Travel notes

Agrigento, the rise of an important tourist center

Among the most important Sicilian turistic attractions in this particular Summer 2020, Agrigento definitely stands out, as we have already had the opportunity to talk about the initiatives promoted by the Valle dei Templi (Valley of the Temples). In addition to the archaeological park, however, the city itself has registered a positive trend, which at the end of the season demonstrates the tourist importance of the area.

As the mayor himself Lillo Firetto said, the large quantities in terms of presences and incomes deriving from the tourism sector proclaims Agrigento as a destination not anymore for “hit and run” holydays, but a real tourist center whose attractions have allowed a solid season, despite the Covid emergency.

The secret of the success of the ancient Akragas is in the mixture of culture, art, nature and pristine sea, reachable from Palermo Airport in just over 170 km. In addition to the Valle Dei Templi (Valley of the Temples), one of the most important archaeological site, Agrigento has other wonders dating back to past dominations, such as the Hypogea, dating back to 480 BC, which reveal the wonders that the city hides under its feet. These underground tunnels, dug into the calcarenite (typical stone of the buildings in the area), were initially conceived to guard the water reserves, but were later used to store food, different kind of resources and, in a much more modern era, as air-raid shelters.

Going back up on the ground, the historic center of Agrigento reveals to its visitors suggestive and typically Sicilian glimpses, where the sings of the past dominations are clearly visible. A visit to the Cathedral of San Gerlando, a majestic example of architectural mixes, and the birthplace of Pirandello, which has now become a museum entirely dedicated to the writer, cannot be missed during a tour of the city.

Between one visit and another, Agrigento also allows suggestive breaks by the sea thanks to the places nearby. The most popular is the Scala dei Turchi (currently closed to visitors), but in the immediate vicinity it is possible to enjoy the crystal clear waters of Realmonte or the unspoiled nature of the Torre Salsa Reserve, which alternates sea with typical flora and fauna of the dune environment of the area (distinctive of the reserve, the sand dunes of aeolic origin allow the growth and survival of some very specific species).

The summer in Agrigento is not over yet! Thanks to the hot climate, the city’s summer initiatives will last at least until the end of the month, with special openings, evening events and much more.

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