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Casa Cifali

  • Writer's pictureMassimo

Erice the town of Venus

Erice is a beautiful hilltop town near the port city of Trapani. Originally an Elymian city, the town passed from one conqueror to another each adding to its architecture and character. There are two castles to see, one built by the Arabs, the other by the Normans. Wandering the narrow, cobblestone streets, you can see many shops, bars and restaurants, along with dozens of churches. One of the most popular attractions in this town is the delicious bakery, La Pasticceria Maria Grammatico, opened in 1950. One of six children born to a very poor family, her mother placed her in a convent at age 11. Here while living a difficult, lonely existence, she mastered the skills of working with marzipan and pasta di mandorla. Seek out this bakery to try these almond pastries. If you can’t wait to try your purchase, there is a very nice courtyard in back where you can sit and eat. You can reach Erice, which is about 750 m above sea level, by driving up a scenic, windy road or taking a cable car from Trapani. The view from this town is spectacular any time of day, but it is particularly beautiful at sunset when you can see the pink-hued Trapani salt flats stretch into the Mediterranean. On a clear day, you can also see the beaches of San Vito lo Capo and the Egadi Islands off the coast of Trapani.

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