Engel & Völkers Licence Partner Trapani > Blog > Valderice, the town between sky and sea

Valderice, the town between sky and sea

Valderice is a municipality in the province of Trapani founded in the 18th century at the foot of Mount San Giuliano. It offers a wonderful natural environment characterised by lush vegetation, with a great variety of flora and fauna, and unspoilt beaches with crystal-clear waters along the lush 6-kilometre coastline on the Gulf of Bonagia, as well as being an area rich in incredible finds dating back to the Palaeolithic period.

The wide valley of Agro Ericino is a great gateway to the most beautiful areas of the province: from Erice "City of Science", to the nature reserves, to the archaeological parks of Segesta and Selinunte, to the most beautiful and renowned beaches of the coast. Moreover, the municipality is part of the "Unione dei Comuni Elimo Ericini".

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After the struggles between the Romans and the Carthaginians for supremacy over the Mediterranean, Erice lost its importance and all the inhabitants began to settle in the valley and on the hills, which had always been devoted to agriculture and where corn, oil, wine and honey are still produced today.

This area thus became an agricultural centre and took the name of San Marco Paparella. Evidence of the ancient farming civilisation are the numerous rural buildings known as 'Bagli'.

In 1943, after the end of Fascism, the municipal administration was reconstituted in Erice and in 1946, at the time of the first political elections, the position of Erice as the capital of the area was questioned, which led to the administrative autonomy of the various districts belonging to the territory.

On 28 January 1955, it was the turn of San Marco Paparella, the last municipality to become autonomous, which took the name Valderice on 25 January 1958, a clear topographical reference to the town above Erice.

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The town's architectural heritage includes several aristocratic villas from the 19th century, surrounded by large parks and gardens, some of which are still in excellent condition. Among the artistic riches of Valderice there are also some churches. The most important are: the Sanctuary of "Nostra Signora della Misericordia", the Church of "Sant'Andrea", the Church of "Maria S.S. della Purità" and the Church of "Cristo Re", in the centre of the town, overlooking the square of the same name.

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In the hamlet of Bonagia, in front of a charming little harbour, stands the "Tonnara di Bonagia", one of the most important and oldest in the area, which in the 16th century was a Baglio with the dual function of a production centre and a defence post. All that remains of this ancient structure is the watchtower (one of the most beautiful and best preserved in western Sicily), a church and a central courtyard. Inside the tower, from 2019, is the Museum of Maritime Activities, which houses ancient tools for fishing and tuna processing.

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Over time, Valderice has established itself as a town with a lively character that distinguishes and enhances it, not only for the involvement of tourists and holidaymakers, but also for a better quality of life for residents. Numerous cultural, artistic and sporting events take place throughout the year, including the prestigious "Estate Valdericina" event which takes place in the On. Nino Croce Amphitheatre, the Carnival float parade, the historic "Monte Erice" car race, and various cultural initiatives held at the "Molino Excelsior".

All this and much more have made it one of the most popular holiday resorts for tourists and locals, especially during the summer.

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