Erice Science Communication and Journalism International School

About the Ettore Majorana Centre

The Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture is named after an outstanding Italian physicist.

Embracing 123 Schools, covering all branches of Science, the Centre is situated in the old pre-mediaeval city of Erice where four restored monasteries (one of which was the residence of the Viceroy of Sicily during the XIV and XV Centuries) provide an appropriate setting for high intellectual endeavour.

About Erice

According to legend, Erice, son of Venus and Neptune, founded a small town on top of a mountain (750 meters above sea level) more than three thousand years ago. The founder of modern history, the great Thucydides (500 B.C.), writing about events connected with the conquest of Troy (1183 B.C.) said: “After the fall of Troy some Trojans on their escape from the Achaei on the sea towards the West arrived in Sicily by boat and as they settled near the border with the Sicanians all together they were named Elymi: their towns were Segesta and Erice”. During seven centuries (XIII-XIX) the town of Erice was under the leadership of a local oligarchy, whose wisdom assured a long period of cultural development and economic prosperity which in turn gave rise to the many churches, monasteries and private palaces which you see today. In Erice you can admire the Castle of Venus, the Cyclopean Walls (800 B.C.) and the Gothic Cathedral (1300 A.D.). Erice is at present a mixture of ancient and medieval architecture.


Splendid beaches are to be found at San Vito Lo Capo, Scopello, and Comino, and a wild and rocky coast around Monte Cofano: all at less than one hour’s drive from Erice.

Travel Information

How to reach the school

By plane

“Falcone e Borsellino” Airport of Palermo provides international connections.

Transfers to and from Erice are provided by the Ettore Majorana Centre.

By train

From either Milan or Rome it is relatively easy to reach Erice. You must take a train to Trapani. Erice is situated on the mountain overlooking Trapani. From Trapani take a taxi to Erice. Confirm the price before taking the taxi.

By car

There are two possibilities:

1) Drive along the Autostrada del Sole via Milan-Bologna-Florence-Rome-Naples-Villa San Giovanni (Reggio Calabria); then take the ferryboat

from Villa San Giovanni to Messina and drive to Erice (350 km from Messina).

2) Take the ferry-boat either from Genoa or Naples to Palermo, and then drive on to Erice (100 km from Palermo). The places on the ferry-boat must be booked in advance.