ERICE

Erice, ancient Elymian-Punic site, placed at around 751 mt above sea level, on top the mountain called with the same name, that is embellished by a triangle-shaped plateau stood out as a platform towards the sea. Surrounded by walls and bastions, the small town is full of cobbles and alleys. The stoneworked houses have pretty and well-finished courtyards, keeping a total family intimacy, in the shelter from indiscreet eyes. In ancient times, Erice was well known for its temple where the Phoenicians worshiped Astarte, the Greek Aphrodite and the Romans Venus. Eryx mount was a reference point for seamen and so Venus became their protector. At night, a large burning fire in the sacred-area served as lighthouse. Venus Ericina became famous so much, indeed Romans dedicated a temple to her worship that spread throughout the Mediterranean. On sunny days, you can delight in breath-taking panoramas; towards northeast you get a glimpse of Ustica Island; instead towards eastern skyline is printed by the beautiful Aegadian Islands. In winter fog envelops the top giving a medieval picture. The fresh air, the beautiful pine forests, the ruling quiet and handicrafts make it one of the favourite destinations of tourists. We highlight the Venus Castle with its garden (so called “The Balio”) where you can enjoy breathtaking views. The Cordici Museum, and the Mother Church. Erice hosts important scientific meetings at the Ettore Majorana Institute. Typical sweets: the Genovese and the Almond Pastes. There are also typical objects that identify Erice in the world: ceramics and carpets.