It seems Games of Thrones but it’s Erice! We come back to Middle Ages…thanks to actors, fencers and…tailors!

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.

Story of date lasted a weekend, not a couple of hours.

First attempt on last Saturday evening: we go to Erice by cable car, dine in a very good restaurant, it’s 22 o’clock, we hear the distant drums and we try to move towards the tam tam.

Nothing, they have passed and they’re done.

We meet a young girl in tunic whereas we are dropping the hands because of cold and nothing, the procession with the fire-eaters will pass through the square in half an hour but in the meantime we can try to go to the castle where other actors still make something, there are the stands and a theatrical performance. Come on!

…and after a long day of work they don’t wait us, they are clearing out all. While others take off their costumes we succeed to pick up a glass of Inzolia with free offer, poured from a majolica jug, so that makes the scene, and by a medieval innkeeper, which makes the scene even more.

Hey, hold it! Go back to the square, she said there are fire-eaters. We go back to square then, oh well do you think we don’t find the show already over and the flood of people who have seen it all and comments?

This “date” was a failure, only the vision of fluttering brocade drapes in the main streets remained 😦 “Honey, go for a walk in sweet little lanes, while you look in the courts I admire the knockers” and after a quarter of an hour, defeated by the cold (actually Giovanni): “Honey, let’s go back home.”

First Round End.

By the way, it’s FedEricina, an event to commemorate the coming to Erice of Frederick III and his wife Eleanor of Anjou during the Sicilian Vespers. It ‘s the first year that they do it and drew different groups of musicians, actors and fencers from all over Sicily.

Frederick III of Sicily

Frederick III of Sicily

and his wife  Eleanor of Anjou

and his wife Eleanor of Anjou

Second Round.

Two days later, on Republic Day. John unexpectedly free, weather threatening rain ‘Honey, where do you want to go?‘ … But once they do a cool thing don’t we come back? It rains and you don’t appreciate the salt pans with the clouds, then back to Erice!

Hurraaaaahhh!! The parade there’s, there’s, there’s still! We are late as usual, but we are here!!!

It’s the gathering of the “Historic groups of Sicily” and we find them during the parade in the main street, towards the Real Cathedral. It’s a show that gives satisfaction because it is really long, but not too much and you can enjoy it enough without getting bored. In addition, the street, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, is not large, so we could see the impressive tailor work and also have the nerve to touch it, so we were close. Among pearls, embroidery and metal mails it seems a (very) convent school versin of Games of Thrones.

“My” Frederick and Eleanor

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The Three Graces

The Three Graces

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Which historical episode is remembered? The coming of Frederick III and Eleanor of Anjou to Erice during the Sicilian Vespers, in the thirteenth century. But how, is Erice so ancient? Well, if you think that the first settlements were of the eighth century B.C. Frederick came yesterday practically . I don’t want to bore anyone with a long history lesson (maybe another time), Vespers was a rebellion of the Sicilians who didn’t want to be dominated by the French and asked for help to Aragon. The Sicilians asked Frederick III to become their king and he was elected officially by the Sicilian Parliament, a well-advanced Parliament, even in advance of the English one, since there was also a representative of middle class who could participate in the drafting of laws ( at least in theory). In short, Frederick agreed, and from that moment he didn’t leave Sicily, but he moved in far and wide in the island and arrived also in Erice, where he stayed to continue the war against France and against Naples.

Sicilian flag was born during Vespers!

Sicilian flag was born during Vespers!

The tower next to the Duomo in fact was a watchtower, then recycled into a bell tower. The cathedral was built by Frederick, as a thanksgiving for the hospitality, it’s a shame he used to build it pieces of the ancient Venus Temple and in fact they say that you can see much older Egyptian crosses (” they say” because I’ve been entered there only once and I don’t remember it very well, so with the excuse of the blog I sign a second visit and then I’ll tell you 😉 ). The Cathedral in reality also served to put many stones over the worship of Venus has not yet disappeared completely.

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There's also a monk! :D

There’s also a monk! 😀

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Inside it’s not like the original version, and one day I’ll run away and show it, it’s in neo-Gothic style and is all white, seems to be made of whipped cream, then you’ll understand why! I said, Frederick arrived here with his wife, Madame Eleanor, of which we know little or nothing because, although she’s the queen, she was always a woman so she’snotimportant. Bah. But we know her marriage when she ten years old with a peer and annulled because of too young age of the spouses (eh!). But she wasn’t considered too young two years after to marry Frederick and give birth the first of the nine royal puppets. I do not know how this could be interested but the gossip is always less boring than dates of Vespers.

About the FedEricina I have little to tell you bacause despite the choice of blazing sun and storm proof date, that day we caught assuppaviddani rain (drizzle that spills the farmers did not take off work) and a wind that just in Wuthering Heights, so there’s not fire shows, much less flag-wavers! Anyway we saw a beautiful medieval dance and above all, a medieval fencing duel with swords weighing 8 kg each. If there weren’t antennas on the roofs, with all the extras around, it would be really the thirteenth century, and we enjoyed it seated on the stairs of the cathedral, while the people escaped because of blows of the wind.

