Not far from the center of Erice, on the north side of the mountain, is the area of the State Forestry of San Matteo (Saint Matthew), characterized by a forest of conifers and eucalyptus.
The area is of great naturalistic and cultural interest: inside can be found the Ericino Agroforestry Museum which collects the most characteristic specimens of the local flora and fauna, as well as various ethnographic material of the ancient peasant civilization that inhabited the area.
Not far away from the Museum is a Belvedere with a magnificent view of the Gulf of Bonagia and the rolling green plains, which alternate with the rocky steepness of the Erice mountain.
The local flora is made of twenty endemic species such as the Trapani cabbage and the Sicilian Limonium. The area also houses a farm dedicated to the breeding of the Pantesco donkey, one of the oldest donkey breeds of Italy. Located near the farm are the early Christian-Byzantine ruins of the Oratory of San Matteo (6th-7th century A.C.).
Going up along the western side of the woods is the Erice Vetta cable car station, thanks to which it is possible to continue with the visit to the historic center of the ancient village of Erice.
E – Hiking itinerary
Entrance to the San Matteo Forestry Area, from via Erice (435 m)
Entrance Area D. Forestale S. Matteo \ Casa Demanio Forestale \
Agroforestry Museum \ Church and Oratory \ Belvedere \
Church of S.M. delle Grazie \ Cable car station.
The path is also accessible by MTB