Every nation has a unique culture and identity that sets itself apart from others. It is often defined by hundreds to thousands of years of historical background, evidently impacting a nation’s architecture for one thing. Sicily, having been conquered by Greece in 750 BC before it shared its ruling with the Roman Empire by 262 BC, was left with astounding architectural landmarks that are characteristically Greek. One of which – or actually seven of which – is Valle dei Templi.
Greek colonizers started to occupy the coasts of southern Italy in 800 BC. Soon after, the whole of south Italy came to be known as Greater Greece. Ancient Arkagas was part of Greater Greece and was one of its leading cities when Ancient Greece basked in the glories of the golden age. These days, Arkagas is now referred to as the city of Agrigento.
Agrigento echoes a proud Grecian history with seven standing Doric-style temples which come in the names of Valle dei Templi in Greek, Valley of the Temples in English, and Vaddi di li Tempri to local Sicilians. The seven temples of Valle dei Templi are namely the Temples of Juno Lacinia, Concordia, Zeus Olympic, Castor and Pollux, Heracles, Vulcan, and Asclepius. But only the Temple of Concordia remains to be well-preserved as the others have ensued structural damage over the years.
Given its name, Valle dei Templi does not actually stand on a valley but on a plateau in the west part of Agrigento. It is indeed a breath-taking sight that takes you back to the 5th BC from which most temples date back. Enlisted as a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1997, it is Sicily’s main attraction and Italy’s national monument. If you are looking for the best things to do in Sicily, part of which is visiting this grandiose sight.
For an unforgettable experience and a delightful taste of the remainders of Ancient Greece in this small Sicilian town, you can take a walk along the pedestrian paths which connect all seven temples of Valle dei Templi. Great Sicily travel advice will tell you to marvel at the beauty of these temples and be dazzled by their Greek architecture. If that is not enough for you, the valley also houses a pyramidal monument called the Tomb of Theron. The tomb built in memory of the Romans who died in their efforts to crush the Carthaginians who tried to take over south Italy.