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Shame for their efforts but good for us because if wheater was good here would have been packed and I really don’tt like. Erice is beautiful when there are few people and you walk on the quiet lanes and can look inside a former church from the cracks of the door. Certainly I don’t recommend it in the summer, you should elbowing, literally, and you won’t see anything. In the end we even had fled and we started to walk for the tertiary streets and courtyards. Without the mini (thankfully) confusion during the parade, paradoxically, we appreciated more the medieval atmosphere, but the splash of color of the girls costumes was not bad. 🙂

Floweeeeeeeers :)

Floweeeeeeeers 🙂

Bad weather, nice guy ;)

Bad weather, nice guy 😉

While we put head in the courtyards we even asked an old man to let us admire his one, one of the most beautiful Erice according to him, but I’ll tell you this story another time!

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Always seen but never discovered (until now). Colombaia Castle.

Castello della Colombaia a Trapani

Se vuoi leggerlo in ITALIANO ecco qui.

This is a blessed event, because Colombaia was abandoned from many years (when our parents were babies) and hard to reach. Together with us there is half of Trapani citizens because the only way to reach it was the boat or choosing Jack Colton‘s alternative without heeding the danger, among rats and unsafe buildings (and somebody did it).

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The organization was impeccable, the ticket was only 3 euros, with a free contribute for boatmen (they had worked for hours and free!). Obviously we don’t go by motorboat but a little wood boat, good for ten or so people, it was nice!
This inusual view of Trapani port is touching because since we were children we saw Colombaia Castle from the port and it seemed mysteriosus and near legendary, although before your very eyes. The guides were guys of middle school, they were knoledgeable and desirous to explain Colombaia’s history. Someone of them was so young and tender that I wanted to ask if they had eat lunch or were thirsty (being seven years old child’s aunt changes you into a too sensible crazy, once I was children terror). Sorry, I’m roaming, I know 😛

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Just arrived we see this impressive castle and seagulls everywhere (rats, fortunately, no). It has a massive and very essential structure, without decorations, there are only two or three friezes used by kings of that time to say “This is mine”. A big monolith that has been a fortress, a doves refuge, a illustroius prison for queens, a fortress again, and in the end a prison for petty thieve functioning until 50 years ago!
When we enter there is a courtyard into which lead some cells, small and bare cells where tens of prisoners were piled, they have unique small window with double grating BUT wonderful sea view.
Probably the bullying was the norm in this place, times change but men no, and I imagine the “sciarre“, fights, to grab a place near the window and the poor relegated near the outhouse (turkish model, of course). And since it never rains, it pours, there were also the cells to have (all get out) company (of other 70 people) and WITHOUT window, to evade distractions, or confortable isolation cells, 1×1 metre (I swear!), without roof but with so muuuuuuuuuuuuuuch fresh air, rain included. I don’t know if they went mad before, when they were among so many people and the isolation cell was the punishment or they went mad after the isolation. Sea, cliffs, cells, terrible imprisonment….it’s impossible not thinking about Edmond Dantés and If Castle. Better no. I’m perplexed in front of the little frescoed chapel, how much did it comfort in this hell? Or maybe just for this reason it was necessary….mah

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Obviously the higher-ups weren’t like that and captain’s office had a compelling sea view and also if this was necessary to sight the enemy ships and prepare for the battle, at all for happy our. Today this is the past and we can open our eyes widely innocently in front of sea twinkle and say “ooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhh….”. If Amilcare’s soldiers knew it, they would return to throw us into the sea probably.

Captain's billet. With tiles. Better than nothing.

Captain’s billet. With tiles. Better than nothing.

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Also in the other side, close coast, there is a fantastic terrace from we can see all Trapani port. For years Trapanesi looked out he window in the port to see Colombaia Castle and that day it’s so strange recognising different parts of old town from here, we were in a postcard! If you didn’t realized it yet, this castle disputes the title of the symbol of the city with the Tower of Ligny. The ancient tower-lighthouse is visitable and maybe it was the only nice part of castle, with stars painted on the ceiling. It was built by Arabians, they liked beautiful things.

In the tower-lighthouse

In the tower-lighthouse

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Up ahead there is another lighthouse, modern, and I would have go and see it but it wasn’t possible. It’s in a thin strip of land, surrounded by sea and covered by green grass, I made to feel in Ireland, for a moment.

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…phew! Why were there these peolpe here? I would have enjoyed this place in silence and in the peace of tempestuosus wind that whipped our hair for two hours but without quiet of loneliness. (Yes. maybe this sentence is a little buttery but a visit here in solitude there would have been all over and it was very poetic even with the wind. It’s a little ‘Sturm und Drang‘)

Also the seagulls had had enough of us, that was their headquarter, there were their nests but we could come near us, because they were the masters of that island and we the intruders…

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pity that we had to go back to town knowing that Colombaia won’t be opened for other many years…..or maybe yes?

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Obviously, I conclude the post with a picture that has nothing to do, that the flowers of the Navy League

Obviously, I conclude the post with a picture that has nothing to do, that the flowers of the Navy League

If you want to correct my English (please, be kind because I’m a sensitive person and I’m learning) or suggest something, you can write to
If you want to sleep in Belveliero you can write here (write FIORE in the email 😉 )
If you prefer to sleep in Granveliero and have breakfast with me write to