Among the many not well known pearls of Italy, there are little towns that combine art and history and natural sceneries as few others in the entire world.
One of these is Erice, a small village at the top of a hill in the Trapani area, in Sicily; a village which can offer its visitors a variety of reasons for brief vacation, with its medieval center, the scenic location and many testimonies of the past.
Here, in fact, there are lots of attractions to visit: you can enter the city from the west side by three Norman gates opened in the ancient city walls, while on the east side stands the castle of Pepoli, dating back to Norman times, the second manor of the village, together with the Venus castle, built in the Middle Ages.
Despite its small size, in Erice there are several buildings to admire, and among those more than sixty churches: one of the most famous is the Matrice, erected in honor of Our Lady of the Assumption in early 1300 and in which are placed several marble statues of important artistic value. Or the church of San Giovanni Battista, with a Gothic portal yet existing.
To its former medieval past, Erice is very tied, so that the more resonant and followed event in the city is the Week of Medieval and Renaissance Music, which every year attracts fans of ancient music and that makes echoing the paving of streets with magical harmonies. The event is internationally known and supported by the music departments of various universities. In those days it is hard to find an hotel in this sicilian village if you have not booked before, even because of the small size of many of them.
If you're lucky enough to stay in Erice, you can also have wonderful excursions. In the nearbies, there are many routes that worth to be visited. The Natural Reserve of the Lagoon of Marsala offers a wealth of flora and fauna, and along the path there’re several ancient windmills. And equally fine is the small island of Mozia, where the Carthaginians and the Greeks fought a famous battle.
With so many astonishing places to visit, Erice is a great destination for relaxing away either from everyday life and stress and from the mass tourism.
The best time to come to Erice?
In winter, with a little fog that creates an even more enchanted atmosphere. But do not forget a sweater!