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Places to visit in Sicily – Erice Castle

Italy is not that well known for its castles, but the Boot has no shortage of enchanting castles, many of which boast fabulous views of the surrounding landscape. If you are looking for places to visit in Sicily, then don’t miss Erice castle near Trapani .

Erice, or Venus, castle in Sicily is the stuff of fairytales.  The castle was built on the site of a former temple to Venus, or so the story goes.

Squint a little and it’s not too hard to imagine some knight in shining armour attempting, valiantly, as knights do, to save some golden-haired damsel in distress from a monstrous evil-looking fire-breathing dragon which has been set to guard said damsel’s honor for eternity, or at least until some brave and lustful knight comes along.

I have not seen Erice Castle in the flesh, but Pat Eggleton aka Modicana who lives in Sicily, has. She told me via Twitter that it is every bit as enchanting in real life as the photos suggest.  Pat made no mention of dragons, so the only thing which is likely to roast you on a visit to Erice Castle is the hot Sicilian sun.

Here are some photographs of Erice Castle to tempt you into seeing it in the flesh:

Enchanting Erice Castle in Sicily
Enchanting Erice Castle in Sicily

And another:

Can you see that distressed damsel?
Can you see that distressed damsel?

The dragon was using its veil of invisibility in this photograph:

The Dragon was too fast for the photographer, sorry.
The Dragon was too fast for the photographer, sorry.


Erice Castle Admission Charges

  • Adults: €3.00
  • Children: €1.50 – between 7-14 accompanied by an adult.
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(Presumably children under 7 do not pay an entrance fee – this is not clear, so please check)

  • Entry is free for those with a registered disability.

Opening Times

Take a deep breath, this is complex!

  • From January to March: Saturdays and holidays from 10.00am to 4.00pm
  • April and May: Daily from 10.00am to 6.00pm
  • June and July: Daily from 10.00am to 7.00pm
  • August and September: Daily from 10.00am to 8.00pm
  • October and November: daily from 10.00am to 7.00pm
  • December: Saturday and holidays: from 10.00am to 4.00pm

Opening hours and admission charges correct as at date of publication but may be subject to change.

Just in case refreshments are not available on site or nearby, take plenty of water and some snacks.

Have you visited Erice Castle?  If so, tell us whether you spotted the dragon? And let us know about other places to visit in Sicily too!

Oh, and this castle in Sicily looks as if it would make one fine setting for a movie featuring a dragon or too, don’t you think, you budding Spielberg, you?


With great thanks to Ms L Grasso, a participant in the Il Sole 24 Ore Cultural Heritage master, who compiled the information upon which this article is based.

Photographs used in good faith. If you took them and object to their use in this way, please contact ItalyChronicles.com. The images will be removed, if requested, which would be a great pity, or will be credited along with a link.

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