Erice, Italy

Erice, Sicily, Italy

While in Italy, you won’t want to miss the medieval hill town of Erice. One of the best things to do while there is take the funivia, or cable car, from Trapani up to this hilltop town for a thrilling 10-minute ride. First Trapani telescopes into view, followed by the harbor and the salt pans to the south, with their sheets of salt in various stages of evaporation, and then the blue mounds of the Aegadian Islands out at sea.

After the ride, enter the city gate and follow the vertical, cobblestone streets to the crest of the hill and the ruins of Castello di Venere, a 12th-century Norman castle. Walk the castle walls for stunning views of Sicily’s north coast, as cove after cove of deep blue water disappears into the horizon.

Once done, head down to the heart of the hill town to explore its small shops and restaurants, such as Ceramica Ericina, which sells traditional handmade Sicilian ceramics. Pieces range from plates and serving dishes to wall decorations, and most are Majolica ceramics, which use a unique enameling process to create brilliantly painted designs.

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