City of God, City in the Clouds {Erice, Sicily}

“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe. ” – Anatole France

Truly a most enchanting place, Erice stands at the top of a mountain set in the clouds, 2700 feet above the sea. Twisting, winding, hair pin turns lead you up, up, up, to where you almost feel you've become a part of the sky. And the breath-stealing views to the earth below could put one's significance in the grand scheme into question. If you let it.

On a morning clouded in mist, with a distinct winter chill defining the air, I wandered empty, damp streets, never knowing exactly where I was going, never able to keep track of where I'd been on account of the ambling, meandering pathways that curved ahead and back upon themselves, sometimes dead ending, sometimes leading to delightful wide open squares with a church or chapel as its focus.

In four hours I walked from edge to edge with only the stray cats as company, seeing only one other visitor and otherwise encountering only a few locals. I toured churches, meandered the grounds of an ancient castle, and lunched on local rossa (red) wine and microwaved pizza (yes, I know, but it was fresh, just cooled, and while disappointing it's still better than most I've had because, well, it's in Sicily!). In the quiet, and among the ruins and remains of a city that once was that became the city that now is, I felt the whispers of the ghosts of those who built the walls to protect the land and the people that they loved. And I was glad I had paid them homage with a visit to Erice, the city in the clouds.

This is Erice, as seen from the bottom and then, right image, the view from the top.

a most enchanting castle. Fairytales were built here.

those winding streets I mentioned.


 a view of Erice from the belltower of one of the churches.


the doors and windows of Erice. You know I love me some doors and windows.

a love affair with lampposts that light the way


 some of the plentiful churches


the best cannoli are the ones that they fill right in front of you and that are the size of your forearm. This fit both criteria.

These photos were from my second trip to Erice, with Aaron this time. And the owner of this restaurant where we had lunch beckoned me over and pointed to my camera and then her pointed to Aaron, indicating I should give the camera to Aaron and come behind the bar. I did, and this was the trick he performed. What a delightful proprietor! And, by the way, I had the most delicious vegetable soup with Crostini in this big bowl the size of my head here. Fab!! And perfect for the winter day.

 the stray cats. Meow.


nature wins!

the view from the top

a little geography


Popular Posts