Sicily’s Hilltop Town of Erice

The small medieval town of Erice sits high on the top of Monte San Giuliano overlooking Trapani in Western Sicily.

As we follow the narrow windy road to the top, my pleas to stop for a photo fall on deaf ears until thankfully, just near a field of bright red poppies, there is room to pull over! Poppies cover the island of Sicily and in early summer they brighten the landscape wherever we go.

Poppy fields on the way to Erice


Erice is the quintessential tourist village. Just inside the Porta Trapani, we see the beautiful old stone church, the Chiesa Madre that was built in 1314. It has pride of place in the square with its bell tower at its side.  

Chiesa Madre in Erice


From there we meander through the paved alleyways and narrow streets of the town. 

Erice in Sicily


Streets of Erice in Sicily


Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the main street, is lined with souvenir and pastry shops, none more famous than the Pasticerria di Maria Grammatico. Drool over plates of home made biscotti in the window then descend into the shop to buy a selection for the trip home.

Pasticerria di Maria Grammatico in Erice



Biscotti at Pasticerria di Maria Grammatico In Erice


Biscotti at Pasticerria di Maria Grammatico In Erice


Biscotti at Pasticerria di Maria Grammatico In Erice

Our selection of biscotti

Mamma Maria

Mamma Maria wraps our biscotti!



Erice can often have its head in the clouds but on a clear day, the views are spectacular.

View towards Monte Coffano and San Vito from Erice

View towards Monte Coffano and San Vito from Erice


Need to know:
A cable car runs from Trapani to Erice- weather permitting
Closed Mondays

Walking maps of Erice can be obtained from the tourist information office.


Related articles: 
Day trips from Trapani
Memories of Sicily
The Golden Mosaics of Monreale Cathedral
The Characters of Trapani





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17 Responses to Sicily’s Hilltop Town of Erice

  1. Denise Hammond April 5, 2014 at 7:14 am #

    Love, love, love your photos. Looking forward to following you this month. I am travelling in Switzerland and Germany for A to Z.

    • Jenny Freedman April 5, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

      Thanks Denise. I’ll pop over to see where you’re taking us this month!

  2. Birgit April 5, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    beautiful, serene, inviting and scrumptious

    • Jenny Freedman April 5, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

      Definitely scrumptious Birgit!

  3. Ann April 6, 2014 at 12:27 am #

    Love everything about this. The scenery, the food, the poppies! Perfect.

    • Jenny Freedman April 6, 2014 at 7:28 am #

      Thanks Ann. It was a great day trip to do from our base in Trapani.

  4. Amanda April 6, 2014 at 1:17 am #

    Wow!! What an absolutely stunning place. My husband and I have not had a chance to travel to Europe yet, but I want to so badly. These pictures just fuel that fire! Thank you for sharing.
    Amanda at His and Her Hobbies

    • Jenny Freedman April 6, 2014 at 7:24 am #

      Thanks for stopping by Amanda. The catch is that once you start travelling to Europe, you won’t want to stop!

  5. Calli April 6, 2014 at 1:42 am #

    Great post – your pictures take me right back to Sicily! We were just there in January and I loved exploring the small little towns with their winding cobblestone streets and stone buildings. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to Erice, maybe next time 🙂

    • Jenny Freedman April 6, 2014 at 7:26 am #

      Isn’t Sicily fantastic. We spent 6 weeks there are couple of years ago and I think it’s time to return! maybe Erice will be on your list when you go back there!

  6. Corinne April 6, 2014 at 3:30 am #

    Jenny, I didn’t go to Erice when I visited Sicily,but those pastries look scrumptious.

    • Jenny Freedman April 6, 2014 at 7:27 am #

      They were delicious Corinne. Erice an be swarming with tourists but we were lucky that there weren’t many the day we visited!

  7. Adrian Mendoza April 6, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    The place looks awesome! One thing i look forward to when travelling is also the foods.

    • Jenny Freedman April 7, 2014 at 9:10 am #

      Food is a great part of my travels too Adrian. Sicily was fantastic food wise! Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Rhonda Albom April 6, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    As we traveled through Europe I never got tired of seeing the ole Medieval towns, each having similarities, but really being different. That church looks amazing, and the field of poppies makes me glad someone finally listened and stopped for a photo.

    • Jenny Freedman April 7, 2014 at 9:08 am #

      I’m glad my husband stopped too Rhonda.In all fairness,it was more about finding a suitable places to stop on the windy road that not wanting too! It is a lovely old town though these days I wonder how many people actually live here.

  9. Ben April 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    Wow! This place is great 🙂 specially the Medieval towns, very stunning.

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