From the Valley of the Temples to the Scala dei Turchi: here's how to get there, what to see and do in Agrigento, one of the most beautiful corners of Sicily.
Agrigento is one of the pearls ofSicily. Rich in history, culture and natural landscapes that seem to have come straight out of a heavenly dream, this city enchants with its seas, white beaches and the many legends that revolve around its history.
If you are organizing an on the road through the wonders of Sicily, know that, first of all, a lifetime would not be enough to discover it all. Yet you have to start somewhere, and that's where I come into play. After having told you about the Egadi Islands (Favignana, Marettimo and Levanzo) and the Aeolian Islands (Stromboli, Panarea and Alicudi) I will give you some advice on how to organize a mini tour in the Agrigento area with lots of advice on what are the things you absolutely must do and see in Agrigento.
HOW TO GET TO AGRIGENTO
If you live in Sicily, it's quite easy (I say "quite" because with the continuous interruptions of highways and roads all connections are becoming difficult). If instead you land by plane in Catania, Trapani orPalermo, keep in mind that there are several bus lines that connect the main cities of the island (Saisfirst of all), even if the most practical way would be to rent a car. I do not recommend the train, unless you are really a railway enthusiast.
However, I want to leave you with an idea of the itinerary which, starting from Messina, will lead you first to the beautiful areaCefaluand then, cutting across the island, up to Agrigento.After taking the A20 motorwayMessina-Palermo, exit at Termini Imerese and, go through the hinterland (wonderful!), continue towards the southern side of the island. In suchway you can pass bywe huntand admire the splendid castle overlooking the lake.
WHAT TO SEE IN AGRIGENTO
The main things to see in Agrigento are located within the historic center. The area has limited traffic, so you will have to leave your car (if you arrived with one) and then continue on foot through the narrow streets. It will be a nice walk, the main street is one and not too long. Around this there are many B&Bs, small, charming and with beautiful views.
Don't miss theCathedral of Agrigento(a part can be visited for free), thePirandello Theatre and the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, which are located within walking distance of each other. You will arrive there through small and characteristic streets (not by car).
VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES
UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, the largest archaeological site in the world, the cradle of Greece, with its ten temples dedicated to the gods of Magna Graecia, this valley is one of the wonders of Sicily ... as well as one of the must-see things in Agrigento . From the center of Agrigento, it can be reached easily either with your own transport or with the shuttles. The best time to enjoy the show is, of course, that ofsunset.
The red colors of the sun's rays that creep between the columns of the perfectly preserved temples will leave you breathless. There are two entrances (I recommend the one of thevia Panoramica Valley of the Temples) and the cost of the ticket is about 10 euros per person. You can leave your car in the large car park and then continue on foot. Along the road, you will admire theTemple of Juno, The Temple of Concord, the Early Christian Necropolis, the Villa Aurea and the Temple of Hercules. If you have time, also visit theGarden of Kolymbethrawith the Temple of Castor and Pollux (of the Dioscuri).
THE SCALE OF THE TURKS
The Scala dei Turchi is at the top of the list of things to see in Agrigento, also because you won't often see such a spectacle of nature. From the city center, it will take you about half an hour by car to get there (passing throughPort Empedocles). There are several car parks where you can leave your vehicle and then continue on foot. Well yes, because you have to walk a bit along the shoreline to reach the famous white staircase…
According to legend, the Turks (wrongly called that) climbed this ridge during theinvasions of the sixteenth century. Come fecero loro, potrete fare anche voi. Attenti perché le pareti sono scivolose! Una volta in cima, godrete di un panorama stupendo….
Among the things to see in Agrigento, the famous home of the Sicilian writer Pirandello also stands out. The house has become aMuseum, which can be visited (check the opening hours carefully because it could also happen that you get there and find it closed). Next to it, in the garden, stands the famous pine tree at whose feet lies the "rough stone” che custodisce le ceneri di Pirandello. Dalla Scala dei Turchi, si impiega circa una ventina di minuti per arrivare mentre dal centro storico di Agrigento sono quasi 4 km (dalla Valle dei Templi sono 2 km).