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  • Writer's pictureThe Sicilian Wanderer

Discover Agrigento: History, culture, and attractions to visit in the Sicilian city

temple valley agrigento

Today, we will discuss the fascinating city steeped in history: Agrigento.

Agrigento is located on the southwestern coast of Sicily and is renowned for its ancient Greek city, known as the Valley of the Temples. This city was founded in 581 BC by the Greeks and grew into one of the largest cities of Magna Graecia.

Agrigento's culture and art are deeply influenced by its ancient Greek history. The city houses numerous archaeological sites, including the Valley of the Temples, where one can admire the remnants of ancient temples dedicated to Greek deities such as Zeus, Demeter, and Hades.

Agrigento's culinary art is also deeply influenced by its history and culture, with specialties like pasta alla Norma, a dish made of pasta with tomato sauce, fried eggplants, and salted ricotta, and Sicilian cassata, a dessert made of ricotta, almond paste, and fruit icing.

What to see and do in Agrigento? Here are some of the city's main attractions:

The Valley of the Temples is the world's largest archaeological site and includes the remains of seven ancient Greek temples, including the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Concordia, and the Temple of Castor and Pollux. These temples were built between the 6th and 5th centuries BC and are one of the most significant examples of ancient Greek architecture in Italy.

Entrance to the Valley of the Temples costs €13 for adults and €6 for children and students. Note that this price might change, and discounted rates might be available for local residents or visitors wanting to explore other archaeological sites in the city.

The waiting times to enter the Valley of the Temples can vary depending on the season and day, but they are generally not very long. It's advisable to arrive early or book tickets online in advance to avoid queues. Opening hours: 8:30-19:00 (from 16/03 to 31/10), 9:00-16:30 (from 01/11 to 15/03).

  • Duomo of San Gerlando: a Norman cathedral dedicated to Agrigento's patron saint. Free entry. Opening hours: 8:00-12:30 and 15:30-19:30 (closed on Monday mornings).

  • Regional Archaeological Museum: displays artifacts from the Valley of the Temples and other archaeological areas in Sicily. Entry fee: 10 euros. Opening hours: 9:00-19:00 (from 01/04 to 31/10), 9:00-16:30 (from 01/11 to 31/03).

  • The Garden of Kolymbetra: is another archaeological site located near the Valley of the Temples. This botanical garden houses an ancient Roman irrigation system and a vast collection of plants and flowers. Entry to the Garden of Kolymbetra costs €6 for adults and €3 for children and students. In summary, the Valley of the Temples and the Garden of Kolymbetra are two must-visit archaeological sites for anyone visiting Agrigento. With their history and beauty, these places will offer you a unique and unforgettable experience. Opening hours: 9:00-18:00 (from 01/04 to 31/10), 9:00-16:30 (from 01/11 to 31/03).

  • Scala dei Turchi: a white marl cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Free access.

  • Church of Santa Maria dei Greci: a Norman church overlooking the Valley of the Temples. Free entry. Opening hours: 9:00-18:00 (from 01/04 to 31/10), 9:00-16:30 (from 01/11 to 31/03).

  • Birthplace of Luigi Pirandello: a museum house dedicated to the famous writer from Agrigento. Entry fee: 5 euros. Opening hours: 9:00-13:00 and 15:00-18:00 (closed on Mondays).

  • Theater of Agrigento: a Greco-Roman theater located in the upper part of the city. Entry fee: 5 euros. Opening hours: 9:00-18:00 (from 01/04 to 31/10), 9:00-16:30 (from 01/11 to 31/03).

  • Sanctuary of Demeter: a temple dedicated to the Greek goddess of fertility. Free access. Opening hours: always open.

  • Porta Atenea: an ancient gateway to the old city. Free access. Opening hours: always open.

Let's also talk about...

San Leone:

San Leone is a seaside resort located near Agrigento and offers a wide range of activities to do in the summer. Here are some things not to miss during a visit to San Leone:

  • Relax on the beach: San Leone's beach is one of the most beautiful in Sicily, boasting a vast stretch of fine sand and crystal-clear waters. Take a break from daily life and relax on the beach or take a dip to cool off.

  • Try water sports: San Leone is a great place to engage in water sports such as surfing, windsurfing, or sailing. Whether you're passionate about these sports or want to try them for the first time, look for a surf school or organized activity for an unforgettable experience.

  • Boat excursions: Join a boat tour to admire the natural beauty of the Sicilian coast and visit the most beautiful caves and coves. You can also swim in crystal-clear waters and enjoy a lunch onboard.

  • Visit local markets: San Leone hosts numerous summer markets where you can buy local products, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, spices, and souvenirs. Take the time to explore these markets and immerse yourself in the local culture.

  • Festivals and events: San Leone hosts numerous festivals and events during the summer, such as concerts, shows, and beach parties. Participate in these events to have fun and meet new people.

  • San Leone is a perfect place to spend summer holidays in Sicily. With its beach, water activities, boat excursions, and local markets, you won't regret it!

Discover it directly with the grand tour of Sicily!

With "Sicily Emotions", you'll have the opportunity to uncover the island's hidden treasures, accompanied by an expert guide who will lead you through the most beautiful and captivating places in Sicily. Starting from Catania or Palermo, you'll get to experience the magic of Sicily in all its shades, from spring to autumn. Dive into the scents of the sea and witness unforgettable sunsets. Discover the majesty of Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, and admire the art and architecture of the Baroque, Art Nouveau, and luxurious villas. Explore picturesque salt flats, the renowned mosaics, and the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, an archaeological site of immense historical and cultural significance. And the emotions you'll feel while strolling through the streets of Taormina, with its breathtaking views of the crystal-clear sea, will stay with you forever. This journey will leave you with an unforgettable experience and a treasure trove of indelible memories. Don't miss the chance to experience "Sicily Emotions", the grand tour of Sicily. Book your trip now and let the beauty of this wonderful island captivate you!


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