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Erice
Erice

Erice

Une visite à Erice (prononcé EH-ri-chay) commence par le voyage lui-même - soit en prenant le téléphérique d'été ou en conduisant la route sinueuse dramatique jusqu'au sommet de la montagne Erice. S'élevant à 750 m au-dessus du port de Trapani, Erice est indéniablement photogénique, offrant des vues spectaculaires le long de la côte sicilienne et des îles Egades voisines. C'est aussi un exemple frappant de ville fortifiée médiévale et son histoire remonte à l'Antiquité, alors qu'elle était un centre important du culte de Vénus.

La meilleure façon de découvrir Erice est à pied, en gravissant les ruelles escarpées et pavées et en s'arrêtant pour parcourir les nombreuses petites boutiques et boulangeries, où les artisans vendent des spécialités locales comme des biscuits aux amandes et des céramiques. Le point culminant évident d'Erice est le Castello di Venere (château de Vénus) et la Torre di Pepoli (tour de Pepoli), et suivre les murs de la ville médiévale remarquablement préservés est un passe-temps populaire. Parmi les autres sites d'intérêt, citons la très animée Piazza Umberto I, l'église Chiesa Madre du XIVe siècle, l'église médiévale Saint-Jean-Baptiste et plusieurs autres églises historiques.

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Sicily

The basics

The beauty of Erice begins with the journey 2,460 feet (750 meters) up to the mountain-top town by cable car or dramatic winding road, affording spectacular views along the way. This medieval walled town has ancient roots as an important center of the cult of Venus, and today is a captivating maze of steep rough-paved lanes lined with small artisan ceramic shops and traditional bakeries. Highlights include the hilltop Castello di Venere (Castle of Venus) and Torre di Pepoli (Tower of Pepoli), as well as the lively Piazza Umberto I, the 14th-century Chiesa Madre church, and the medieval Church of Saint John the Baptist.

Best explored on foot, Erice is among the loveliest towns in western Sicily, and a popular day trip from Palermo or Trapani along with top attractions like the Trapani and Paceco Salt Pans Natural Reserve, Segesta Archaeological Park, and the wineries of Marsala. Multi-day Sicily tours often include a stop to explore this charming town, and gourmands can opt for a food and wine tour that includes a turn through town to sample Sicilian pastries.

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Things to know before you go

  • Tours of Erice require walking along steep lanes, so wear sturdy shoes and bring a hat and sunscreen.
  • Photographers will especially appreciate the endless views from this town perched high above the coastline.
  • The town has steep, unevenly paved roads that may pose a challenge for wheelchair users.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth at Pasticceria Maria Grammatico, perhaps the most famous pastry shop in Sicily.
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How to get there

Erice is located just northeast of Trapani in the countryside of western Sicily. Take the winding SP31 highway up to the historic center, or join a guided tour including transportation.

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When to get there

With its endless views over the countryside and coastline, Erice is a photographer’s delight and best visited in the early morning or late afternoon, both for the best light for taking photos and to avoid the Sicilian heat at midday.

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The Segesta Archaeological Park

A visit to Erice is easily paired with a tour of the Segesta Archaeological Park, one of the most notable attractions in western Sicily and home to ancient ruins of Magna Grecia. Highlights include the main temple—dating back to the fifth century BC, and one of the world’s best-preserved examples of Doric architecture; and the Greek theater, built in the fourth century BC.

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