Monday, May 7, 2018

Sicily: Agrigento

During our two week trip to Sicily, Agrigento was the farthest we ventured from the mountain village of Bronte.



I don't think the "road" from Bronte to Agrigento really deserves to be classified as a road. It was more like a winding collection of potholes. I felt like I was riding in a horse-drawn carriage down a dirt road because of how bumpy it was.

The bonus of the crazy commute through the Sicilian wilderness were the amazing views of smoking Mt. Etna. The downside was that we popped a tire on the way back. It was a miracle that it happened not too far from where we were staying, and that we were able to get it fixed before heading back to France!


Agrigento's claim to fame is its "Valle dei Templi," or "Valley of the Temples." This archeological park boasts the remains of seven ancient Greek temples (mostly from around the 5th century BC), all in various stages of restoration. The least impressive consists of a few rocks on the ground, while the most impressive (pictured above) is almost completely intact.

Besides the plentiful amount of ruins, from the park we had great views of the modern town of Agrigento and the surrounding green hills and Mediterranean in the distance. Sicily is gorgeous! Even if their roads suck. 







We started out at the Temple of the Dioscuri, of which one corner is still standing.



Nearby, this is all that remains of what was once the largest Doric temple ever constructed- the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It had giant statues holding it up in place of columns. This is one statue that's been pieced together.


The Temple of Heracles has 8 columns still standing. I caught my first glimpse of it from the gelato shop where we stopped to keep up our strength. It was a long walk through the park.


 


The Concordia Temple is pretty miraculously preserved. It sits on top of a hill with some of the best views in the park. Who needs the Parthenon? Just come to Sicily!
 







By this point we were pretty tired, but we managed to drag ourselves up one last hill and towards one last temple- the Temple of Juno.

 



 


The views of the Concordia Temple were pretty spectacular from there!

 

Here's the whole crew- it was an amazing opportunity to travel through Sicily together.


We originally planned on stopping by the modern city as well, but after hours of exploring we were pretty spent. Not to mention, no one wanted to brave that "road" in the dark.

In case you missed any of our Sicilian adventures:
Bronte
Taormina
Acireale
Catania
Syracuse

P.S. We saw some goats.




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