Albeit more synonymous with the mafia, Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean sea, has whole loads to offer to cater to the different needs of individuals, family and friends! Be it history (Romans, Greeks, Normans), culture, architecture, sun and sea, trekking, volcano climbing, cuisine, tandem parachuting, name it and you probably find it! Not having more time to spend on this pretty island may be your only grouse. So, this calls for a return trip!
Here’s a look at the map of Sicily and guess the towns that we went to?
We were in Palermo only for a few hours for the transit to Agrigento and for the ferry to Naples. But for that few hours, we probably had the biggest experience of our lives. We almost got pick-pocketed while queuing at the Macdonalds in the bus terminus, we had an old stray dog following us for quite a distance before finally losing him in the crowd, we had to run like mad in the port, trying to find our ferry, only to know almost at the last minute that that was not our ferry, but the other right at the end of the port!!! Imagine the mad and desperate dash we made, before heaving a sigh of relief once on board the ferry.
But there is one gelateria near the AST bus terminus that you should go and eat its super yummy and cheap gelati while waiting for your bus to your next destination.
We arrived in Agrigento, whose ancient name is Akragas, on the southern-west of the island, which is about 2 hours of comfortable bus ride from Palermo.
Mention Agrigento and what normally comes to mind is the Valley of the Greek Temples (Valle dei Templi). I must say that it really is very, very magnificent. The scale of the area on the high grounds that overlooks as far as the eyes could strain, and the state of preservation that reveals the architecture of the temples in doric style extend far beyond our imagination as to how these ancient people had done all these without modern technology? With intelligence and physical level that surpass those of modern humanity, is no wonder that coming to the Temple of the Valley in Agrigento spells contemplation and detachment from this current world, back in time to imagine what life was like then.
Here are some photos to show what I meant.
One thing to note, if you are there during summer, the temperature can soar up to 40 degrees cel. There are practically non-existent shades, so please have water, sun-block, sun-glasses as well as wear light clothings to prevent heat-stroke.
Stay in one of the many bed-and-breakfast in the modern Agrigento, take a stroll along the lovely pedestrian streets lined by restaurants and shops. In the evening and night, be charmed by the romantic atmosphere when the locals dine under the starry skies along the streets, up the many stairs landings, some hidden behind the buildings.
I would recommend a 3 days 2 nights stay over at Agrigento, 1 with a full day visit to the Valley of the Temples and another for the modern town itself.
Stay tuned to the next article on our next recommended destination in Sicily!