Welcome to Erice
The town has sweeping views of the sea and the valley below, and is home to Sicily's most famous pastry shop, Maria Grammatico.
Erice has a notorious history as a centre for the cult of Venus (Astarte to the Phoenicians and Aphrodite to the Greeks). The mysterious Elymians claimed descent from Venus' famous Trojan son, Aeneas, who mentions the sanctuary as a holy landmark in the Aeneid. Acolytes here practised the peculiar ritual of sacred prostitution, with the prostitutes accommodated in the temple itself. Despite countless invasions, the sacred site long remained inviolate – no need to guess why!