It is located on top of a solitary mountain that dominates drills, the valley and the sea. Its origins are ancient and mysterious, shrouded in legend. On the summit was first built a temple, dedicated to a goddess of the fertile nature. It was always revered by all peoples of the Mediterranean and was its chief care protect the sailors, who from a distance noticed the fire that burned in the sacred building and which also served as a guide. Soon there was a built-equipped fortress, fought over by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans. It was destroyed by the Carthaginians in 260 BC and the inhabitants were transported in Trapani. ln the old Roman fortress was of little importance. Not so the temple, which in fact was made head of a confederation of seventeen religious Sicilian cities, permanently defended by a garrison. There has been no news of the city and the sanctuary until the time of the Arab, when the center reappears with the name of Gebel Hamed. During the Norman and during the following centuries Erice composed the urban face that has come down to us intact and that is the main attraction. All collected in a triangular perimeter, is one of the most singular of Sicily. The narrow cobbled streets, small squares, courtyards full of flowers, rich crafts including ceramics, pastries, carpets, make it a must destination of every excursion in Trapani.

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