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Corridors of time

Scala dei Turchi, Valle dei Templi and other gifts from the past

Thousands of years of knowledge and wisdom crystallised into temples and sacred sites. A unique landscape sculpted by waves, winds and wars. Places where the past lends the present a unique flavour. With its wealth of museums, churches and archaeological sites, the Agrigento area is a place where time flows at a different pace. Get in tune and delve into every facet of this land, both past and present. 

The Valley of the Temples and the Selinunte archaeological park

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Valle dei Templi in Agrigento is a spectacular testimony to ancient Greek colonisation spread across 1,300 hectares of pure wonder. Take a walk among 30-metre tall columns and massive tympana and let your jaw drop in awe at the sight of the beautifully preserved temple of Concordia, or lose yourself in a distant past as you walk the golden expanse of the Olympeion field. Descend into the catacombs of Grotte di Frangipane and let your imagination run free as you sit on the stone steps of the Bouleuterion – the ancient Greek senate house.

Once a thriving Greek colony, Selinunte is now the largest archaeological park in Europe, developing across an area of 270 hectares. Its temples soar high against the bright blue of the Sicilian sky, telling a story that spans 2,500 years. The vast area can be negotiated either on foot or by electric car, and there is also a special train that covers a dedicated route inside the park.

The Stagnone Nature Reserve

Outside Marsala lies a tranquil paradise of pink salt pans, red-roofed windmills and a blue lagoon dotted with scenic islands. 
The Stagnone Nature Reserve extends from the Punta di San Teodoro beach to Capo Boeo – an important Carthaginian historical site. It offers sanctuary to a variety of terrestrial and marine species. The shallow waters are home to Posidonia Oceanica, a precious sea plant that provides oxygen to the water, allowing the survival of an impressive biodiversity. A number of bird species also thrive in the protected environment of the reserve, including its iconic pink flamingos. The inspiring landscape of the Stagnone Nature Reserve provides the perfect backdrop for a variety of activities, from birdwatching to kite surfing. 

Farm Cultural Park, Favara

This urban regeneration project situated a few kilometres east of Agrigento is the product of a family’s love for their homeland, and their determination to help it rise from the rubble – both literal and metaphoric – of a tragedy that shook the local community to the core. The Farm Cultural Park is an art gallery, culture centre, artists’ residence and culinary showcase rolled into one eclectic space within the town’s historical centre. As their motto goes: “A place that makes you happy”. 

Ribera – the town of oranges and slow enjoyment

Awarded the Slow City designation in recognition of its sustainable lifestyle, Ribera is beautifully situated on a high plateau 230 metres above the sea. The mild climate and abundant water provide a fertile terroir for growing the succulent PDO Washington Navel oranges for which Ribera is renowned. Local attractions include the Anguilla necropolis, the Foce del Fiume Platani Nature Reserve, and the Monte Sara area. 

Luigi Pirandello home and museum

The family home of Italian Nobel-winning playwright Luigi Pirandello is situated near Porto Empedocle. Declared national heritage, the 18th century villa now hosts a museum dedicated to the world-famous dramatist, where a vast collection of memorabilia is on display, including everything from family heirlooms to materials relating to his works. A multimedia tour of the house guides visitors room by room through the history of Pirandello’s life and work. The final stretch of the journey leads along a scenic footpath to a pine tree in the countryside, where Pirandello’s ashes were placed to rest.

Scala dei Turchi

Some sights stay with you forever. Scala dei Turchi is one of them. So much so that an application has been made for it to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The mighty cliff of white marl diving into the blue sea of Realmonte makes a popular literary and filming location, as well as one of the most visited sights in the area of Agrigento.

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