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The monuments of Agrigento

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September 17, 2021

The most important monuments of Agrigento

Visiting Agrigento is equivalent to taking a dip in history, especially when speaking of the Greek era. It is a city with many important monuments, with some that inevitably stand out above others. We know better the most important historical places of interest in Agrigento.

Valle dei Templi

Visiting Agrigento is equivalent to taking a dip in history, especially when speaking of the Greek era. If we talk about monuments of interest in relation to Agrigento, we can’t help but start from the Valley of the Temples. It is an archaeological site that corresponds to ancient Akragas, which is the original nucleus of today’s Agrigento. This archaeological site is the largest in the world and among the most important in Sicily. Furthermore, since 1997 it has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. In the park there are eight temples built between 510 and 430 BC. and, among these, the two that are best preserved are the temple of Concordia and that of Juno.

Regional Archaeological Museum

It is located within the Valley of the Temples and contains many finds from ancient Akragas. Among the many artifacts found in ancient Agrigento, there are some of particular importance. These include the Telamon (a stone colossus, one of the earliest human representations in a temple) and a marble statue depicting Efebo of Agrigento. Here you can also find Greek and Roman sarcophagi and a collection of ancient vases.

Scala dei Turchi

Another very characteristic place, one of the most visited in Agrigento. We are talking about a white limestone cliff, which has the shape of a gigantic staircase and which is located in Realmonte (in the west of Agrigento). Thus it has been sculpted by wind and sea over the centuries and, with its pure white, together with the turquoise of the waters from which it is bathed, it forms a breathtaking spectacle. Going up the “steps” you can admire an extraordinary panorama.

Cathedral of San Gerlando

Speaking of the religious buildings in the city, this is undoubtedly the most important. Dedicated to the patron saint of Agrigento, it is a perfect blend of the civilizations that have occupied the Sicilian city over the years. In fact, the cathedral has features belonging to the Arab, Norman, Gothic and Baroque styles.

Monastery of Santo Spirito

Among the most important monuments of Agrigento, this monastery is undoubtedly a must for art lovers. Its façade presents elements belonging to two styles also present in other religious buildings of the city, namely the Gothic and the Baroque. Inside, however, you can find real masterpieces, such as the sculptural complex with the Triumph of the Holy Spirit and the painting depicting the childhood of Jesus.

The other particularly famous place in the surroundings of Palermo is Mondello, with its white sand and rocky promontories spotted with vegetation in the distance that offer a breathtaking view.

Garden of Kolymbethra

It is a particular area of the Valley of the Temples, whose name is a Greek term to indicate the swimming pool used in Roman times for water games. After years of total abandonment, since 1999 there has been a restoration of the area in terms of vegetation by the Fondo Ambiente Italiano. In this way, it has become a place of great interest in the naturalistic field. The garden is divided into five areas, with as many types of vegetation: citrus grove, almond-olive grove, typical plants of the Mediterranean scrub, riparian vegetation and rock vegetation.

Home Museum of Luigi Pirandello

Speaking of the most important places in Agrigento, one cannot fail to mention the home of one of its most illustrious representatives. The Pirandello family had taken refuge in it to escape the serious cholera epidemic that raged throughout Sicily in 1867. Damaged in 1944 by the explosion of the nearby ammunition depot of American troops, in 1949 it was declared a national monument.

Here there are collections of photographs, reviews and honors, first editions of books with autographed dedications, author paintings dedicated to Luigi Pirandello and posters of his most famous works represented in theaters all over the world. Periodically the house also hosts temporary exhibitions dedicated to the Maestro. Since 1987 it has established a single institute with the Luigi Pirandello Library, a multimedia documentation center on the Sicilian playwright which preserves and offers a considerable variety of documents (divided into monographs, rare and valuable materials) and periodicals.

Of extreme interest are the autographed documents, mostly coming from Pirandello’s heirs: about 5000 documents, many of which are still unpublished, including letters, manuscript and typescript theatrical scripts, fragments, newspaper clippings and various personal relics, in particular the card of the fascist party of 1936, the card of the Royal Academy of Italy, the university libretto of Bonn of 1889, the notebook of Bonn and Coazze.

Rupe Atenea

We are talking about the highest point of the ancient city of Akragas. In this area the remains of a Hellenistic oil mill have been found, while on its southwestern slopes there is one of the numerous temples of the chthonic divinities (linked to the cults of underground gods and personification of seismic or volcanic forces). This temple is part of a larger structure, as it is incorporated into the church of San Biagio (small in size and dating back to medieval times).

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