Agrigento is Sicily’s richest
archaeological treasure and it has always described as the ‘most
beautiful city of the mortals’. The city of Agrigento originated
form the ancient Akragas that colonist from the neighbouring Gela
founded around 500 B.C., being a favourable and fertile area. The
main reason why the ancient Greeks waited so long before colonising
the area, the centre of which was Agrigento, was because its
location was inadequate to the construction of ports being along the
sea with hilly cliffs eroded by the wind. The main motivation to
develop the area was to monitor the movements of Carthage and
presenting a barrier against assailants.
The present day city reflects its glorious past in the Valley of
Temples. In it there are a series of temples which were all erected
in the course of a century (5C BC), it is interesting to point out
that all the buildings face east, respecting the Classical criterion
(both Greek and Roman) that the entrance where the statue of the god
was housed could be illuminated by the rays of the rising sun, the
source and blood of life.
Agrigento is also the place of birth of the famous writer Luigi
Pirandello, Nobel Prize winner in 1934. The house of Pirandello is a
typical example of a building of the Agrigento countryside.
Surmounting an enchanting bay, the visitor can reach the Castle of
Montechiaro built in the 15th c.B.C., to defend the land from
pirates. In the historical hearth of Agrigento, there is the Church
of St. Nicholas was erected in the 13C in a transitional Romanesque
to Gothic style. Finally a broad double stairway leads up to the
main door of the cathedral which was rebuilt in the 13C-14C.
Entering from the cloisters of San Nicola, partially housed in the
old monastery of San Nicola, there is the archaeological museum
which contains finds from the province of Agrigento.
Agrigento offers an extraordinary inheritance of exceptional
historical value amid a surrounding of breathtaking intensity and