Castello di Venere


This 12th- to 13th-century Norman castle was built over the Temple of Venus, long a site of worship for the ancient Elymians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans. Nowadays the castle's rooms are off-limits, but visitors can explore the grassy interior courtyard, filled with ruined foundations and flanked by an impressive stone wall allegedly built by Daedalus. Stealing the show are the spectacular panoramic vistas extending to San Vito Lo Capo on one side and the Saline di Trapani on the other.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Erice attractions

1. Chiesa di San Giovanni


This church is noteworthy for its pair of Renaissance sculptures by the Gagini family: Antonio Gagini's statue of St John the Baptist, and Antonello…

2. Chiesa di San Giuliano

0.22 MILES

Built by the Normans in the 11th century, this church later underwent extensive reconstruction, including the addition of an 18th-century baroque bell…

3. Chiesa di San Martino

0.32 MILES

Originally built in Gothic style in the 14th century, this church was demolished and completely rebuilt in the late 1600s. Its bright white interior is…

4. Real Duomo

0.47 MILES

Erice's Royal Cathedral – a golden mirage of sculpted buttermilk stone and Carrara marble – was built in 1314 by order of a grateful Frederick III who…

5. Torre di Federico

0.48 MILES

Begin your Erice foray with a sweeping bird's-eye view of the medieval village from the top of this 28m-tall crenellated tower. It served as a lookout…

6. Museo Nazionale Pepoli

2.94 MILES

Tucked away in the atmospheric cloister of a 14th-century Carmelite monastery, this wonderful decorative-arts museum dating from 1906–08 houses the…

8. Villa Margherita

4.31 MILES

Trapani's majestic central park, first laid out in 1878, is a relaxing spot to lounge in the shade of centurion trees, admire and learn about dozens of…