Licata, discover the beaches and other beauties of this location
Among the territories that deserve to be visited in theprovince of Agrigento there is certainly that of Licata. Let’s get to know the town of Agrigento in more detail, from a historical point of view and the beauties it can offer at an artistic and naturalistic level.
Origins of the town
The origins of Licata date back to the Neolithic, when the village of Stentinello was built near Syracuse. The city has developed over the various eras, then becoming a land of conquest for the Phoenicians (between the 12th and 8th centuries BC). In the seventh century BC control passed to the Geloi, who built a fortification there to protect the mouth of the Salso river. A fourion (fortified outpost) was added to this building in the 6th century BC. at the behest of the tyrant of Agrigento Falaride. The area of Licata was later the scene of important battles including that of Capo Ecnomo, thanks to which the Romans defeated the Carthaginians and took control of the city, making it an important commercial emporium.
Licata was then controlled by the Byzantines, and then passed in 827 AD. in the hands of Muslims for about two centuries. This dominion ended on 25 July 1086, when the city was conquered by the Normans. After a difficult moment in the 1500s, during which it was almost completely destroyed, the city flourished between the 1600s and 1700s, developing within the walls (in the meantime completely rebuilt). An important area of Licata became the port, called the “Regio Caricatore” and where sailing ships arrived from all over the Mediterranean.
In 1820 Licata’s opposition to the Bourbons, led by patriot Matteo Vecchio Verderame, founder, among other things, of one of the first Masonic lodges in Sicily should be recorded. At the end of the 19th century, thanks to the connection with the Sicilian sulfur mines, Licata grew economically and then became the residence of numerous wealthy families. The town of Agrigento was also the site of an American landing on 9 July 1943.
What to see and visit in Licata
Licata boasts several very beautiful religious buildings such as the Church of Santa Maria Nuova, from the Renaissance period and famous for the wooden crucifix of the “Black Christ”. Also worth mentioning is the Church of Sant’Agostino, built in 1611 and which houses the wooden simulacrum of Our Lady of Sorrows dating back to the 1700s. In the area there is also an archaeological site of undoubted value such as the Stagnone Pontillo: an underground complex born as a place of worship and necropolis, but used during the Arab domination as a cistern. The site consists of two artificial caves carved into the rock, where there are some circular tombs and graffiti and written in different languages on the walls.
If you decide to visit Licata, it is advisable to take a tour of its historic center. An extraordinary area, for the many civil buildings in Baroque style and for how it is “dominated” by numerous twentieth-century villas. In addition to immersing yourself in the history of Licata there are streets such as Corso Roma, Corso Umberto and Corso Vittorio Emanuele that are ideal for shopping. For the evening, the lighthouse area and the Attilio Regolo square host several clubs.
The Beaches of Licata
The Licata area offers beautiful beaches. The most famous is undoubtedly the Baia della Mollarella, a stretch of sandy coast that ends with a rock called A ‘Rocca di Muddrareddra. Its fame is due to the fact that, in addition to being a beautiful beach, it was the scene of important historical events. Right here, on July 10, 1943, the American troops landed. Other noteworthy beaches in the Licata area are: the stretch of Contrada Pisciotto, the coves around Torre San Nicola and the Marianello beach (famous for its white gullies overlooking the sea).
The culinary tradition of Licata, like that of Sicily and the whole of southern Italy, involves the preparation of certain dishes in correspondence with certain occasions. For Good Friday, for example, muffulettiare prepared: circular-shaped rolls mixed with flour, cinnamon, spices and aniseed. On the first of the year, on the other hand, you usually eat u’Taianu: pasta with beef and lamb ragu with fried eggplant and pecorino cheese.
In terms of desserts, two specialties of the area are mastazzoli(cooked must, carob juice, powdered orange peel, pepper, sugar, cinnamon and flour) and minnilati(almonds, sugar, flour and grated lemon peel and various flavors ). To taste these and other delicacies, among the recommended restaurants there are: La Madia, La Bottega, Ristorante De Gustibus and La Lampara Osteria della Marina.
How to reach the location
The city of Licata is well connected with the rest of Sicily in terms of means of transport. From piazzale Martiri delle Foibe buses leave for Palermo, Catania, Agrigento and other important cities in the region. In addition, the city is crossed by an important railway line such as the Syracuse-Canicattì. To reach Licata from cities such as Agrigento, Ragusa Syracuse and Trapani, finally, just take the SS 115 Sud Occidentale Sicula.