Sicily is perhaps the most intriguing holiday destination in Italy and entire Mediterranean basin. It is a blend of ancient culture, interesting traditions, awesome holiday sites and cordial hospitality. The mild and sunny Mediterranean climate makes a trip to Sicily pleasant year-round. Even in winter tourists can enjoy different outdoor activities, from sightseeing to sun-bathing on golden beaches. Actually, this island is comprised of breathtaking coastal regions, lush fields, and plenty of tourist attractions and vestiges of fallen empires.
Agrigento (Girgenti in Sicilian language) is a picturesque town on the southern coast of Sicily and capital of the province of Agrigento. The town was established around 582-580 BC by the Greek colonists from Gela, who named it Akragas. Akragas grew very fast becoming one of the richest and most important of the Greek colonies of Magna Graecia. It was conquered by Carthaginian in 406 BC and after that it became prosperous again under the Roman rule, when its inhabitants received Roman citizenship.
Nowadays Agrigento is one of the top holiday resorts where can be spent rewarding beach holidays in Sicily. It also serves as agricultural center for the whole province. Still, Agrigento is one of the poorest towns in Italy and is negatively popular for the organized crime, particularly known as Mafia.
Agrigento is a blend of modern architecture and old buildings (particularly with medieval and Baroque architectural style), featuring a few good hotels and villas for rent. The most visited holiday attractions include the cathedral from the 14th century and the church from the 13 centuryth called Santa Maria dei Greci (Our Lady of the Greeks), settled on the site of an ancient Greek temple. The town of Agrigento also has a notable archaeological museum displaying vestiges of the ancient city.
Agrigento is a historical city settled close to Valle dei Templi (Valley of the Temples), one of the most impressive tourist attractions in Sicily. There can be admired the most impressive Greek ruins found outside of Greece. Moreover, the ancient town was so beautiful that the classic Greek poet Pindar called it the most beautiful city built by mortal men.
Temples in Valle dei Templi are unique in Italy and the entire world. Tempio di Castore e Polluce (Temple of Castor and Pollux) was reconstructed over one hundred years ago by people who did not know what they have done - they slapped together elements from diverse ruins on the site! Tempio di Giove (Temple of Jupiter) was never completed. With more than 330 feet (about 130 meters) it was one of the largest Greek temples ever built. Tempio di Ercole (Temple of Hercules) is the oldest of all religious buildings of the site and was partially reconstructed eighty years ago. Tempio della Concordia (Temple of Concord) is considered the best preserved Greek temple on Earth. It was converted into a Christian church in the sixth century and restored in the eighteenth century. Tempio di Giunone (Temple of Juno) offers exceptional views of the valley below. On its ruins, tourists can see traces of the fire that occurred more than 240 years ago.
In the entire area are numerous attractions and therefore holidays in Agrigento are very rewarding. Across to Temple of Castor and Pollux are located several smaller temples and other artifacts. The Hellenistic and Roman Quarter consists of four old streets with mosaic pavements and some Roman house foundations. Right nearby is located Museo Archeologica Regionale (Regional Archeological Museum) with lots of antiquities.