Travel

A trip to Sicily – Pt 4: Selinunte and Agrigento

Welcome back to my little corner of the internet!

Today we are going to drive to Agrigento and its Valley of Temples. We leave Trapani behind. If you want to see what to do in Trapani, check out the previous post.

Selinunte is a one-hour drive away from Trapani and takes you through the fields of Sicily. It used to be  one of the major cities on the island. With a staggering 30,000 inhabitants (excluding slaves). Nowadays, you drive through a couple of villages, through the absolute nothingness to reach a perfect location.

Upon entering the archaeological complex, which covers the surface of the whole city, you immediately understand why this location was chosen by the Ancient Greeks. It is right on the seaside, with a gorgeous view on the sea and a beach right in front of your Greek doorstep. Too bad that you can’t live there now, otherwise I would have immediately bought a house with a view.

On some of the columns and stones you can still see the colours from their past glory. Nowadays, we enjoy the bright white Greek temples and buildings, but back in the day they were thoroughly painted in bright colours.

You can also see a few almost intact roads cutting through the ancient city.

Now, you may ask: who would ever have abandoned such a perfect city in such a beautiful location. Well, back in the day, in the Magna Grecia, like in Greece, cities fought each other and Selinunte was no exception. Long story short, Cartago forced the people of Selinunte to abandon their home and destroyed the city, which was never rebuilt.

On we go, because it is getting hot and by looking at all these beautiful beaches, we feel like a bath. After one and a half hours, we are in Agrigento. We drop our luggage and decide to go to the Scala dei Turchi. Scala dei Turchi

This suggestive rocky cliff is formed by marl, a white rock. It looks like a white staircase in the middle of sandy beaches and was used by the Moors in the past for raiding, hence the name.

The waters before the staircase contain clay-rocks, that are said to have healing powers. You’ll see a lot of people completely covered in this mud and walking around like white ghosts. Both locals and tourists seem to fall into this spa-hype. We obviously had to try. And perhaps it is true or perhaps it was due to the placebo effect, but we felt rejuvenated after our full body mask. Unfortunately, we did not accept the invitation to jump off the cliffs and decided to bathe in from the sandy beach below.

And by now the sun is setting, we get back into our car, drive through the Valley of Temples, up the hill to Agrigento and get ready for dinner.

We have dinner at Operà and end up with the whole staff talking to us and giving us tips. One cook flirts with my mom and tries to teach her the local dialect, which still has heavy Greek influences.

Among other things, we had delicious swordfish with local pistachios and bream with orange and almonds.

Tomorrow we’ll explore the Valley of Temples that you can see from the terrace of the restaurant.

To be continued…

Have you ever been to Agrigento? Would you also like to live close to the sea ? Let me know in the comments below.

Love,

Raffi

5 thoughts on “A trip to Sicily – Pt 4: Selinunte and Agrigento

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