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Erice: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening


The medieval village of Erice is a place near Trapani, where you can rediscover the flavor of the past, walking through narrow streets and admiring the view of the sea from above. Erice was inhabited by Phoenicians, Normans, Arabs, Romans and their passage is visible on the buildings and monuments that fill the village.

A weekend is more than enough to enjoy the small and large beauties of this village! Here it is for you a guide of Erice: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening.



Index

  1. 10 things to see in Erice in a weekend
  2. What to see in Erice in one day: recommended itinerary
  3. Where to eat in Erice: the best restaurants
  4. What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Erice
  5. Plan your stay in Erice: info and useful tips
  6. User questions and comments

10 things to see in Erice in a weekend

1 - Castle of Venus

One of the most striking buildings of Erice is undoubtedly the Castle of Venus, located on Mount Erice and so called because erected near an ancient open-air temple, originally dedicated to the goddess of fertility, Astarte for the Phoenicians and then Venus for the Romans. The fortress was built in stone by the Normans between the th and th centuries, and among the materials used there are also some remains of the temple.

In addition to admiring the remains of the fortress, it is possible from this high point of the village enjoy a unique view of the Mediterranean Sea, on the promontory of Cofano and the Sparacio and Inici mountains.



  • Largo Castello; a 10 min walk from the center, to get there you can follow a trekking route or use the funicular - Get directions
  • from April to October 10: 00-18: 00, from July to September 10: 00-19: 00, August 10: 00-20: 00
  • full € 4,00, reduced € 2,00

2 - Pepoli Tower

La Torretta Pepoli is an eclectic building located at the foot of the Castle of Venus, inside the Balio Gardens. It is about a structure commissioned by Count Agostino Pepoli, which during the late 800th century decided to give life to a place destined for culture, in whose walls host illustrious personalities of the time. Torretta Pepoli presents elements in the Liberty style, and contains various geometric figures, from the access door consisting of a crenellated cylinder, through to cubes and parallelepipeds, all co-present but linked in a harmonious and balanced way.

The Tower has some differences with respect to the origin, but many are the materials used for the restoration and probably also present at the beginning, such as Carrara marble, Favignana tuff and oak. The splendid building can be visited since 2014, when it was entitled Observatory of Peace and Lighthouse of the Mediterranean.

  • 7 min walk from the center - Get directions
  • from April to October 10: 00-18: 00, from July to September 10: 00-19: 00, August 10: 00-20: 00
  • full € 4,00, reduced € 2,00

3 - The Balio Gardens

Another fascinating place built at the end of the 800th century by Count Pepoli. The Balio Gardens surround the area where the Venere Castle is located, and were made in the English style. They are dotted with large flower beds surrounded by large hedges, and among the luxuriant vegetation that you can admire there are holm oaks, almond trees, cypresses and pines.

The atmosphere you breathe immersed in this vivid yet elegant nature is an atmosphere of peace and serenity, where the visitor can relax and contemplate the beauties that surround him, even if he has little time available. To better accommodate tourists and to ensure all comforts, the gardens currently they also host cloisters and several bars.



  • Via S. Francesco; 6 min walk from the center - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

4 - Cathedral of Erice

The Cathedral of Erice is the Mother Church dedicated to Maria Assunta, whose origins probably date back to the th century AD, during the empire of Constantine. At that time the inhabitants of Erice began to practice Christian worship, so it seems that a church was built here using some remains of the ancient Roman temple dedicated to Venus.

Later this place welcomed Frederick II of Aragon, when he had to leave Palermo due to the conflicts with the Angevins for dominance over Sicily. Frederick II found a safe and comfortable place here, therefore, with the conclusion of the war in his favor, he wanted to leave a symbol of recognition in Erice, having the building of the Duomo built alongside a Tower, inside which you can climb 110 steps and admire the whole panorama of Erice. Over time the Church underwent several reconstructions, enriching itself with artistic details and influences, both under the Spanish and under the Bourbons.

  • Via Vito Carvini, 6 min walk from the center of Erice - Get directions
  • from April to October 10: 00-18: 00, from July to September 10: 00-19: 00, August 10: 00-20: 00
  • full € 2,50, reduced € 1,50

5 - "Antonio Cordici" Municipal Museum

Located in the Palazzo del Municipio, in the beating heart of Erice, the Cordici Museum is the place to discover the glorious past of this charming village. The name derives from the historian Antonio Cordici, who in the course of the sixteenth century took care of collecting various ethno-anthropological artifacts and assets relating to Erice in private form.

