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On the summit of Monte San Giuliano, a 571 meters high rises Erice: Its name derives from the Sicilian-Italic Eryx, which means "mountain".

Monte san giulianoThe area, of extraordinary beauty, and naturally equipped, has been inhabited since the time of the Upper Paleolithic and Neolithic (the caves).

The town was elim, then under the influence of the Carthaginians (his temple, famous in, dedicated to the cult of fertility and love was dedicated to the goddess Astarte by the Carthaginians, Aphrodite by the Greeks and Venus by the Romans Ericina) and later by the Greeks fought for its immense riches.

Destroyed during the 1st Punic War the Carthaginians, who moved the inhabitants to Drepanon (Trapani), Erice was conquered by the Romans in 248 a.C., who reported the temple to its former glory, dedicated it to Venus.
It then followed the historic events of the island: Byzantine fu, then Arabic, then Norman. The Normans repopulated the city, and built the famous Castle.

During the Middle Ages there were built churches and monasteries, and since then, except for a few baroque palace, the stronghold and remained the same.

Erice DuomoInside the walls (of which were three gates of the Middle Ages) you can admire the Cathedral, built in the fourteenth century, the Norman Castle, the church of San Martino, Norman also, the church of San Domenico (now the Ettore Majorana Scientific Centre), the museum, and all the lovely village, the typical medieval structure.

Were the cult of fertility and love to score Erice, famous in antiquity for its shrine atop the mountain which turned sailors.

Astarte was the Carthaginians, Aphrodite of the Greeks, Ericina of Venus to the Romans: lighthouse in the Mediterranean, the temple of the goddess was probably founded by Aeneas, or perhaps by Daedalus, or maybe the local king Eryx, son of Aphrodite, who challenged Heracles to move from this place and was killed by him (and thus the city was sacred to Hercules).

Of this temple, no evidence; according to Diodorus, where stood the ancient acropolis was built in the thirteenth century Norman castle. It can be reached through the Balio gardens, amazing view overlooking the sea, where you give yourself to a horizon that takes the Egadi Islands and Mount Hood. You can walk on the esplanade of the magnificent fortress, often beaten by so foggy that thicken and thin out softly as suddenly. You try something that might suggest an altar outside as a "fake pit of Aphrodite". And it remains, instead, stunned by a place that myth, ruins and nature make turbulent and mysterious sensuality.

Venere EricinaElymian city and then under the influence of the Carthaginians, contended by the Greeks, Erice was so rich that, in 415 a.C., Segesta wanted to loan him his cup of gold and silver to impress the Athenians sent to them asking defense against Syracuse. Are around this time the city walls still run in slope, well preserved, on the western side of the town, door-to-door Trapani Sword, for about 800 meters: in the lower part, the walls are made of large stone blocks; have square towers and they open some posterns to monolithic lintel.
Destroyed during the First Punic War by the Carthaginians, who moved the inhabitants to Drepanon (Trapani).

Erice was conquered in 248 a. C. from Rome. Perhaps, then, was a heap of ruins, but the temple of the goddess was restored to its former splendor thanks to the winners.

Suetonius writes: "Claudio restored the temple of Venus of Erice in Sicily, that had fallen into disrepair due to aging, at the expense of the exchequer of the Roman people ".

He adds Diodorus: "They [Romans] passed all the peoples who had preceded them to the honors which made the goddess ".


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