Medieval Erice, high atop Mount Erice (743m/2,438 ft.), is all about views. On a clear summer’s day, you can see west to the Egadi Islands, east to Mount Etna, and south to Africa, but the town puts on a good show even in the mists and fogs that frequently roll in, with towers and craggy rocks poking through a hazy blanket of gray. Erice is an atmospheric place, where you’ll stop to admire an arch, a door, or a bell tower as you wander its steep cobblestone streets, flanked by churches and stone houses with elaborate baroque balconies packed with cascading geraniums. The city is famous throughout Sicily for its pastries, so be sure to sample such delights as tangy dolci di Badia cakes, made from almond paste and citron juice.

From Trapani, you can either take an AST bus, or choose a more adventurous option: the funivia (cableway; tel. 0923/560023). From the cable-car station on Via Capua in lower Erice, it whisks you to the top in about 10 minutes at a cost of 9€round-trip, 5.50€ one way (wheelchair accessibility available). To get to the funicular, take ATM Trapani bus no. 21 from Trapani’s Piazza Giovanni Paolo II, leaving every 30 minutes (tel. 0923/559575; fare 1.20€). Note: The cableway closes Monday mornings for general maintenance, does not operate in inclement weather, and often isn’t running when you want it to; check before going, but generally the service operates Monday 1 to 8pm, Tuesday to Friday 8:30am to 8pm, and Saturday and Sunday 9:30am to 8:30pm.