Agrigento Mini Guide
Agrigento is built on the site of an ancient Greek city. This city is on the south coast of Sicily, which is off the south coast of Italy.
Overlooking the sea, the city was constructed on a plateau in a beautiful location. Under the Greeks it became incredibly prosperous until it was sacked in 406 BCE by the Carthaginians.
Then in a conflict between the Carthaginians and the Romans, Agrigento was given to Rome
. It is such as rich historical and archaeological legacy which has made Agrigento a major hub for tourism.
Every year thousands of tourists go there, and they are seeking to combine a beach holiday along Sicily's marvellous coast with a cultural excursion.
The main site of interest is the UNESCO World Heritage listed valley of the temples. These Greek columns were built in the Doric style and have been extremely well preserved).
One of the temples was built in the fifth century BCE and converted into a Christian temple in 597 CE. Some of the temples were destroyed by earthquakes but the large and impressive temple to Zeus still remains intact.
However, there is also a darker seedier side to Agrigento. It is known to be one of the poorer neighbourhoods in Italy and for that reason organised crime has taken hold. Agrigento is used as a base from which to smuggle illegal drugs through the country.
It is possible to access Agrigento by train bus and boat but hiring a car in Agrigento gives you the freedom to come and go as you please.
Agrigento is an amateur archaeologists dream with so many ancient Greek sites to be visited. The main area that is known as the ‘Valley of the Temples’ where five Greek temples, generally in an excellent state of repair are found.
You can drive your hire car to the entrance to the valley and then walk beyond that but in hot weather make sure you take plenty of water as the area is fully exposed. To find out more about the Greek city, visit the nearby Archaeological Museum which has many artefacts found at the site.