Agrigento

valley of the temples slide

The Valley of the Temples

Have you ever heard about the Valley of the Temples? (see the image) Even though there are many Valleys of Temples all around the world, this Valley is very special because lies in Sicily in the province of Agrigento. And if you have never heard about it, I am here for you to speak about the stunning wonders of this province and Sicilian city. Agrigento rises on the southern coast of Sicily just on the low coast of the Island. Agrigento, indeed, has an altitude of 230 meters above the sea level. The weather of Agrigento is, hence, and necessarily, very Mediterranean, with wet and mild winter and hot summer.

The Valley of theTemples 2 - Agrigento

Doric remains – The Valley of the Temples

Agrigento is the real capital of the Sicilian History and Architecture and a global showcase of the best Sicilian landscapes. The history of Agrigento is closely linked and intertwined with the one of Greece, many Greek colonies settled in Agrigento’s lands. For this reason, it is also said that Agrigento is the most important Greek city out of Greece. During their presence in Agrigento, the Greeks built many temples devoted to Greek deities. In Agrigento, indeed, the temples were entirely built in Doric style.

This style is characterized by circular rows and high columns with stairs which allow to go up to the roof and the ceiling. During the Middle Age, some of these temples were turned into churches by the Catholic Church and later, into the catacombs to bury the bodies of the early Christians. Agrigento offers also many other places to be visited, such as, for example, its marvellous beaches. But before to deepen the topic about beaches, I want to come back to the Valley of the Temples. The importance of this place is remarkable and for this, the place is also listed among the World Heritage Sites. To tell the truth, the name of the Valley is a mistake, because the temples lie, in reality, out of the Agrigento Valley, but in a ridge, a sort of low chain that colleague the plateau of Agrigento with the same Temples.

Scholars speak about a valley because the temples are disposed as contained inside a valley, hence, this name does not come from the landscape, but comes from the shape of the architectural style of the same temples. In Valley of the Temples you can see the following amazing Greek buildings: the Temple of Concordia, the Temple of Juno, the Temple of Heracles, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the Temple of Vulcan and the Temple of Asclepius. These Doric temples were built among the 480 BC and the V century BC.

Porto empedocle - scala dei turchi

Scala dei Turchi

I speak about each of them in single posts. To get a full description and images about one of these temples, please click on the words linked. Agrigento has also a port dedicated to a famous, ancient philosopher who was born in this city: Empedocles, this port is, indeed, Port Empedocles, also said Porto Empedocle. in Italian. Very attractive and evocative are also the beaches in the province of Agrigento. The coast of this province spans for over 150 kilometers. Going through the coast, you may visit the following stunning beaches: Scala dei Turchi (see the image), Capo Rossello, Porto Palo, Eraclea Minoa, Sciacca, Porto Empedocle. San Leone, Pergole, Marina di Palma, Siculiana Marina, Funcitella (see the image below) and Ribera.

Funcitella

These beaches have tiny, white sand and crystal, clear sea. Plunged into a caribbean atmosphere, these beaches are the ideal place to live a relaxing vacation in Sicily. Some of them can be very crowded during the summer, but many others are secluded and very charming.

Agrigento hotels and accommodations

In Agrigento, hotels and accommodations are expensive  in the high season, above all the ones facing the beautiful sea of the city, along the famous sandy beaches.  In the internal areas, you can also find pretty and affordable accommodations. To book them, see here.

11 thoughts on “Agrigento

  1. Pingback: Scala dei Turchi, Agrigento, another wonder of the world

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  3. Thomas

    I believe that is one of the most significant info for me.
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  4. Leanore Giarratano Hannon

    Hi, I read your article with great interest as I think my father was born in this area. I have his baptism paper that reads Santa Margarita di Belice. I am visiting Sicily in September and will be in Taomina and Palermo. Although I don’t know how much time I will have in these areas to visit, I love to try. So my question to you is how far are these areas from Sant Margarita Di Belice.
    Thank you so much.
    Sincerely,
    Leanore Giarratano Hannon

    1. Rosalba Post author

      Hi Leanore, thank you so much for appreciating my article. I am very happy to know that your roots are Sicilian. About your question, the distance of Palermo from Santa Margherita del Belice is about an hour of drive (73 kms), while the distance from Taormina is over three hours (330 kms). Hence, you had better to visit this town while your are in Palermo. I hope my reply will be useful to help you visit the town of your father. All the best.

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