April 21, 2020
Sicily is the only major place where I travelled before the Quarantine set in for everywhere in Italy, 2020. However, Sicily is such a unique part of Italy. There are so many places to experience. Even in a short 9 nights, I managed to find a few hidden gems. My friends Linda Chartier Scala and Bruno Scala were an irreplaceable assistance to me. Grazie mille, amici! Thank you so much, my friends.
Travel with me as we drove to a distant locale in southwestern Sicily. Originally, we had considered a visit the temples of Agrigento.
But while we traveled with Linda’s friend, Tom, we changed plans. It was a beautiful day.
The scenery along the road was incredible.
We all fell in love with this derelict home.
And we kept driving. We discussed Trapani and Erice, Trapani on the sea and Erice on top of a mountain. We kept driving until we saw Erice before us. We drove the switchbacks up and up.
The views were incredible. They should be at 751 Meters (2465 Feet) above the sea. This ancient town was an important locale even in the Bronze Era. During the medieval period, Norman Invaders captured the town and re-constructed much of it, designing it completely for defense.
Walk with me through the Norman gate above and along narrow, winding streets uphill and curved.
There was a place for a quick meal at the entrance and we were hungry. But we wanted to explore a bit and find places where the locals eat. Our first stop was a Pasticceria, La Pasticceria di Maria Grammatico. What a sight for your sweet tooth!
It was almost too beautiful to eat.
I may have been drooling.
I think this was my order, below.
Perhaps I shared some with Linda and Tom. I know I took some to my room that night. They went very well with caffe.
We really did not eat too much here. It was just a bit of a morning snack. Now fortified and caffeinated, we continued exploring these medieval streets.
We came upon a church.
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta was built in the 1300s by the Normans. The architecture against the deep blue sky made it even more ethereal for me. I am a nut for pillars, arches, and bell towers.
It is a nice change from all the baroque designs I have seen so much of in Sicily.
The views from the area around the church was absolutely spectacular.
It felt as though we were in an eagle’s aerie high above the world.
All the fresh air stimulated our appetites. We asked some locals for a good place for pranzo, the main meal at lunch time. They directed us to Ristorante Monte San Giuliano, named for the mountain we were on and the saint it had been named after. We stepped down and entered for a pasta extravaganza.
We were not disappointed.
Fettuccini ai Sapori di Bosco, (tomatoes, onions, meat sauce, chestnuts and parsley).
Everything was fabuloso!!!!! When you visit Erice, eat here. It is not inexpensive, but it is authentic and wonderful. The people who had recommended it also followed us in for their main meal of the day. Eating where the locals eat is the best way to find truly authentic meals.
As we toddled along the ancient, winding streets,
we discovered modern street art.
And unusual store fronts.
It was getting late and we wanted to exit Erice to see a bit of Trapani and head east to Ortigia.
As we walked toward the car park, we saw this.
Apparently, it is an ideal place for jumping and flying down. Old vs. New. An eagle’s aerie vs. today’s youth. It is the story of life in Italy.
As we began our descent, we were halted by some fluffy beasts
crossing the road.
It was surreal to experience what we think of as “real life” inside a car, stopped this way and with such a view. After about 5 minutes or so, they passed, and we were able to switchback all the way down to the sea. We had little time to spend in Trapani as it was getting late and we had a good, long drive.
The sun set before I arrived at my B&B in Ortigia. It was a nearly perfect day. I loved Erice and will return for an overnight in the future. I hope you will have that adventure too.
Thanks for experiencing Erice with me.
Ciao for now!
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Ciao for Now!
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