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Agrigento, Sicily: Things to do, where to eat and what to see in the surroundings 

Agrigento

Have you ever considered Agrigento as your destination for summer holidays in Sicily? If you still need to, now is the time. 

Agrigento, especially its surroundings, allows you to fully experience the charm of places with an ancient history and superb landscapes

Keep reading this blog post to discover more: you will find wonders! 

What to see in Agrigento and its surroundings 

Agrigento is located on the southern coast of Sicily, kissed by the Mediterranean Sea. It is a magical place because today, the charm of the ancient world blends with the vibrant rhythm of modern life.  

Its unique atmosphere is what you need if you want to spend your seaside holidays relaxing, without giving up cultural visits and without disturbing experiences of taste

We advise you to book quickly because summer is almost here! Stay in a comfortable villa in Agrigento, which is ideal for enjoying your rest even better. 

Rest well because there is so much to do and explore here, among archaeological sites of inestimable value, enchanting beaches and social life. 

The historic centre of Agrigento 

The historic centre of Agrigento is an open-air museum. It was once called Girgenti, from the homonymous mountain towards which the population began to take refuge from the Saracen invasions, abandoning the ancient Greek-Roman centre. 

The modern city is reflected in its streets, monuments, and even in its gastronomy, which is a mixture of cultures

Sites worthy of note are undoubtedly: 

But if you like shopping on holiday to take advantage of seasonal opportunities and take home some souvenirs, then take a walk along Via Atenea. Here, you will find high-fashion boutiques, local artisan shops, and typical products that are more suitable for surrounding yourself with the city’s characteristic atmosphere. 

Walking through the streets of Agrigento, you may also encounter a unique street art experience: the Staircase of Artists

But now you have already heard the name Luigi Pirandello. He was one of the greatest contemporary writers and playwrights in Italy. He was born in the province of Agrigento, in Sciacca, and also won the Nobel Prize for Literature.  
 

In the countryside, a few kilometres from the city centre, Casa Museo Luigi Pirandello is a place to see if you want to know more about the writer. 

The beaches of Agrigento and surroundings 

The most famous city beach in Agrigento is San Leone. It is three kilometres long and easily reached by car and bus from the centre. It is equipped with bathing establishments and parking. The fine golden sand is ideal for relaxing baths and children because the water is shallow. 

The Turkish Steps of Realmonte is undoubtedly one of the most famous places in Agrigento. It has appeared in commercials, films, and television series, such as Giuseppe Tornatore’s Malena and Inspector Montalbano

It is a natural wonder to visit, keeping in mind that access to the site is limited. The Turkish Steps is formed by a high white cliff with a stepped surface shaped by the sea. It bears its name because, in past centuries, it was an easy landing place for Saracens intent on plundering the villages of southern Sicily. 

Unfortunately, the stretch of coast that includes the Turkish Steps is at hydrogeological risk. For this reason, it must be monitored both for people’s safety and to safeguard the coast’s original appearance. In fact, over time, the Scala dei Turchi has suffered from a high tourist influx and illegal building. 

Fortunately, things are changing, thanks also to the associations that protect the environment and cultural heritage in Italy. The demolition of illegal buildings has made it possible to redevelop the area and create a public belvedere.  

If you wish, you can also admire it from the sea, taking part in a boat trip

A little further from the Turkish Steps is the Capo Rossello beach. The landscape is enchanting because the rocks are red, and the sea is transparent. There is also less crowding, an essential factor for experiencing the sea with greater relaxation. 

Do you want to visit an uncontaminated place where high cliffs that plunge into the sea alternate with soft dunes? 

Then, find half a day for an excursion to the Torre Salsa reserve.  

The landscape is lush: the oasis includes typical Mediterranean crops and a garden of wild orchids. The beaches are different and varied, but have one characteristic: they are splendid but not equipped. 

We warmly suggest you visit Punta Bianca and Monte Grande. Thanks to its pristine beaches, beautiful cobalt-blue sea, and rich flora and fauna, the area could become a natural reserve. 

It is undoubtedly a place suitable for nature lovers and birdwatchers, whose icons are the archaeological site of the Castellucciano sanctuary, the white marl hill and the customs house. 

Here, you can follow trekking paths or even go on boat trips to reach other beaches on the coast of Agrigento: Zingarello and Cala Vicinzina

The Valley of the Temples 

Outside the centre of Agrigento is the Valley of the Temples. This vast archaeological site represents classical Greece and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. 

The best thing to do is undoubtedly to bring water, a hat, sunscreen, and a strong desire to explore. The itinerary is complex and demanding, especially in summer when it’s very hot. Don’t underestimate these aspects, and dedicate a day to the Valley of the Temples.  

Your discovery of the archaeological park begins at the Atenea Cliff, where the temple dedicated to Zeus and a temple in honour of the goddess Athena Lindia stood. Along the way, you will come across the remains of the Greek city: temples, agoras, and catacombs. You will also see what remains of the early Christian period, such as a necropolis. 

You can admire the Temple of Demeter, the sanctuary of the cult of water dedicated to Demeter and Persephone, and the Temple of Juno. Crossing the Hill of the Temples, you will find the Antiquarium of Agrigento and the Temple of Concordia.  

The latter is one of the best-preserved Greek temples in Europe. The oldest temple on the site is the Temple of Heracles, but the most majestic is undoubtedly the Temple of Olympian Zeus. 

After visiting San Nicola’s Little Hillock, which corresponds to the ancient upper agora, you will admire a collective space of public life in the Greek city: the Ekklesiasterion

You can complete this experience by visiting the Regional Archaeological Museum “Pietro Griffo” and the beautiful Kolymbreta garden

From Piazza Rosselli in Agrigento, you can reach the park by car or urban bus. The official website of the Valley of the Temples provides information on visiting hours and rates. 

What and where to eat in Agrigento 

You can eat exquisitely in Agrigento, just like in the rest of Sicily. 

Typical of this area are: 

The cuisine of Agrigento is a triumph of Mediterranean flavours. The undisputed protagonists are fresh seasonal products like fish, fruit and vegetables. 

For an unforgettable and refined culinary experience, we recommend lunch or dinner at one of the Agrigento restaurants, which are also listed in the Michelin Guide. 

For example, the Osteria Expanificio and Buvette, in the city’s historical centre, serves typical beccafico sardines skewers and ravioli with girgentana goat cheese.  

Il Molo is a restaurant in the tourist port of San Leone that offers a regional menu mainly based on fish. 

Also near Lido San Leone are some of Agrigento’s most active disco clubs and lounge bars, which both young citizens and tourists frequent.  

We can mention the Baraka Lounge Bar American Disco or the Boca Club. If you prefer quieter evenings and tasting atmospheres, visit the Nzolia wine shop in the historical centre to sample the best Sicilian wines. 

How to get to Agrigento 

Agrigento is easily reached from Palermo, Catania, and Trapani airports, which are well-connected to the rest of Italy and Europe. 

You can reach the city by bus or car, but in the first case, the travel time is about three hours. Renting a car is the best option to shorten the travel time and enjoy the necessary autonomy to visit as much of Agrigento’s surroundings as possible. 

What are you waiting for to book your holiday in Agrigento, Sicily? 

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