Erice is a medieval town (with much earlier origins) situated in the north-western corner of Sicily, a few kilometres north-east of Trapani. The original ancient Greek town was known as Eryx.
The town is situated high on a hill above the town of Trapani, which it overlooks.
Much of the pleasure of a visit to Erice is in wandering the quaint medieval streets and alleys lined with sturdy ancient stone houses, and admiring the views - it is no surprise that Erice has long been inhabited, given its privileged location and the views out to sea are very far-reaching - the islands you can see are the Aegadian islands, with the views further reaching to Tunisia in northern Africa when the sky is clear.
There are also some particular highlights that will catch your eye:
- the first of these is the Venus Castle, on a headland beyond the main part of Erice. Before the 12th century norman Castle was built a much older Temple of Venus stood in this location.
- a second castle has its origins with the Arab occupation - Pepoli castle, now a hotel
- the 14th century cathedral, which contains a highly regarded painting of the Madonna and Child (artist disputed))
- remains of some walls dating back to the Ancient Greek occupation of the site
If you are visiting Erice outside the winter months it is possible to reach Erice by cable car from Trepani if you prefer not to drive.
On the coast far below the town there are various popular beaches to cool down after a hot day on the hilltop.