City surrounded by a mysterious charm that is lost in the myth and tales of historians of the time

A charm that is renewed and increased by the sight of its breathtaking views, against the backdrop of a crystalline sea that envelops panoramic views up to the Tunisian coasts, only 170km away from here.

If these places fascinate you, you can visit Erice with one of our tours in Sicily:

Magna Via Francigena: a piedi da Palermo ad Agrigento

What to see in Erice

Why not decide to spend a carefree day to discover the beauties of this fascinating village in Sicily?
If you want to spend a day in Erice, we have prepared a list of things to see and visit it:

  • Church of the Virgin Mary of the Assumption
  • Bell tower of Frederick of Aragon
  • Church of San Martino
  • San Giuliano Church

And now let's set off together to discover the most identifying places in Erice! 

Church of the Virgin Mary of the Assumption

First of all, we recommend a walk in the city center surrounded by the stories and charm of the Norman walls. The characteristic historic center of Erice is accessed from Porta Trapani. Then walking along a small stone road, you reach the beautiful Piazza Matrice surmounted by the lovely Cathedral and the bell tower. The Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary of the Assumption is composed of three naves in a typical fourteenth-century Gothic style. The façade is dominated by a lush rose window decorated with Catalan-style diamond ashlars. Inside, the Greek marble crosses and the marble icon depicting the Madonna enthroned in the center dating back to the first half of the 16th century are of particular interest.

Bell tower of Frederick of Aragon

To the left of the Church it is possible to appreciate an imposing bell tower. Commissioned by Frederick of Aragon in 1312, it was originally used as a defensive watchtower as can be seen from the crenelated features. In fact, from here you can enjoy a wonderful view that includes a part of beautiful Trapani on the horizon. 

Church of San Martino

To get to visit the delightful Church of San Martino, you cross the fascinating ruins of the 13th century Monastery of the Santissimo Salvatore. What is immediately striking about the ancient Church of San Martino is the unusual pink facade and the imposing, richly decorated baroque portal that stands out on the entire facade which appears bare overall. The Church, originally in Gothic style, underwent remodeling and additions during the 18th century such as the bell tower which can be admired from the outside, and the fine stuccos and frescoes which decorate the rich interior.

San Giuliano Church

The church of San Giuliano is one of the most important places of worship in Erice as can be seen from its position, built on the top of the highest hill in the area. In fact, from the small square in front, you can enjoy a fascinating view of the entire historic center. Don't be fooled by the bare facade, inside you can admire rich and valuable baroque stuccos and incredible works of art in ceroplastic. 

What to do in Erice - the Slow Active Tours proposal

Once you have discovered the wonders hidden among the narrow streets of Erice, the time has come to get to the heart of the sounds and smells of this ancient village.  

  • Visit to Castle of Venus

    The fascinating Castle of Venus stands on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess considered the protector of sailors. The structure we see now belongs to the remains of a Norman fortress, now owned by the municipality which during the 19th century reclaimed the area, restored the towers and created a garden making accessible the important archaeological finds which are kept inside, such as the well of Venus, the Roman baths and the Daedalus bridge.
    From the Castle you can enjoy an incredible view of Trapani, the salt pans and the entire beautiful Sicilian coast.

  • Pepoli Tower and Balio Garden

    Not far from the Norman Castle we find the beautiful Torretta Pepoli, an eclectic Art Nouveau building commissioned by Count Agostino Pepoli as a corner for study and personal meditation. The fascinating structure is now home to the Mediterranean Peace Observatory and is immersed in the lush Balio Garden. Inside you can see several panoramic points from which you can enjoy the wonderful view of the Sicilian coast.

  • Magna Via Francigena: walking from Palermo to Agrigento

    Slow Active Tours offers an exciting and intriguing walking journey to discover the hidden beauties of Sicily from north to south, from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. 

Popular festivals and celebrations in Erice

The ancient medieval village of Erice retains all the charm of the era intact. A translation that finds its culmination with the FedEriciana Festival. In fact, every year, from 15 to 17 September, the ancient town relives the historic event of the arrival in Erice of Frederick of Aragon and his wife Eleonora. For the occasion, the historic center comes to life in the splendor of the time through tastings of typical products, traveling shows, dancers and parades in fascinating period costumes.
The Erice summer event is the “Panino ca sasizza arrostita festival  which takes place in the small hamlet of Ballata. In fact, during the evening it will be possible to taste the succulent sandwiches made with sausage produced in the area.
The rites of Holy Easter involve the entire local community through the highly anticipated Procession of the Mysteries which takes place along the evocative and fascinating streets of the historic center of the village.

Typical disches of Erice

The typical dishes of Erice are greatly influenced by the ancient peoples who dominated this area for centuries. It is no coincidence then that seafood couscous is one of the local specialties. This Arabic dish has become widely spread in Sicily and in the Trapani area in particular, and is truly a delight for the taste buds. The fish broth flavors the semolina well.
For those with a sweet tooth, however, the sweetest and most delicious flavors cannot be missing: the “genovesi” are right for you! This delicacy is nothing more than shortcrust pastry filled with pastry cream. The particular name derives from the curious shape of a Genovese hat that characterizes these delicious Sicilian sweets.

Eating and Drinking in Erice

Here are some suggestions from the area:

Osteria di Venere in Roma street 6. Location with a typical setting, ideal for tasting excellent fish dishes typical of Erice.
La Pentolaccia in Gian Filippo Guarnotti street 17. Historic restaurant housed in a 17th century monastery, offering regional first courses, fish and desserts. Monte San Giuliano restaurant in Vico S. Rocco. The restaurant is positioned in a beautiful location, away from the tourist streets of Erice, ensuring some peace during the meal. 

So what are you waiting for? Get your stuff ready and off you go!