Among the precious works kept in its walls you can admire the famous Head of Venus, the goddess venerated since ancient times by the inhabitants of Erice, three majolica panels, the particular ceramic production of pottery, the Flight into Egypt, consisting of characters made of wax plastics, the Annunciation, the sculpture by Antonello Gagini, dating back to '400, hundreds of paintings by Alberto Augugliaro and many other finds and works of great value.



  • Vico San Rocco, 1; in the center of Erice - Get directions
  • from April to October 10: 00-18: 00, from July to September 10: 00-19: 00, August 10: 00-20: 00
  • full € 4,00, reduced € 2,00

6 - Church of Sant'Orsola

In the surroundings of the village, surrounded by greenery, there is the Church of Sant'Orsola, a small religious building whose construction dates back to the 400th century, with a Renaissance and Gothic aspect. Its particular position brings out all the natural beauty of Erice, with Mount Cofano as the background and the sea completing an idyllic picture.

It is a church with rather simple exteriors and linear profiles, which leaves amazed by the interiors, rich in Renaissance works and remains of medieval frescoes, relating to the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, which stood right in this place. The floor is also made with parts in majolica, while among the works that can be admired there are the statue of Santa Maria, valuable sculptures by Antonino Gagini, son of the well-known sculptor Antonello, of which, instead, is the statue of San Giovanni Evangelista, dating back to the early 500s.

  • 13 min walk from the center of Erice, near Porta Spada - Get directions
  • 10:00AM - 17:00PM
  • free

7 - Spanish Quarter

The Spanish Quarter is a military structure built in the th century. The its purpose was to house the soldiers guarding Erice, but suddenly the works stopped. The site was restored only in recent times and today it hosts two exhibitions: "Arts and crafts of the past", a small exhibition of equipment from the past, such as plows, shovels and millstones and "Erice terra di mare", the multimedia museum that tells the work of the tuna fisheries, in a form suitable for both adults and to the children.

Going to this place means you can also enjoy a magnificent view: from this point of Erice you can admire not only the Gulf of Botagia, but also the profile of San Vito lo Capo (weather conditions permitting).

  • Via Piscina Apollinis; 14 min walk from the center - Get directions
  • from April to October 10: 00-18: 00, from July to September 10: 00-19: 00, August 10: 00-20: 00
  • full € 4,00, reduced € 2,00

8 - The Cyclopean Walls

Walking through Erice you cannot fail to notice the imposing Cyclopean Walls, or the walls made up of huge boulders arranged from Porta Trapani to Porta SpadaThey were built by the people of the Elmi, in the period from the seventh to the sixth century BC with the aim of defending the city, precisely in its most vulnerable point. With the Phoenicians, subsequently, the defensive structure was further expanded and strengthened and still today engravings relating to the Phoenician alphabet are visible, near Porta Carmine.

In the past along the Cyclopean Walls there were also some sighting towers, while the stairs and openings that were to allow the passage of inhabitants and goods can still be visited today.

  • from Pota Trapani to Porta Spada - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

9 - Holy House

Casa Santa is a fraction of Erice, located just 13 km. The town overlooks the sea and therefore is one ideal destination to reach to spend a few hours on the beach. Among the most organized and well-known bathing establishments is Lido San Giuliano, where you can relax under the umbrella and eat at the tables of the adjacent restaurant, and Isla Bianca, in the immediate vicinity, with free showers and a bar. In the immediate vicinity there are also stretches of free beach.

In addition, to visit at Casa Santa there are the ruins of the Tonnara of San Giuliano in Punta Tipa, dating back to 1600, the first tuna industrial settlement in this part of Sicily.

  • 28 minutes by car from Erice - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • Free

10 - Erice Adventure Park

It is a amusement park designed for both children and adults. The park is located about 4 km from the center of Erice and was born from the commitment of some biologists who love nature and trekking. Inside you can choose to venture into a series of paths, in which to test your skills in a context of total safety. THE main routes are: Children and Junior, suitable for the little ones, who offer routes from 100 cm from the ground up to 4 m; and Top, the one indicated for children and adults, with higher levels of physical activity and routes to be tackled even at more than 10 m from the ground.

Also in the Erice Adventure Park there are many activities to be carried out: it has a picnic area, a bar, an area of ​​50 square meters that can be used as a location for parties, paths that can be traveled on foot or by mountain bike, and many other sports and recreational activities, such as archery.

  • locality of Casa Santa, 18 minutes by car from Erice. There is a shuttle to book from the Park's official website - Get directions
  • Wed-Mon 10:30 am until two hours before sunset. Closed on Tuesday.
  • Junior course € 3,00 (30 min), € 4,00 (1 h), € 6,00 (2 h); Ricci route € 11,00 (2 h); Hare Path + Archery € 18,00 (2 h); Buzzard trail € 14,00 (2 h 30 min), Fox trail € 21,00 (2 h 30 min)

What to see in Erice in one day: recommended itinerary

Start your day at Pastry of Mrs. Grammatico, a true institution of Erice and custodian of the original recipe for almond desserts. Then visit the neighbor Erice Cathedral. Now start towards the center of the village and stop to visit the A. Cordici Museum Center, full of a collection that recount the past of Erice.

