Tourists are fond of Erice and it is worth being admired. This small town is full of sights, it has traditional Italian narrow streets and lots of small shops where you can buy lots of souvenirs, for example, famous Sicilian sea salt, Marsala wine, sweets and ceramic things.
Practically every tour to Erice starts as a rule in Trapani. The distance between Trapani and Erice is 15 km. The road to Erice makes great impression on tourists. The road climbs the steep slopes, dodges, at the turns of the road it takes your breath away while seeing a wonderful panorama of the coast.
The name of the place “Erice” was firstly pronounced as “Eryxx” that means “a mountain”. It is because Erice is situated at the top of St. Juliano at the height of 350m above the sea level. Despite of the fact that the first settlement was founded there in the 5th century B.C., most of the town monuments were built in the Middle Ages.
We can call Erice a medieval place even now. If such great cities of Sicily as Palermo or Catania can be called the victims of urbanization, then Erice can be called a place from the epoch of the Renaissance. Neither great plants nor high buildings can destroy this image. There is still a part of a fortress wall in Erice which was built at Phoenician time. It is situated at the north-eastern part of the town and is considered an original symbol of protecting delicate harmony of the atmosphere in Erice from ruthless scientific and technical progress.
The architecture of Erice is a kaleidoscope of Gothic and Romanic monuments and monuments made by Normans. There are a lot of churches and two castles there: the Castle of Pepoli and the Castle of Venus. The first was created at the time of Saracens in Sicily. The second was built by Normans at the place of the destroyed temple of Venus. The most popular of two is the Castle of Pepoli. There is an observation ground “Castello del Balio” there from which you can see the most beautiful view of the whole Sicily: the sea, the Isles of Egadi and the wonderful town Trapani below. Among the churches the most interesting is the church of the Virgin of the 14th century which is situated in Via Carvini Street. It was built in Gothic style and is a unique monument for that place because all the other churches are built in Roman style.
If you are going to visit Erice you should know that it is cooler there than in Trapani because Erice is situated rather high over the sea level. If you are going by car you should remember that the streets are very narrow even for small cars. The guides of Erice usually show the narrowest street of the place where in the past only one knight on horseback could ride.