In order to visit Erice, we advice you to choose the cableway from Trapani. The climb will offer you breathtaking views above the Egadi islands and the gulf. Once arrived, you will fall in love with the little streets and the squares, which are full of churches and noble palaces which let you see wonderful lanscapes. The bell towers emerge so much that Erice is also called "the city of 100 churches", even though there are less than a hundred.
Apart from the Church of San Martino in Norman style, you should visit the Church of Sant'Albertino degli Abbati di San Giuliano and the one of San Cataldo, in baroque style. The oldest church, the Chiesa Madre, is dedicated to the cult of Santa Maria Assunta and it was built during the reign of Federico d'Aragona in the XIV century for a defensive purpose.
Its bell tower has a square plant with biphores on the sides. The facade has a big rose window and two big portals. The interior is in neogothic style and it's divided into three aisles with cross vaults.
Don't forget the church of San Domenico, which is nowadays the headquarters of Centro Internazionale di Cultura Scientifica "Ettore Majorana" (International Center of Scientific Culture).
The castle of Venus
It is another symbol of Erice. It was built by Normans in 1100 on a cliff, which will give you a panoramic view you won't forget. It's a magical place both for its position and its historical vale. The structure was built on the ruins of a sanctuary that was already built on a temple dedicated to Venus Eycina.
Garden of Bajulo
It's the garden surrounding the Castle of Venus and the Towers of Balio, which were built during the Norman period to protect the castle. The name of the towers and of the garden comes from the Norman governor, who was called "the bajulo".
The big wall of Elymian structure (VIII-Vi century b.C.) was surrounding the whole north-east side of the city, the only one who could have been exposed to attacks. There are big blocks in the inferior part, then another part was added to make it higher. The wall had towers that allowed the citizens in.
A pleasing break with local desserts
After visiting the wonders of this little town, take a break and taste the typical desserts of Erice. The historical patisseries will offer you specialties that were born from old recepies of the nuns: decorated with laces, they are rich in lemons, meanwhile the biscuits are filled with cream and sugar. The "mustaccioli" are dry biscuits: you have to eat them with a shot of marsala!