Erice and surroundings
The town is situated on the summit of an isolated mountain, at the north west of Sicily, and is 15 km from Trapani.
A 750 m. sea level, Erice is located in a splendid panoramic position and on clear days you can spot the Etna on the horizon: the city has now established itself as one of the main tourist destinations in Sicily. Integrated with the morphology of the mountain and harmoniously blended with the wonderful natural surroundings.
The urban has perfect triangular shape and is bordered on the west by cyclopean walls, broken by towers and three Norman gates: Sword door, Carmine door and Trapani.
To the south-east of the town is the beautiful garden of the Balio, within which stands the Pepoli castle, built by the Normans and largely changed in the nineteenth century. to be converted into a residence. It dates back to the twelfth century. the castle of Venus: a typical medieval fortress built in the area where once had to rise to the ancient shrine of Venus of Erice.
Erice hosts more than sixty churches, some of which are architectural documents of great value and precious historical evidence: among them the church of St. Martin, San Cataldo, San Giuliano di San Giovanni Battista.
The church of San Giuliano was built by the Normans around Mille and heavily transformed in the seventeenth century; interesting for its pink stone facade is now used to classroom lectures and cultural center.
ROUTES AND AROUND
Coming down from the mountain of Erice and continuing on the road that goes from Trapani to Marsala we propose an unforgettable itinerary, between nature and culture, within the Lagoon, a low stretch of sea water, which has now become the Natural Reserve, for wealth flora and fauna. Here the enchanting landscape is dominated by windmills (some of the '500, completely restored in their wooden gears) used for the "culture of salt": a unique and varied throughout the year.
From June to September, the collection of salt and the endless expanses of small mounds, very white; the solemn stillness of winter rest, dominated by the large trapezoid tiles that protect the salt; the various stages of preparing the culture, in the spring. Even the small island of Mozia is worth a visit: the short stretch of sea that separates it from the mainland, was once crossed by wagons full of grapes bullock sunk in the water for about a meter.
The city of Phoenician origin, was of great strategic importance to the operations of the Carthaginians against the Greeks of Sicily and was besieged and conquered by Dionysius of Syracuse in 397 BC Abundant remains of the Phoenician settlement on the island and beautiful archaeological museum housed in the villa Whitaker, residence of the British family who settled in Sicily to the 800: of all do not miss the wonderful statue dell'Auriga.
Even today the island are cultivated wine grapes that made it famous in antiquity and in recent years has resumed production of a precious wine, made with ancient techniques Phoenician.