For lunch, sit at the tables of Il Casale Ericino where you can taste some typical Sicilian dishes (€ 28,00).
A few minutes from the restaurant is the Erice in Miniature, that is a Sicilian-style nativity scene in which the characters and environments are made in a realistic way and with attention to the smallest details, it is worth taking a look at. The next stop is another religious building, the oldest in Erica, the Church of San Giuliano, rich in marble artefacts of great value. Now all you have to do is move towards i Balio Gardens, which will lead you to discover the eclectic Tower Pepoli and imposing Castle of Venus, from which you can also enjoy the wonderful panorama of Erice.

In the evening, return to the village and stop to eat in the Venus Restaurant, where you can enjoy excellent fish dishes (€ 30,00).

One day itinerary at a glance

  1. Breakfast at Pasticceria Maria Grammatico - Get directions
  2. Cathedral of Erice - opening hours: from April to October 10: 00-18: 00, from July to September 10: 00-19: 00, August 10: 00-20: 00 - ticket price: full € 2,50, reduced € 1,50
  3. Polo Museale A. Cordici - opening hours: from April to October 10: 00-18: 00, from July to September 10: 00-19: 00, August 10: 00-20: 00 - ticket price: full € 4,00, reduced € 2,00
  4. Lunch at Il Casale Ericino - Get directions
  5. Erice in Miniatura - opening hours: every day 10: 00-19: 30 - ticket price: full € 4,00, reduced € 2,00
  6. Church of San Giuliano - opening hours: Mon-Fri 9: 00-18: 00 - ticket price: free
  7. Giardini del Balio - opening hours: always accessible - ticket price: free
  8. Torretta Pepoli - opening hours: from April to October 10: 00-18: 00, from July to September 10: 00-19: 00, August 10: 00-20: 00 - ticket cost € 4,00, reduced € 2,00
  9. Castello di Venere - opening hours: from April to October 10: 00-18: 00, from July to September 10: 00-19: 00, August 10: 00-20: 00 - ticket cost € 4,00, reduced € 2,00,
  10. Dinner at Venus Restaurant - Get directions

Where to eat in Erice: the best restaurants

  1. The First Goddess: traditional dishes with a touch of innovation in a suggestive location
    Average price per person: € 25,00
    Address and contacts: via Vittorio Emanuele, 17 (Get directions) / tel: 0923869223
  2. The Arches of San Carlo: traditional dishes served in the stone rooms belonging to a former convent
    Average price per person: € 30,00
    Address and contacts: via San Carlo, 10 (Get directions) / tel: 3392346579
  3. Caffè San Rocco restaurant: rustic style restaurant with traditional dishes
    Average price per person: € 30,00
    Address and contacts: via Gian Filippo Guarnotti, 23 (Get directions) / tel: 0923869337

What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Erice

In Erice there are no real night clubs or discos where to spend the night dancing. The small village certainly hosts places suitable for aperitifs, with music and excellent local food to be tasted in suggestive locations, but for fun and to keep the small hours you need to move a bit, for example towards the area of ​​Trapani and Mazara del Vallo.

The best pubs, clubs and discos

  • Il Duca Wine Bar: restaurant specialized in tasting local wines and cheeses / Address: via Tomm Guarrasi, 13 (Get directions)
  • Lallabis: place suitable for aperitifs, with live music in an elegant and classy location / Address: Viale Conte Pepoli, 11 (Get directions)
  • Caloma Club: place to eat and dance until late at night, located on the pier of Trapani / Address: via Avvocato Giuseppe Palmieri, 10 (Get directions)

Plan your stay in Erice: info and useful tips

  • reachable on board the cable car that leaves from Trapani (10 min, round trip € 9,00), by car from Trapani (13 km, 25 min) or from Palermo (112 km, 1 h and 37 min). The nearest airports are the "Florio" of Trapani Birgi and the "Falcone / Borsellino" of Palermo
  • Getting around: the small village of Erice can be covered entirely on foot
  • Where to park: Erice car park, public car park near the historic center (€ 1,50 / h - Get directions). Alternatively, near the cable car, near Porta Trapani, there is a Free Parking
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 35,00 per room -
  • What to see in the surroundings: Trapani (12,7 km), the seaside town of Casa Santa (12,9 km), the Oriented Natural Reserve of the Zingaro in San Vito Lo Capo (48 km)
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