An indispensable stop for those who want to know the Magna Graecia, a required journey for every tourist with a Western spirit, a votive location dear to the philosopher who seeks knowledge even within the volcanoes, Agrigento is the meeting point of all the civilizations that have influenced the outer and the inner scenery of Sicily and its proud inhabitants.
Destroyed and rebuilt by several civilizations before 340 BC, after this year the city relived moments of splendor, even though it inevitably decayed definitely with the advent of the Byzantines.
The ancient city was abandoned in the 9th century, and the urban core shrank and was only situated on a hill above. From this hill this people got to enjoy the true miracle for the eye that is one of the most beautiful views of Sicily: T
HE VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES.
Sicily has always been a place renowned for its natural beauty and artistic activities and thus a destination that many of you will choose for your next summer-holidays and therefore some indications on what to see might come handy. In this wonderful island you can have a swim like an Olympic champion, take an afternoon nap before setting off to one of the many nightclubs, enjoy a sumptuous meal of fish from theÂ Ionian coast (the swordfish is excellent), and here we suggest how you can spend the rest of your holiday. We have already described the touristic Giardini Naxos, the mythical Taormina, the medieval town of Castelmola, the poetic Roccalumera, the village of Calatabiano, the historicalSyracuse, the luxurious Monreale, and then Acitrezza, Acireale, Catania, Messina, Palermo, andÂ Agrigento with its Â Valley of the Temples, â€¦
Beautifully situated in front of the sea, this city was founded as a Greek colony in 580 BC and it has great well-preserved vestiges in a huge area where the ancient city stood, according to Pindar
â€œThe most beautiful city of mortalsâ€
The archaeological route is a journey through time along endless paths and scenery. It invites the tourist to go forward and admire the evocative remains of the glorious civilizations of the past. The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1997, represents the most sublime testimony of Greek civilization in Sicily.
The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is an overwhelming sight, immersed in a verdant nature, including the plants of the ancient forest of almond treesÂ, dear toÂ Luigi Pirandello, is the ultimate expression of classical Greek civilization in Sicily. Here are evidenced the forms and the memory of a perfect balance of the Temples that the Greeks erected as bastions of art and civilizations, especially regarding theTemple of Concordia, the symbol ofAgrigento and the Valley, but the othertemples are also of enviable beauty. The entire valley stands on a hillside that slopes gently toward the sea, surrounded by the riverbeds of the rivers Akragas and Hipsas. Immersed in an enchanting landscape characterized by almond trees that already in January are covered with a cloud of white and fragrant flowers. The architectural splendor of the ancient city was well known already during the Magna Graecia-era, to the point that the philosopher Empedocles wrote that: â€œThe inhabitants built as if they would never die.â€
Seven temples dedicated to specific deities stood along the perimeter of the city, giving an idea of grandeur and majesty especially to sailors who arrived to the nearby coastline. From the Middle Ages to the present day, the Valley has attracted and inspired many philosophers, writers, poets and painters. Just to mention a few of the most known: Ludovico Ariosto, Goethe, Maupassant, Alexandre Dumas, Anatole France, Murilo Mendes, David Lawrence Durrell, Francesco Lojacono, Nicolas de Stael, the poet Salvatore Quasimodo and Luigi Pirandello.
The Valley of the Temples is one of the archaeological sites that best represents the classical Greek civilization, and it was included in 1997 among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In Syracuse and in Agrigento the Magna Graecia bring the mind to archetypes that are rooted in the hearts, thus explaining, without words, where our roots are.
But this is not possible.
Since the amount of places to see and experience offered by this beautiful valley here in the heart of Sicily is equaled only by the night vision of the beautiful starry Sicilian sky:
â€¦ And you will get lost and come to understand that just one holiday for this great asset that we inherited by these noble civilizations will not ever be enough â€¦