Mafia connections, the Emerald Isle and a Highland Fling travel blog

A big tap (in Terrasini) or what?

Scali dei Turchi - stunning white cliffs


Temple of Hera perched on a ridge top

Old and new Agrigento

The temple of Castor and Pollux (Dioscuri),

Atlas lying down

Temple of Ercole

Temple of Concordia with fallen Icarus - sun was too hot for...


After breakfast in the piazza at Terrasini we headed off for our two hour drive (160kms) across the island to Agrigento. Most of the island's land is dedicated to agriculture with grapes, almonds, citrus, olives and durum wheat — the basis for pasta. On the way we stopped to admire the stunning white cliffs of Scala dei Turchi, the name Stairs of the Turks seems to derive from the fact that in ancient times the ships of marauding Arabs and Turks found shelter in this bay. The cliffs seems to intensify the turquoise waters of the Mediterranian Sea below.

We stopped in at our accommodation in San Leone for a siesta during the intense heat before heading to the temples in the late afternoon. Mind you there wasn't a breath of wind and it was still very hot at 5.00pm (around 33 degrees) but at least the crowds had died down.

The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento (ancient Greek Akragas), is one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture, and is one of the main attractions of Sicily as well as a national monument of Italy. It is certainly the most important testimony of the ancient, classical culture of Sicily. The site includes remains of seven temples, all in Doric style. It brings together the temples of varioua gods and goddesses and a necropolis and sanctuaries outside the walls.

Interestingly the rediscovery of Akragas began towards the end of the eighteenth century, when the first European travellers reached Sicily, discovering an unexpected and immense artistic, archaeological heritage.

This is the largest archaeological site in the world and boy were we knackered walking around. Thankfully there was a kiosk selling gelato, which was doing a roaring trade. Grae had a two scoop serve and I had a three scoop serve in a brioche

bun - it was huge and delicious. Mind you I still managed to eat a large plate of mussels for dinner while Grae had a steak.

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