Erice - unique in its kind in the city, he seemed frozen in time and descended from the pages of books about middle ages where knights fought for the hand and heart of noble ladies, and in the walls of castles were conducted confusing plot; where kings with a confident speech delivered his decrees, and clowns entertained the Queens and ladies-in-waiting.
Of course, currently in Erice there are no kings and Queens, as well as jesters, but the knights and noble ladies have left, they are still, steady walk through the narrow medieval streets and without avarice distribute their smiles to the guests of the city are the locals Erice.
Erice is located in Trapani province, near the city of Trapani, on a high mountain 750 meters above sea level.
The small historic centre of Erice is full of mysteries and legends, once in Erice, you seem to be tolerated a few centuries ago, and plunge headlong into the past.
Old Erice, it's not just a tourist place, there still live a few local residents, has its own administration with the management apparatus. However, the bulk of the people can be met in Erice, all are tourists.
What is Erice for tourists - it is a mass of ancient sites, narrow streets and small square, green Park and cliffs, the Basilica and the museums, castles, and gorgeous views from the mountain.
To visit Erice are one of the many excursions as well as yourself. Independently the easiest way to get from Trapani. Can be reached by car, taxi, public bus (firm AST), on foot or by funicular (cable car). Most interesting, perhaps, take the cable car. From the centre of Trapani to the cable car easily reached on foot. Near the lower station of the funicular there are a couple of Parking lots, the owners of which excitedly shouting and waving their hands, thereby calling yourself on Parking of guests cars.
The lower station of the funivia Trapani-Erice cablecar/gondola station (Funivia Trapani-Erice) located at: SP31 per Erice, 91016 Casa Santa, Erice TP, Italy. Distance from the centre of Trapani to the cable car, about 2.5 - 3 kilometers. From Trapani follow the need to the East, along the main Avenue, which is initially called via Giovanni Battista Fardella, then via Alessandro Manzoni, then turn left onto via Capua, go about two blocks and you will be a small building of the funicular.
Cable car tickets can be purchased at the cashier office located here. The cost of round-trip ticket is 9 euros. In the tourist season a cable car operates daily, can be closed in bad weather. Opening hours of the cable car varies according to day of the month and week. Before you visit better to check on the official website the cost of tickets and opening hours.
Buy tickets and fly up, admiring the panoramic views. The journey time is approximately 10 minutes.
At the top station of the funicular is a small Playground. Here a bus stop. It is brought here to tour, and comes a public bus.
At the foot of the mountain was warm and Sunny, but here on the top, blowing cool wind, and walk the clouds. Captured with a light blouse came in very handy, but I had to take something warm on the mountain is quite chilly.
The first thing that catches the eyes of everyone who decided to visit Erice is one of the three town gates, these are called Trapani Port (Porta Trapani) and walls. All of grey stone, looks impressive and impregnable. All gates and walls date back to the 8-6 centuries BC, said to be the first defensive fortifications were built by the Phoenicians. Also they say that the walls of the 6th century in places well preserved to our days, don't know, of course, but we don't think so...
Entering the gates you know: "Yes, here it is the stone of the medieval city! Here it is the strength and power of past centuries!" An impressive sight, from the first minute you intrigued and immersed in the past, with its avarice, a kind of drab, cold and gray. Strange, but once behind the walls of Erice immediately flooded with mixed feelings, on the one hand you tremble and admire what your own eyes see and their feet tread "history", and on the other side of this stone the dullness becomes more chilly, and you rejoice that you live in the 21st century, not the middle ages.
Dilute all this medieval newtrace numerous picturesque cafes, coffee shops, sweets shops and souvenir shops, thereby adding vitality and flavor.
If from the gate of Porto Trapani to turn slightly to the left, here we will see two outstanding monument of past centuries, two dominants, one of the main attractions of Erice - the main temple - the Cathedral Asunta Dell Duomo and bell tower (Campanile/tower of Chiesa Madre) on the left of the temple. The bell tower dates from the 13th century buildings, while the Cathedral was built later and dates from the 14-19 centuries. Entrance to pay is 2 euros. The bell tower you can climb to the top platform which offers good views of the old centre of Erice and the surrounding area.
