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City Travel Guide – Agrigento Sicily
Agrigento is famous for its historical area and a haven of archaeological facts. It mirrors the past of Sicily. The city is grouped into three sections; the ancient site of Akragas where you can visit the Valley of the Temples, the hilly side where the Norman city of Girgenti was established and the more residential area near the coast and modern buildings.
There is no airport Agrigento but you can reach Sicily by plane to Trapani or Palermo and take the shuttle bus services from the airport to the city. The distance is around 155 to 180 km.
- Valley of the Temples
- San Lorenzo Church
- Agrigento Cathedral
- Porta di Ponte
- Castrum Agrigenti
- Teatro Luigi Pirandello
- Scala dei Turchi
Things to do in Agrigento
Check out our list of things to do in Agrigento, Sicily.
Wander in the Valley of the Temples
Akragas was the name of Agrigento during the Greek era, With its strong military force and a flourishing economy, the city was amongst the richest in the Mediterranean. Many of its excavated remains are present in the large park. From Doric style temples to fortified walls, catacomb, houses, and sanctuaries, These are structures built thousands of years ago and preserved until now as a UNESCO heritage site. Wandering around the valley is a fascinating experience especially if you’re into history and mythology.
Explore the city centre and its historical churches
Although Agrigento is often visited because of the Valley of the Temples, the old churches and architectural buildings in the city centre are also very interesting. Here are some of the places you can visit after exploring the Greek ruins.
- Walk the narrow streets of the historic centre and climb its staircases to reach the San Lorenzo Church. Also known as Chiesa del Purgatorio, the 17th-century Baroque style church is dedicated to Saint Lawrence.
- Admire the stunning interiors of Agrigento Cathedral or Cattedrale di San Gerlando named after the first bishop who commissioned its first construction in 1094. The church also features varied designs from the Norman to the Gothic-Chiaramonte style, Renaissance and Sicilian baroque. It is a work of art and truly impressive with its colourful windows as well as elaborate ceilings and tower overlooking a spectacular view.
- Enter Porta di Ponte, the entrance to the Via Atenea, the core of the medieval city of Girgenti and also a great place to walk and see the old city.
- Castello di Agrigento or Castrum Agrigenti is a ruined castle which was an important castle during the Middle ages in Girgenti. Another castle worth visiting is the castle of the Sicilian old noble family the Chiaramonte located in Favara, 10 km from Agrigento. It is an ideal venue for special events such as weddings, conferences, etc.
- To glimpse significant artefacts related to the Valley of the Temples, you can head to Pietro Griffo Museum. The museum holds vast ceramic collections and antique pieces found around the region.
Watch a show at Teatro Luigi Pirandello
Take a tour or watch a show at the Teatro Luigi Pirandello. The elegant nineteenth-century theatre features classical orchestra performances.
Visit the Scala dei Turchi
One of Agrigento province must-visit attraction is the Scala dei Turchi or Stair of the Turks. It was named after the Turkish pirates who found shelter here during the Arab domination in Sicily. This natural treasure offers a majestic landscape with its crystal clear water, soft fine sands, and stairs of white polished rocks. Climbing up and witnessing this beauty is truly a great adventure for its visitors.
After exploring the ancient sites during the day, start your night strolling the old town while enjoying a cone of gelato. There is also an array of restaurants serving authentic flavours of Sicilian cuisines as well as lively pubs for an aperitivo.
Foods and Festivals
In case you are visiting in March, make sure not to miss the Festa del mandorlo in fiore. To mark the arrival of Spring, the city holds the Annual Almond Blossom Festival. It is a one-week event showcasing traditions and parades of carts and musical bands.
Other festivals in Agrigento:
- Wine Festival
- Feast of Saint Gerland
- Feast of Saint Joseph – March 18 to 19
featured photo courtesy of Piyuzedo