|One of the 10 Temples of the Valley|
|The Valley of the Temples|
The Valle dei Templi, Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Sicily, is one of the most important archeological sites in the world and a Unesco world heritage site since 1998 and if you are, like me, a romantic soul, you will fall in love with this place. It is one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture, and is one of the main attractions of Sicily as well as a national monument of Italy. The famous Valle dei Templi ,covers a huge area, much of which is still unexcavated today comprises a large sacred area on the south side of the ancient city where seven monumental Greek temples in the Doric style were constructed during the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. Now excavated and partially restored, they constitute some of the largest and best-preserved ancient Greek buildings outside of Greece itself. The term "valley" is a misnomer, the site being located on a ridge outside the town of Agrigento. The temples are actually built on a ridge south of the higher hill where the beautiful city of Agrigento stands.
|Temple of Juno|
|Remains of the Temples of "Castor and Pollux"|
|Temple of Concord.|
|Tempio di Eracle at night|
|Tempio della Concordia at night|
It was like walking into a dream location: peaceful and so surreal. A magical place.
|The Temple of Juno and the beautiful sky|
|Street in the old town|
|A Quiet street of Agrigento|
|Remain of the old city|
It looks so peaceful now but this area has been the theatre of so many war and invasions. The capital city Agrigento, or Akragas as it was called in Greek, was one of the leading cities of Magna Graecia during the golden age of Ancient Greece. Agrigento was founded on a plateau overlooking the sea, with two nearby rivers, the Hypsas and the Akragas. Akragas grew rapidly, becoming one of the richest and most famous of the Greek colonies of Magna Graecia. The city was disputed between the Romans and the Carthaginians during the First and the Second Punic War when both Rome and Carthage fought to control it. The Romans eventually captured Akragas and renamed it Agrigentum, although it remained a largely Greek-speaking community for centuries thereafter. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the city passed into the hands of the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy and then the Byzantine Empire. During this period the inhabitants of Agrigentum largely abandoned the lower parts of the city and moved to the former acropolis, at the top of the hill probably to avoid the destructive coastal raids of the Saracens and Berbers. They pronounced its name as Kerkent in Arabic, and that was thus Sicilianized as "Girgenti". It retained this name until 1927, when Benito Mussolini’s government reintroduced an Italianized version of the Latin name.
|Church of Santa Maria dei Greci|
|Typical "Carretto Siciliano"|
|A quiet vendor of water in the Valley|
From my personal experience I can say that Agrigento and the surrounding areas looked to me like a save place to visit. People were nice and friendly, at the restaurants the service was great and the food super delicious. The city was nice, pretty clean and quiet. However, Agrigento is considered one of the poorest towns in Italy on a per capita income basis and has a long-standing problem with organized crime, particularly involving the Mafia and the smuggling of illegal drugs. But as I said I didn’t see it…now I really sound like a Sicilian!! (LOL)
|View from the Hotel to the Valle Dei Templi|
|The "colazione" table|
|Dinner table at Hotel with view on the Valley|
You can find many great little Hotels in Agrigento. I stayed at The Colleverde Park Hotel. I loved it. It ‘s located on a top of the mountain overlooking the Valle dei Templi. I was lucky to have a room overlooking the valley of the temples and the ocean beyond!! A dream place too!! Loved it!!
|One of the surrounding "spiagge"|
|The beautiful blue water of the sea|
|Another beautiful view of the beach|
And to mention for sure are also the beautiful beaches all around with the transparent clean cold water. Beautiful!!