Next to the Cathedral and bell tower is a small Church of simple forms and restrained interior.
In this part of Erice is narrow and almost deserted cobbled streets, walking along which you can go deep into the historical centre.
We, not long walk back to the gate port of Trapani from where originates the Central and most lively street of the historic centre of Erice - via Vittorio Emanuele. Along the narrow streets, the walls on the first floor which will house a café, coffee shops, and tiny souvenir shops.
From the main street intricate labyrinths in different directions waste secondary streets are also paved with cobblestones, some more narrow and deserted, while others are more broad and popular.
On the street Vittorio Emanuele, you can see the Church of San Salvatore (Chiesa SS. Salvatore), Dating back to 13-17th centuries and the Church of St. albert Bianchi (Alberto S. Chiesa dei Bianchi), Dating back to 15-18 centuries.
One of the main squares of the old Erice - area Umberto (piazza Umberto) at the perimeter where there are cafes, a library and city hall.
In the historic centre of Erice is quite a lot of churches, such as St. Peter's Church (chiesa S. Pietro) and dominant - the Church of St. Giuliano (chiesa S. Giuliano), located on the street Gen., next to the Park Giardino del Balio.
In a shaded green Park with a little fountain and places to stay.
Through the Park out to one of the most beautiful and spectacular places Erice - the Balio towers (torri del Balio), for which see the famous and once Grand building - the castle of Venus (castello di Veneri), or rather what was left of the castle, located on the edge of a steep mountain.
In the castle are steps which you can go inside. The entrance fee is 4 euros.
Near the castle and towers Avenue Conte Pepoli (viale Conte Pepoli). The Avenue runs along the edge of the mountain, so from all points of the prospectus have simply mesmerizing panoramic views of the southern part of the surroundings of Erice.
Along the Avenue and installed benches on which to relax while enjoying the gorgeous view.
After strolling in the area, do not rush to go back, from the castle of Venus, go left for the tower, here you will find another scenic surprise - the fortress of the Norman castle and tower of Sigerio Pepoli (Pepoli torretta), Dating back to the 19th century.
Near the Pepoli tower has an observation deck, which is the alley. From these places open, as have said before, and will be repeated, spectacular views, only this time to the Eastern part of the surroundings of Erice and the coastline of the Tyrrhenian sea.
Well... follow on... go to the Piazza San Giovanni (piazza San Giovanni). Here you can see another attraction of the same name, the Church of St. Giovanni, 15th century. Entrance fee.
Walking below the Church again, semiarid cobbled streets, along which there are small neat houses of local residents. In this part of Erice we were accompanied by peace and quiet, this is where one can fully enjoy the quiet echo coming through the ages, weak, but still the atmosphere of the middle ages.
And here is the second of Carmine city gates (Porta del Carmine, in a literal translation, as the door of Carmine). At the gate, are also elevated fortress walls.
From the gate I advise you to go down into the most hidden corners of the Spanish quarter (Quartiere Spagnolo). Tourists are, surprisingly, a bit, apparently not all reach, but in vain.
Along the way we meet an elegant little Church
Well and last but not least, the gates of the Port Slowdown/Porta Spada (sword door)
Slightly to the right of the gate is the 15th century Church of Orsola (chiesa S. Orsola)
and behind it, on a small platform, two more attractions - the Church of Sant'antonio abate (chiesa S. Antonio Abate) and the Museum.
This place offers good views of sea, coast and surroundings
Our stroll through the magnificent, suspended in time to the medieval town of Erice came to an end, we have a little wander through the streets, looked into the coffee shop, which tasted Sicilian sweets and went to the cable car, to return on a Sunny and bustling streets of Trapani.
For those wishing to stay in Erice and a deeper acquaintance with the city, in the heart of Erice has some excellent hotels and apartments, all of them can view and book here.
The Map Of Erice
All accommodation facilities in Sicily, you can view and book here