Valley of the Temples and Agrigento Tour

One service for two incredible experiences! Buy Ticket valid for visiting the Eastern Hill, the area of the Temple of Zeus and the Graeco-Roman area and spend the rest of the day exploring the city of Agrigento!

Overview

One service for two incredible experiences!
Buy Ticket valid for visiting the Eastern Hill, the area of the Temple of Zeus and the Graeco-Roman area and spend the rest of the day exploring the city of Agrigento!

Valley of Temples:

The archaeological park of Agrigento - the largest in the world - spreads over an extensive area. Within its confines rise the magnificent remains of the once powerful Greek colony - walls, necropolises, houses, public buildings, and open sanctuaries. But what attracts millions of visitors every year to this UNESCO World Heritage Site is above all the amazing series of beautiful Doric temples.

The name “Valle dei Templi” (Valley of the Temples) is something of a misnomer, since the temples lie on a ridge. The archaeological area, however, does lie below the modern city of Agrigento. The main focus of your attention will be the series of seven monumental temples in Doric style. They were constructed during the time when Akragas was one of the most powerful cities of Magna Graecia (the "Greater Greece" colonies), during the 6th and 5th centuries BC. The temples of ancient Akragas are some of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples outside of Greece and are inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997 - and the UNESCO symbol was even shaped in the image of the temple of Concordia.

The tour:

Visit one of the main archaeological sites in the Mediterranean - discover the ruins of ancient Akragas, the Valley of the Temples below Agrigento, where ten Doric temples from the 6th and 5th century BC form one of the major attractions of Sicily. The Temple of Juno, the Temple of Hercules and the Temple of Concordia are the best preserved temples of the truly breathtaking archaeological area. Then, your private car will take you to visit the Roman Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, recently declared UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its marvelous mosaics, considered the most beautiful and best-preserved of their kind, inspired by mythology and the everyday life of Roman aristocracy.

Before You Book

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IMPORTANT NOTE: The time you select on the order form is your preferred time. The closest available time, which can be anytime during opening hours on the selected date, will be automatically confirmed if your preferred time is no longer available.

Opening Hours

Open from Monday to Sunday from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm.

Cashier closes thirty minutes before the site closure.

Reserved tickets must be picked up showing the confirmation voucher at the bookshop located at the rest stop on Piazzale Hardcastle.

Agrigento and Piazza Armerina Tour

Discovering the rests of the ancient Akragas, we will visit one of the main archaeological sites in the Mediterranean: the Valley of the Temples, hosting ten well-preserved Doric temples such as the Temple of Juno, the Temple of Hercules and the Temple of Concordia.Then , we will visit the Roman Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, recently declared Unesco World Heritage site, thanks to its marvelous mosaics, considered the most beautiful and best-preserved of their kind, inspired to mythology and to Roman aristocracy’s quotidian life.

Tour Price includes:

pick-up and drop-off from Catania, private car and driver, fuel, highway tolls (if needed).
> Lunch for driver is not included and must be paid at the moment of the visit.
Tour Price does not include:

entrance fees to museums and monuments
local guide
lunch (unless specifically indicated)
tips and extras in general
anything not specified under “Tour Price includes
Full day experience.

All services are for the exclusive use of the clients, made ​​by car.

Comfortable shoes are advised and appropriate dressing is needed to enter churches.

The program may be modified.

ATTENTION: Availability subject to reconfirmation at the moment of the order.

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations up to 15 business days before departure: 30% penalty
Cancellations from 14 to 3 days before departure: 60% penalty
Further cancellations and no shows are not refundable
Save time ordering: Add all the service tickets you want into your basket, then fill in the form and send your request.

Valley of the Temples

The foundation of the sub-colony of Akragas originated in 581 BC, at first as a outpost of the Rhodio-Cretan colony of Gela founded at the beginning of the 7th century (689-688 BC). Akragas was founded by the two oikistes (colonial leaders) Aristonoo and Pistilo, traditionally seen to represent the dual provenance of settlers from Rhodes and Crete.

The city’s period of greatest splendour coincides with its first two centuries, which were marked by the rule of the tyrants Phalaris and Theron (6th to 5th century BC). Beyond bringing an enormous loot to Akragas, the historic victory of the Greeks over the Carthaginians at Himera (northern Sicily), in 480 BC, marked for the city a period of prosperity and power that brought about great public works, temples, and aqueducts. The court of Theron (tyrant of Akragas between 488 and 471 BC) was frequented by great poets such as Simonides and Pindar who would praise Akragas as being "the most beautiful of the cities of mortals; friend of opulence, home of Persephone”.

The time of the democracy (471-406 BC), which saw the rise of the authority and personality of Empedocles, brought about a renewal of building activity with the construction of the majority of the Akragas temples. A border conflict between Segesta and Selinunte provoked a second Carthaginian intervention in Sicily at the end of the 5th century (409 BC) and Akragas was directly attacked. After a long siege, it was taken by the Carthaginians in 406 and abandoned by the inhabitants who could return there in 405 BC under the condition that they would not fortify and pay a tribute to Carthage. With Timoleon (338-334 BC), a period of growth and prosperity returned for Akragas, when new settlers from Elea-Velia (Salerno region in southern Italy) were added to the previous population and the walls were rebuilt. During the Punic Wars, Akragas (together with Eraclea Minoa) became the base of Carthaginian operations against the Romans.

This period is marked by the Roman siege of 262 BC which caused the capitulation of the city after about six months, in 261 BC, and by the Carthaginian siege of 255 BC for the reconquest of the city. During the latter, a Roman garrison and the surviving inhabitants barricaded themselves in the temple of the Olympian Zeus turned into fortress for the occasion. During the Second Punic War, Akragas was still on the side of the Carthaginians who placed a garrison there (214 BC) until the city, betrayed by Numidian mercenaries, was taken by the Roman consul Levi in 210 BC and soon named Agrigentum.

In the Roman order of the provinces of Sicily, Agrigento was included among the “Civitas Decumanae” required to give Rome every year a tenth of their agricultural income. The city had a municipal “status” under Augustus. Excavations document a particularly prosperous period because of the thriving sulphur trade between the 2nd and 3rd century. Sources in writing as well as the presence of necropoles and places of worship bear witness to the Byzantine era: In the area of the catacombs, where the Temple of Concord was reused as a church; in the abandoned city area and at the northeastern slopes of the hill of the temples, where a "suburban Basilicula" is located.

 

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