Photographing in Historic Erice, Sicily

Photographing in Historic Erice, Sicily

If you’re photo travel plans include Sicily, you will not want to miss the small, medieval town of Erice. Situated on a mountaintop near Trapani, on the southern coast, Erice is reached by car, private and public bus, or cable car.

A Photographic Jewel

This little town is a jewel for photographers. Every street, every corner you turn, offers exciting opportunities for photography, from architectural to travel to people.

The town shelters myriad churches and monasteries, but there is also a castle, stone-paved streets, houses and small boutique hotels.

It’s the People

One of my favorite things about travel photography is the opportunity to meet wonderful people, living different lives than mine, but still enjoying a quality of life that works for them. Whether children, adults or the elderly, I love peoples faces and their life experiences etched-or not etched, in the case of children- into the lines of their faces.

That is how I met a new friend, Francesco Bondi, otherwise known as Barbablu.  This wonderful man creates and sells toys he makes himself. His life motto is: “Resistere E’ Creare; Creare E’ Resistere”- “To resist is to create, to create is to resist.” How can you not instantly like a man who lives like that?

After seeing his infectious enthusiasm for his toys, for life really, out in the narrow street, I asked if I could photograph him (you must do that in Sicily in particular).  I did so for a few minutes and when I showed him the results, he hugged and kissed me in the street, laughing all the time. My wife and I spent the next fifteen minutes or so talking with him in his spare English and our non-existent Italian. It always amazes me how people can connect across cultures with nothing more than smiles, hugs, gestures and a willing heart.

Of course, I sent Barbablu’s image to his companion by Internet that evening. I will also mail him a photograph that I will print myself as soon as I get home. I feel that is our obligation as travel photographers.