Not to be missed: Pastry, Ceramics, Castles, and paved streets like you’ve never seen before.
My favorite hill town in Sicily is overlooking Trapani and the Aegadian islands (2,460ft above sea level) in the far northwestern corner of Sicily. The medieval town is called Erice and at this summit…they spit out cookies, chocolates, and pottery!
Our first trip up here was by cable car. Twenty minutes of spectacular views of Trapani; the sea, an unlimited view of the glistening sea. But this time the cable car service was suspended because of high winds. For once we were glad to have a car, and stop off for look at the panoramic views.
Stupendous view from the Mount Erice!
The further we drove up we could see the salt flats of Trapani by the Tyrrhenian sea, another great site that we explored, and is a “must-see.”
A castle built by the Normans dominates the very top spot. Monasteries and churches are everywhere and have been incorporated into the commercial landscape.
The Norman Castle in Erice
If you know some history of Sicily, then you know that several civilizations were here: Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Normans. These cultures over time have made this place a true treasure trove of art.
I couldn’t wait to get out of the car to see the paved streets. It’s an unmistakable pattern that possibly is found only in Erice.
You can’t worry about your hair when you come here. The wind is a great hair blower and will give you that added poof look!
I have a particular fondness for pottery and there are several shops here that offer average to good quality, depending on your budget. I enjoy buying a few inexpensive small items as souvenirs that I won’t mind if they break.
I collect from DeSimone Pottery which satisfies my whimsical soul.
We are here this time in search of Maria Grammatico and her Genovese cookies. Her story is a fabulous one of struggle & entrepreneurial-ship.
Although she was busy, I was able to meet her and say, “brava” for her courage! See her incredible story at: www.italymagazine.com/…story/story-maria–grammatico.
I bought a couple of cookies from Maria’s; Genovese are my favorite, even just one hits the spot for my cookie fix. The Genovese cookies are on the 2nd shelf (below photo) looking like a plump disc. We had some earlier in Trapanni at the Wine Shop (which is family affair restaurant) and they were fabulous too.
The next time I return to Erice, I would enjoy a pastry course from Maria.
Once refreshed, we made our way out to the Piazza Umberto area where dense fog swept in… just over our heads. My husband assumed it was smoke from a pizza oven, yet there was no smell of sauce or garlic.
It was time to leave before we became enveloped into this white-out. Only after we drove away did we see a remarkable image of the cloud hanging over Erice.
This is an authentic medieval city… just under the clouds.