Erice, myth and history: one of the most attractive place of all Italy
Erice is an amazing village, a little jewel set in the top of San Giuliano’s Mountain, where myths, legends, great events, amazing landscapes and monuments coexist. Erice is not only the Norman Castle (once it has been a Venus’ temple and, before, it has been also a Tanit-Astarte’s temple and the site of an everlasting fire for the Mediterranean’ seamen), the Cathedral or the gardens around the Castle…Erice is also and above all alleys and fog, old walls and unforgettable landscapes in which you lose the horizon’s line, and it is also a good point from where you can see the sea and the sky that sometimes appear of the same colour.
Tucidide (about 500 b.C.) told that after Troy’s fall (1183 b.C.), some Trojan came by sea and decided to settle on the top of the mountain giving life to the population of the Elymians. According to the historians, together with Segesta, Erice was the most important town of the Elymians. In this city, in Virgilio’s opinion, Enea buried his father Anchise. Not only Tucidide and Virgilio told about the beautiful Erice. Omero, Teocrito, Polibio, Orazio and other important writers could not resist to the charm of this mountain devote to love and beauty. Afterwards the Romans dedicated the town to “Venus”, the goddess of the roman mythology that is similar to the Greek Aphrodite. The temple of Venus was a reference point for all seamen and pilgrims of the Mediterranean sea that, guided by the holy fire that the priestess of Venus kept burning, came here and laid with the priestess as tribute to Venus. On the remains of this temple, in the XII century was built, by the Normans, the Castle of Venus, nowadays a symbol of Erice.
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