Agrigento was founded by the Greeks in 581, resting on top of a hill that overlooks the sea. Located in Sicily with the Hypsas and Akragas Rivers flowing nearby, Agrigento today is your typical Sicilian town. But, as an ancient (and important Greek settlement), there are plenty of stunning ancient temples and structures to see. It is an archaeological site where you can walk along the Valley of Temples - the best preserved Greek ruins in the world. Today, about 55,000 people live in Agrigento, and the city is known for its olive and almond production.
The Valley of Temples, (Valle dei Templi) was completed in the 5th Century B.C. This valley has numerous temples which were constructed in honour of various Greek/Roman Gods, such as Zeus. Right down the road from the Valle dei Templi, there's an archaeological museum where you can see the various statues and works that used to lie in the temples. From the Valley of Temples, there is a spectacular view of the coast below the town, and at night, if you’re driving past the temples from down below, there is a spectacular view of the giant, well-lit temples on the edge of the hill above.
Agrigento is also well known for the Church of San Nicola, which is made of volcanic rock and her fertile farmland nearby - full of vineyards and olive groves. The region is also well known for its almonds - and if you’re around in winter, you can see the entire countryside in bloom with delicate pink almond flowers. In town, Via Atenea is the main street which you can walk along to do some shopping, people watching and getting to know the locals style of life. There's also usually a big flea market in town on Fridays. The surrounding beaches with spectacular sandy white beaches are great places to cool down from hot Sicilian summers.
When you get hungry, there's fresh seafood, almonds, pasta and wines - Sicily is well known after all, for its great food. Try the pesce spada (swordfish), cooked in Agrigento with a light tomato sauce. In Sicily, there is still an Arab influence on food, and you’ll also find cous-cous and dishes with some exotic spices. For simpler meals, during the day, I’d recommend a nice picnic lunch with some fresh cheeses, salami, fruit, bread and wine. Make sure you find the local markets and sample the local produce.
Viale Della Vittoria has various bars where you can chat up the locals and people watch. There are a couple places to dance and other bars around Agrigento. For going out, the locals tend to dress up a bit more than during the day. Also I would recommend watching the sunset or rise on the beach.
If you want to learn more about mythology this is the ideal place to go. There are beautiful beaches to rest your feet after walking through the ancient temples and cobblestone streets.
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