Agrigento: Uncovering the Quiet Charm of a Sicilian Town – 07/2013

    Center map

    Agrigento is a small ancient town located in the south of Sicily. It was founded by the ancient Greeks in 581 BC under the name Akragas. At that time, it was one of the largest and most influential cities in the world. Unfortunately, it was completely destroyed by the Carthaginians in 406 BC, and was unable to regain its former glory.

    After being conquered by the Romans in 210 BC, it was renamed Agrigentum. Today, Agrigento is mostly known for its Valley of the Temples, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The temples date back to the 5th century BC and are considered some of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples in the world.

    Despite its historical significance, Agrigento remains a quiet and peaceful town without crowds of tourists, making it an ideal place to relax. However, if you’re looking for a beach vacation, you’ll need to travel a bit further.


    Here are some of the things you can do in Agrigento:

    • Visit the Valley of the Temples: This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to seven well-preserved ancient Greek temples, including the Temple of Concordia, which is considered one of the most perfect examples of Doric architecture in the world.
    • Explore the historic center: Agrigento’s historic center is a charming maze of narrow streets and alleys that lead to small squares and courtyards. The town’s architectural style reflects its ancient Greek, Roman, and medieval influences, creating a unique atmosphere that is both fascinating and enchanting.
    • Sample the local cuisine: Agrigento is known for its delicious food. Local specialties include arancini (fried rice balls with a filling of meat, cheese, or vegetables), cannoli (hollow pastry tubes filled with sweet ricotta cheese), and pasta alla norma (pasta with eggplant, tomatoes, and ricotta salata cheese). You can find these dishes and more in the town’s many trattorias and osterias.
    • Take a walk along the beach: If you’re looking for a beach vacation, you can take a short drive to the nearby town of San Leone, which has a long sandy beach and a number of beach resorts.

    1. As I walk through Agrigento, I can’t help but notice the stairs and more stairs. The town is quite hilly, and the steep inclines add to the town’s charm and character.

    2. The town’s layout is such that there are many slopes and descents, making for a pleasant and scenic walk. The downhill paths offer a different perspective of the town’s architecture and history.

    3. The uphill paths offer a unique and breathtaking perspective of the town and its surroundings.

    4.  Everything seems familiar and ordinary.

    5. It seems like some sort of event or celebration is taking place.

    6. It’s nice to have my own little patch of greenery in the middle of this historic town )

    7. As I look out over Agrigento, I notice a modern addition to the town’s skyline – a towering highway overpass. It’s a stark contrast to the ancient architecture that surrounds it, but it’s a reminder that Agrigento is a living, breathing town that continues to grow and evolve.

    8. As I gaze across the rolling hills of Agrigento, my eyes are drawn to the majestic Temple of Concordia in the distance. Its towering columns and intricate carvings are a testament to the skill of the ancient Greek architects who built it over two millennia ago. The temple is a striking example of the enduring legacy of the Greek civilization in Sicily, and I feel humbled to be in its presence. Despite the passage of time and the ravages of nature, the Temple of Concordia stands strong, a symbol of the lasting impact that ancient cultures can have on the world.

    R. The Agrigento Central station announces that it’s time to leave Sicily and Italy. But memories of the town’s ancient temples and charming historic center will linger on.

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