Located on top Mount Erice (750 m or 2460 ft above sea level), Erice enjoys the view of the city of Trapani, Capo San Vito, Punta del Saraceno, the Aegadian Islands and the western Sicilian coast towards Marsala, from where the Expedition of the Thousands began.
According Thucydides, the town was founded by Trojan refugees that joined the native population and would eventually gave birth to the people of the Elymians. Important stronghold during the First Punic War, it was then contended by the Syracusans and the Carthaginians until the conquest by the Romans in 244 BC. Under Roman rule it became an important religious site.
After the Byzantine period, it was called Gebel-Hamed during the Arab occupation (since 831 until the Norman conquest of the island) and than renamed Monte San Giuliano in 1167. It acquired prestige with the construction of new buildings and churches, becoming one of the major cities of the realm and during Sicilian Vespers (1282) it became again an important stronghold.
During the following seven centuries (XIII-XIX) the town of Monte San Giuliano was under the leadership of local oligarchy, whose wisdom assured cultural development and economic prosperity which in turn gave rise to the many churches, monasteries and private palaces which you see today.
In 1934 Monte San Giuliano retook the name of Erice.
As Erice is situated on top of a mountain (750 m or 2640 ft), it is much cooler than at sea level. Therefore, it is advisable to bring warm clothing, and a windbreaker or anorak. The weather is rather unpredictable in Erice and the temperature can suddenly change. Average temperature in November usually ranges between 8 and 12 °C (46-54 °F).