Erice Pietre Antiche is a hundred+ year old property turned into an absolute gem that retains classical character while adding modern convenience.
Photography property of SVADORE
After a morning exploring the UNESCO Nature Reserve of “Zingaro,” we decided to escape the brutal summer Sicilian heat and head up the San Giuliano Mountain to the medieval town of Erice, also known as the town of 100 churches. We got there via our rental car, but you can easily reach the town via the cable car or funivia from Trapani. The 10-minute cable car journey offers breathtaking views of Trapani, the Egadi islands, and the sea, and drops you off right at the old town entrance, Porta Trapani.
We were met at Porta Trapani by Massimo, a tall brown haired man with a smile that went from one cheek to the other. Massimo is the current manager of Erice Pietre Antiche, the historic property (believe it or not it’s 500 years old, from the beginning of the 1500s!) we stayed at located in the heart of Erice. Massimo picks up all his guests from this area so he can bring them to the property and give them the lay of the land. He told us to follow his car, a big worn down light blue van (too big for the size of the narrow Sicilian streets!), down to a parking lot where we could leave our car for the night and wouldn’t have to pay for parking. We dropped off our car and hopped into his van.
The ride to the property was a true Italian experience! Imagine a huge van cramming its way through narrow streets with pedestrians and motorcyclists. Now I realized why the van was so beat up, at one point we even went in reverse and reversed through an entire alleyway!! I have to say Massimo was one of the safest and most impressive drivers I have ever met. A true Italian driving connoisseur, I felt like I was straight out of a scene of the Fast and the Furious.
Housed in a former church and merchants hostel, this 4 apartment property is dripping with historic charm from head to toe. The experience though begins as Massimo opens the door to the open-air courtyard, which sets the mood with the lovely potted plants and flowers, romantic staircase, cushioned tables and chairs and medieval feel.
As soon as we entered, Massimo sat us down in the courtyard and showed us the lay of the land, which included a small map of the city and his top 10 must eat places. This came very much in handy, especially when it came to dinner. He even offered to call the restaurant for us to make a reservation. Massimo was super helpful and available to us at all times of the day via WhatsApp. He lives down in Trapani with his family, but makes the trip up and down to Erice early in the morning and at night so he can attend to the guests and drive them to and from the city to the main gate or parking lot if need be. See below for the detailed map he gives to each guests!
Erice Pietre Antiche is comprised of 4 apartments named after plants – Ortensia, Gelsomino, Begonia and Ginestra. We stayed in the Hydrangea room – Ortensia – on the bottom floor. As previously mentioned, the apartment complex used to be a chapel, and remains of this chapel can still be seen in the bed and breakfast today (i.e. keep an eye out for the ancient cross at the top of the staircase and the two ancient tombstones in the courtyard). It eventually turned into a merchants stop hostel were farmers would leave their farm animals below and they would sleep above. Today, it is a family owned house that rents out its apartments.
At the entrance of the Ortensia apartment lies a little lounge and dining area. The kitchen is right next to it and hides behind what looks like a regular closet, but actually is a small kitchen! When you open the kitchen “doors” you will noticed that Massimo provides you with a big welcome basket should you want to make yourself breakfast in the morning or snack on something during the day. One thing to note about Erice is that since it is a small town of only 300 locals, they do not have a bakehouse. Therefore, the locals rely on Trapani for their bread supply. This makes it difficult to find croissants any time before 10:30AM..which is why Massimo leaves you a basket full of goodies. Should you wake up early from jet lag and be hungry, Massimo has got you covered.
Like the public spaces, the interior is decorated simply with a touch of medieval spirit blended in with the modern. The bedroom is well lit and equipped with A/C, hairdryer and all of ones essentials including personal wifi. The bathroom towels are neatly and exquisitely laid out for you on the bedroom, tied in tweed string, adding a very nice touch to this already simple and charming apartment. The bathroom was long and spacious offering guests a shower, hair dryer, emergency kit and other essential bathroom amenities. For being on the ground floor, the bedroom was scarily quiet! It felt like we were in the middle of the countryside it was so quite, which made for a perfect relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of Erice.
While 2 of the apartments are located on the ground floor, the other 2 are located on the second floor, where one can also find a secondary lounge area—a terrace. One can choose to enjoy breakfast or a late night glass of wine in the courtyard or on the rooftop terrace overlooking the neighboring ancient rooftops out in the fresh air.
On the day of our departure, Massimo came to pick us up and drop us off at the parking lot where we left our car. We were sad to say goodbye to him so soon. He was one of the most hospitable hosts we’ve had to this day! This property was an absolute gem that retains classical character while adding modern convenience. It is a true medieval fairytale just steps away from the castle of Venere in the heart of the ancient town. Erice truly is a town that leaves visitors enchanted. Its charm is not limited to castles and its narrow, cobblestone streets, but can be experienced through accommodations such as those at Erice Pietre Antiche.
For more information regarding Erice Pietre Antiche or to reserve a one-of-a-kind stay at the property, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Erice Pietre Antiche. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.
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