Erice watches over the port of Trapani from the top of the legendary Mount Erice , 750 meters above sea level. It is a medieval village with austere-looking churches and fortresses and a mountain resort charm made even more irresistible by the extreme changeability of time. Erice enjoys a view as far as the eye can see over the valley below and the sea and offers good quality restaurants and pastry shops.
Furthermore, with the funicular journey from Trapani, coming up here becomes a little adventure. Erice is historically known as the center of the cult of Venus Ericina (Astarte for the Phoenicians and Aphrodite for the Greeks). The mysterious elimi who inhabited it claimed descent from the lineage of the mythical Trojan hero Aeneas , son of Aphrodite, who speaks of the sacred temple in the Aeneid. Inside, the goddess's followers joined the “ hierodules ”, the priestesses of Venus who practiced ritual prostitution. Despite the countless invasions, the site remained untouched for a long time.
The town is enclosed within a triangular perimeter and all traffic flows into Piazza Grammatico , from which the city is accessed through the Porta Trapani . This leads to the main street of the village, Corso Vittorio Emanuele , which leads to the central Piazza Umberto I. The other main artery is Via Generale Salerno , a side street of Via Vittorio Emanuele that leads to the castle.
Erice is famous for the Frazzate , rugs made with brightly colored cotton pieces that are for sale along the main street, there are also very interesting antique shops.
Erice is a small town with a population of a few thousand people, which multiply dramatically in the summer: in August the streets are crowded until late in the evening with day-trippers and holiday homeowners who come to terms with the smooth cobbles . Wearing comfortable shoes certainly helps, and a pullover is also essential, as it can get cold in the evening even in summer.
On Good Friday, the Mysteries , sculptural groups depicting the stations of the Via Crucis, are carried in procession through the streets of the city.