Erice, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Its history was embellished by the poet Virgil, who mentioned Erice in his epic work, the Aeneid, making it a stop on the travels of the Trojan hero Enea.
To explore Erice, leave Porta Trapani and enter an alley full of narrow streets and small squares, flanked by churches and noble palaces which allow glimpses of majestic views. The churches in particular stand out, so much so that Erice was known as the “City of a Hundred Churches”. In reality, there aren’t quite so many, but they’re all unmissable.
One of the most beautiful spots is the Spanish quarter. This area is said to have been built in the period of Spanish domination to house the Spanish soldiers: a requirement for every Sicilian city.
The symbol of Erice is the Castello di Venere, built by the Normans. When building it, they used materials from theTemple of Venere Ericina from which it takes its name. The castle was encircled by towers, next to which there’s the Balio, a marvellous English landscape garden from which you can enjoy an outstanding view.
If you want to sample the famous desserts “ericini”, you can visit the historic confectioners. You can sample the typical products of this area whose recipes were created by the monks and nuns of the cloistered monasteries.
If you’re going round the shops, take a few moments to admire the famous Erice rugs, handwoven from pieces of coloured cloth, and the hand-painted pottery.
In high season, you can go to Erice from Trapani via the cable car; the view is spectacular!