Marsala is readily associated with the world-famous, richly colored fortified wine named after it, and your main reason for stopping will likely be to visit some of the many wineries in the area. But the quiet seaside town, together with the nearby island of Mozia, were also once the main Carthaginian bases in Sicily: from them Carthage fought for supremacy over the island against Greece and Rome. In 1773 a British merchant named John Woodhouse happened upon the town and discovered that the wine here was as good as the port the British had long imported from Portugal. Two other wine merchants, Whitaker and Ingram, rushed in, and by 1800 Marsala was exporting its wine all over the British Empire.

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