Sacked in 409 BC, held by the Carthaginians until they were beaten by the Romans in 210 BC. In 827 AD the Arabs established their first presence in Sicily here. Under Arab rule, Mazara was an administrative capital for one third of the island. Taken over by the Normans under Roger in 1075. Today it is the most important fishing port in Italy. It is less than 100 miles from North Africa and there are lots of Tunisians and other North Africans who live and work in the city.