Erice is a historic town and comune in the province of Trapani in Sicily, Italy.
Geography : The main town of Erice is located on top of Mount Erice, at around 750 metres (2,460 ft) above sea level, overlooking the city of Trapani, the low western coast towards Marsala, the dramatic Punta del Saraceno and Capo San Vito to the north-east, and the Aegadian Islands on Sicily’s north-western coast. Casa Santa forms part of Erice at the base of Mount Erice, immediately adjacent to Trapani. A cable car joins the upper and lower parts of Erice.
History : The ancient Greek name of Erice was Eryx (Έρυξ in Greek), and its foundation was associated with the eponymous Greek hero Eryx. It was not a Greek colony, as the Phoenicians founded it, but was largely Hellenized. It was destroyed in the First Punic War by the Carthaginians, and from then on declined in importance. Eryx was conquered by Aghlebids in 831 and was renamed as Cebel Hamid (In Western sources Gebel Hamed, meaning Mountain of Hamid). It was ruled by Arabs until the Norman conquest. In 1167 the Normans renamed it Monte San Giuliano. It was known as Monte San Giuliano until 1934.
- Main sights : In the northeastern portion of the city there are the remains of ancient Elymian and Phoenician walls indicating different stages of settlement and occupation in antiquity. There are two castles that remain in the city:
- Pepoli Castle, which dates from Saracen times, and
- The Venus Castle, dating from the Norman period, built on top of the ancient Temple of Venus, where Venus Ericina was worshipped. According to legend, the temple was founded by Aeneas.
Access : Coordinates: 38.036944, 12.586389 / Erice is a city in Sicily. Erice is located 15 km northeast of Trapani, which is located directly on the coast, on Monte Erice at an altitude of 751 m.
- The streets and alleys have been renovated in recent years. Due to this the town looks a bit artificial, but the historic buildings and the stunning panoramic views remain. Be aware that if you visit Erice out of season some sites may been closed.
- The Cathedral of Erice is built early 14th century./ Castello di Venere.
- Castello Pepoli is part of Castello di Venere. It’s a Norman castle built on an impregnable rock. Only the watchtower has left. / Old city wall
- With the gates Porta di Trapani, Porta del Varmine and Porta Spada from the Norman period. Churches (6 t/m 10) – Most churches are built in the 17th century. San Pietro is from the 14th century. Park Balio
Activities : return to Trapani by cable car. It takes about 10 minutes and you have a magnificent view. In Trapani you can take a taxi or a bus to the centre