second day of your trip, you will want to start your intensive tour of the
city. You will wake up to the beautiful vegetation and flora of the Valley of
the Temples, consisting of pistachio trees, olive trees, almond trees and wild
dei Templi (Valley of the Temple) is the most famous archaeological site in
Agrigento housing part of the best preserved Ancient Greek ruins in the globe,
more so outside Greece. This may be attributed to the fact that Agrigento had
been colonised by Greek since 6th century BC. It is among the most exceptional
examples of Greater Greece architecture and art, and is also among the main
attractions of Agrigento. By visiting Agrigento, your trip will be incomplete
if you do not get to this amazing historical site, which also happens to be a
national monument of Italy. The entrance fee is about 8 Euros.
of the Temples (which is more of a ridge than a valley) is majorly comprised of
the beautiful relics of nine sacred temples out of the original ten. The best
preserved of the relics was built in the 5th century BC, the Temple of
Concorde, which was incorporated into a church. The other temples that you will
need to have a glimpse at are the Temple of Juno, Temple of Hercules, Temple of
Zeus Olympic, Temple of Vulcan, Temple of Asclepius, Temple of Castor and
To the east
of the entrance, the first temple is the Tempio di Ercole (Temple of Hercules).
It is thin, long and around a third standing. This is the oldest of the
temples, built at the end of the 6th century BC. Close to it are some
fascinating deep ruts made by ancient carriages.
Next to it,
heading east is the large Tempio della Concorda, the most impressive almost whole
structure that was built around 440-450 BC. The narrow track continues up the
small cliffs on the ridge towards the Temple of Juno. It is partially ruined
but offers a perfect spot to look down the ridge at the other temples.
of Zeus Olympic in the museum together with Gigante recreations show the form
and size of the temple. At one time, this temple was supported by 38 gigante.
Even though it has been reduced to a mere jumble of large stones, this temple
was at one time the biggest known Greek temple in the globe.
temples, the valley of the Temples holds numerous other archaeological sites
that include the 1st century AD Temple of Theron as well as several sanctuaries
which were built in as early as the sixth century. At the western area of the
valley where the Temple of Concorde lies, are sections of early-medieval
necropolis that were constructed on existing cisterns. You will have the chance
to see some of the tombs and catacombs in the Grotte Fragapane that date back
to the 4th century AD. Guided tours of the Valley of the Temples may be hired
and audio tours are available at the entrance.
complement your trip to the Valley of the Temples you will need to visit the
archaeological Museum situated at the city centre as well as the adjacent Roman
Quarter. The Museum is approximately half way from the Valley of the Temples to
the station and houses various artifacts taken from the site. Interesting
exhibits in the archaeological Museum include a large collection of vases,
Roman mosaics and lion-head water spouts. When it was built, it was intended to
accommodate a large telamon to be constructed from pieces.
centre of Agrigento is worth a visit as well. The magnificent cathedral is
uphill to northwestern corner of the city centre on Via Duomo. It was built
around 1000AD and has since been renovated several times. Today, the cathedral
offers amazing views across the valley. It is advisable to visit this place
earlier in the day because it closes from 12-4 pm.
cathedral you may head yet to another church, the Salita Santa Maria dei Greci.
It is an interesting Norman church, built about 1000 years ago at the site where
an ancient Greek temple had been built. You will not have to worry about
entrance cost since it is free.
historic centre of Agrigento (Girgenti) in itself deserves a tour. It is
perched on the Girgenti Hills, a spot chosen for defensive and its proximity to
the new port, making it quite favourable to trade. Walking in this ancient
centre allows you t explore the piazzas, maze of tiny alleys and side-streets
of the old town. The tour begins at the Church of San Calogero, which is
located at the corner of Viale della Vittoria, a magnificent vista. You will
then proceed to the Via Antenea, the main street and the Porta di Ponte. In
case you wish to shop some souvenirs to remind you of your memorable trip to
Agrigento, Via Antenea is the place to do so. The street is lined with old
palaces, shops and shopping halls on either side.
ahead, the Monastero di Santo Spirito and the abbey Church beckon you to have a
peep in their art. They are a splendid example of prototype Chiaramonte and
medieval art in Sicily. They form the most intriguing monument of the
historical centre of Agrigento. The generous nuns at this place offer couscous
and sugary sweets as well as almond macaroon, which they prepare according to
the ancient recipes. Do not miss to taste them because you will never find them
anywhere else in the world; the ancient recipes used to make them are kept a
secret and jealously preserved.
exciting place to go is the Pirandello’s house museum. A visit to Luigi
Pirandello’s birthplace starts at his House. It was greatly restored after the
war and has been converted into a museum, displaying relics, paintings, family
photos, manuscripts, theatrical images and editions of theatrical novels and
works. From the house you will take a short path leading to the ‘rough stone’
that contains his ashes, as you admire the unique view on the ‘’African Sea’’.
A visit to
Agrigento will most definitely expose you to ancient history. By visiting all
the exciting places in this amazing city, you will have a life time experience,
and you will notice that it is worth the effort.
Planning the trip