There are natural paintings that remain etched in your memory forever. Erice is a wonderful medieval village in Sicily, perched on a cliff 750 meters above sea level, nestled in the beauty of a breathtaking landscape: blue sky tinged with white tufts and endless sea. I have a thing with medieval villages, because they make me think about the charm of history. Erice is one of my favourite medieval villages in Sicily together with Castelmola and Taormina.
The best way to get to Erice is by the cable car in about 10 minutes. You will enjoy a stunning view: Trapani with its charming salt flats, the Egadi Islands and Erice from the above, before you set foot in this lovely medieval village. The round trip ticket is €9 and €4 for children aged 3-16 years. The cable car is closed from January 7 to March 22.
NOTE: If you arrive by car you can park at a cost of about €2.50.
Once you arrive at Erice enjoy a walk through cobbled streets and white churches. It is a dive into history. Erice is all around the main square Umberto I, where you can find delicious bars and pastries shops. Among the pastries shops I suggest you to go to Maria Grammatico‘s in Via Vittorio Emanuele 14. This pastry shop is famous for its tasty “Genovese”, at a cost of about €3.50. It is a mouth watering sweet: a bundle of pastry filled with cream, a sprinkling of powdered sugar and you are in the Heaven 😉 In the meanwhile, enjoy lovely alleys, stairs and nice courtyards.Via Vittorio Emanuele is also the main street of Erice full of souvenir shops. If you are searching for a very different souvenir go to the Ceramic shop by Paola Amico Luisa in Via Guarrasi 18. Here ceramics are a reinterpretation of the typical Sicilian ceramics: bowls, plates and saucers and also little souvenirs, such as cute ceramic magnets. Another typical Erice’s souvenir, although a bit more cumbersome, is the typical diamond pattern rug.
Erice is rich in churches! Don’t miss the Mother Church in late Gothic style with Renaissance and Arabs traits. I love the Gothic rose window and the jaw-dropping white marble roof. The church was built using material from the Castle of Venus. The bell tower is separated from the Church and it is a tourist information center. There is an entrance fee. Another beautiful church is the Church of San Martino, characterized by impressive Gothic wooden statues dating back to 1300.
Castle of Venus and its Balio Gardens are a must! Balio Gardens are awesome gardens in English style. You can find pines, cypresses and almond trees. The entrance is free. First an open sanctuary and then a temple built by Romans and dedicated to the goddess of love and beauty Venus stood in this place. The ticket to visit the Castle of Venus is €5, but if you also want to visit the museum of A. Cordici you can buy an integrated ticket at a cost of €6.
Do not miss the view from the Pepoli Tower, open to public for about a year after 1 year and a half of renovations. The entrance is free at the moment. The tower was built by Count Pepoli for his philosophical meditations given the silence that has always enveloped this mystical place I would say. The tower is designed as a real Observatory of Peace. Enter the Tower and leave a video message of peace to the world via the web. Just because a message always goes well with the surrounding beauty. Do you agree?
Have you ever visited a medieval village? If yes, what?