Visit Sicily South Valley of Temples, Agrigento and Piazza Armerina my experiences
Visit Sicily South we are starting with The Valley of Temples who is located immediately below the City of Agrigento.
I had an unusual impression of the whole location. It was like I went back to the 5th century BC not in Italy but somewhere in the middle of Acropolis in Greece.
Visit Sicily South – it takes a whole day, good trainers and readiness to hike if you want to see Agrigento and Piazza Armerina. You can combine it with swimming on the beach near Agrigento or you can go to see the Turkish steps about ten kilometers away from the Valley of Temples.
Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to visit them, so it is something I will do on some other occasion.
Also, you can reach Agrigento by car, and parking is guaranteed (2-5 euros). There are parking lots near Porta Quinta Sant’Anna and Temple of Giunone (Temple of Juno), and the tickets are sold Via Panoramica Valle dei Templi.
Since this location is on the southernmost point of Sicily and rather exposed to the sun without shades, you should dress accordingly and put a hat on your head.
Also regarding the price, this is one of the most expensive tours organized by agencies and it costs about 70 euros, Piazza Armerina and the Valley of Temples, without Turkish steps.
Visit Sicily – a travel to the south
The Valley of Temples
If you like archeological sites and history, then you will certainly be fascinated by the Valley of Temples. Even if you don’t like it, you will not be indifferent. This is one of the best-preserved sites and legacy from Ancient Greece.
The Valley of Temples is under UNESCO protection which speaks about its historical significance for the whole world.
As soon as I bought the ticket and passed through security gates where I was completely searched, I arrived at the first walls…
The Temple of Hera Lacinia or Juno Lacinia
Down the same, a little bit dusty road I came across the tombs from late Roman and Byzantine era
among which I could enjoy in a beautiful view of the southern coast of Sicily. I had bright and sunny September weather 🙂
So, chatting with passers-by and tourists who were there with the same goal as I was, I was moving slowly toward
Temple of Concordia
The best preserved Doric style of a Greek temple. It is really beautiful, so I am going to show you plenty of pictures of that Beauty.
You can see it on most picture postcards, photographs which represent Agrigento and the south of Sicily.
The biggest crowds for taking photos are there.
Very near, there is the fallen statue of Icarus.
Until I reached Concordia Temple, I had already spent an hour, maybe even more in this stroll, and I crossed only half of the way. Water was the only thing that could freshen me a little. If you do not like such long walks in the sun, luckily, there are “golf-style vehicles” organized, which can drive you through the whole place (inform yourselves at the box office)
Along the beaten track, I came to…
The birth house of LUIGI PIRANDELLO, Italian Nobel prize winner for Literature. This beautiful garden does not have anything to do with the Greeks, but it is nice to see it in the midst of dust and stones which the Valley of Temples is full of. But I wonder why it is there in the Valley:)
Not far from there, having crossed the bridge, I came to
TEMPLE OF HERACLES
Dedicated to the son of Zeus
The Temple of Zeus
Or what is left of it 🙂
But there is his statue in full size.
After Zeus, I just had to wait for the bus to continue my travel through Southern Sicily
Scala dei Turchi
Now, I would recommend you to go to the Turkish steps. Then, go for swim there, too 🙂
Unfortunately, I did not get to see them, but I used photos from the Internet 🙂
I think that such a beauty is not to be missed. I would really enjoy swimming here.
This is optional… it is not “MUST” if you ask me… if you like ancient mosaics, then you should visit Piazza Armerina. Personally, I was not thrilled. For that tour, you need 1,5 hours with a coffee break in an on-site restaurant.
Armerina is a town on a hill
Old and colorful
And although it looks empty at the first sight, it is very busy
However, the mosaics are not there… but in the Roman villa nearby… about 5 km away from the town.
Villa Romana del Casale
That is the original name. It was probably a hunting lodge, built for Emperor Maximilian in 4th century.
Even then, they had bathrooms, a little bit strange but drainage went one way 🙂
The most well-known mosaics are
Girls in bikinis
Hunting corridor which sprawls through the whole villa
There are plenty of them of striking beauty and colors, not to mention their withstanding the time… The walls look like they have been painted only yesterday…
These three sites plus short swimming, more than enough for one whole day.
If you are on a vacation for more then 10 days, add a combination of Selinunte, Trapani and Scopello into your timetable where the Zingaro national reserve is located – the entrance is 5 euros- and you’ll walk and swim for 4 hours.
Another day, you can go and visit the eastern and southeastern part of Sicily… it is also lively and interesting