Surrounded by green, Agrigento’s rows of bland modern apartment blocks curve around Sicily’s oldest tourist site (the Valley of the Temples, or Valle dei Templi), first put on the map by Goethe in the 18th century. In ancient times, Pindar declared that the people of Akragas were ‘built for eternity but feasted as if there were no tomorrow’ – nowadays the modern town, with its savvy inhabitants, has more in common with the character rather than the aesthetics of its ancient counterpart. Overshadowed by the new city on the hill above it, the splendid Valley of the Temples loses much of its immediate impact and it is only when you get down among the ruins that you can appreciate its true monumentality. Modern Agrigento is one of the most lively and aggressive cities in Sicily and, disquietingly, has been known to harbour a number of notorious Mafia families who are reputedly key players in Italy’s narcotics trade.
Agrigento destination guides
Valley of the Temples and Villa Romana del Casale Day Trip from Taormina
Explore two of Sicily’s top UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Valley of the Temples and Villa Romana del Casale – on a day trip from Taormina, led by a local guide! After getting acquainted with Ancient Greek monuments and ruins at the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, visit the town of Piazza Armerina to see a staggering collection of Roman mosaics inside Villa Romana del Casale, a.