Sunday, May 11, 2014

Erice, Italy

Erice is a cobblestone medieval town in Western Sicily.

It's a very easy day trip from Trapani.  You can get there by bus but the best way to get to Erice is via cable car.   
The cable cars to the top

For someone you doesn't like heights, I really have to wonder why almost every trip I take involves dealing with my acrophobia.  Oh well, the ride to the top is definitely worth it. 

View of Erice from the lowlands

Erice is located on top of Mount San Giuliano, about 750 meters (2,460 feet) above sea level.  It offers great views of Trapani.

Being so high up means that quite often the town is literally in the clouds.  I'm told that these clouds are known as "kisses of Venus."  The sensation of being in the clouds was absolutely brilliant!  Unfortunately, walking next to a castle, surrounded in clouds just doesn't photograph well.  

Main city gate

The town has more than 60 churches which is quite a surprise considering the town's population is only around 29,000 people.

Panoramic view from Erice

The church of San Giuliano was built in 1076.  It is one of the first churches built in Erice.  The Baroque bell tower was built in 1770.

Lots of streets to explore

The monastery and church of San Carlo was built from 1612 to 1617.

Pepoli Castle is currently being restored and will become a "peace observatory."

The Castle of Venus is a Norman castle built between the 12th and 13th century.  The area is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Construction on the Mother Church (cathedral) began in 1312 using materials from the ruins of a pagan temple.  The Tower of King Frederick was built at the end of the 13th century.

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