Erice is an ancient, pleasant very small town located near Trapani in North-Western Sicily, in Italy, on a steep hill (750 m) facing the blue Thyrrhenian sea. Erice was founded by the Phoenicians in the VII century b.C., but the Greek historian Thucydides and the Roman poet Virgil tell that Aeneas, fleeing from the burning Troy, founded it together with the nearby town of Segesta. Erice was later seized by the Romans, the Arabs and the Normans - parts of the Phoenician walls, the Roman temple of Venus, transformed into a castle by the Normans, and a Saracen castle can still be visited. The Normans included it in their Kingdom of Sicily (1130 - 1816), which, subordinated to the crowns of Aragon, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Bourbon, lasted almost until Sicily became part of the Kingdom of Italy (1860).
In 1963 the Ettore Majorana Center for Scientific Culture (now Ettore Majorana Foundation and Center for Scientific Culture, EMFCSC) was open in Erice, in synergy with CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) and INFN (Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics). Currently the EMFCSC hosts postgraduate courses on more than 100 subjects from Law to Neurosciences (divided in 'Schools'), and more rarely, conferences.
How to reach it.
The easiest way to reach Erice from abroad is by plane. Two international airports serve Erice, the airport of Palermo (the largest) ad the airport of Trapani. The Center organizes free shuttles to and from both. Another large international airport is located in Catania, Eastern Sicily, not reached by the Center shuttles. Airlines flying to Palermo are listed here (be sure to check both pages, for example Ryanair, Norwegian, Germanwings, Brussels Airlines, and Airberlin are on page 1, whereas Easyjet, Vueling, SAS, and Lufthansa are on page 2), in the web site of the Palermo airport. Airlines flying to Trapani are listed here, in the web site of the Trapani airport. Notice that extra flights are seasonally offered in summer. Besides direct international flights, another popular choice is to fly to Rome or Milan, then to take a domestic flight to Palermo (national flights to Sicily, both low cost and regular, are very frequent).