Agrigento – the legendary door to the Olympus

The Province of Agrigento stretches out amidst ancient ruins and Baroque architecture, as well as sparkling beaches, marvelous islands, crystal-clear waters and ocean beds buzzing with life. It is the ideal place for those in search of culture, history and art, all in an environment of total relaxation and, of course beneath the warmth and rays of the Italian sun. The clear sea washes up onto one of the world’s most beautiful and transparent coasts. In the distance, the turquoise water seems to melt with the blue skies, and where the gaze meets the horizon lies the dazzle of a thousand blue hues. Long sandy beaches alternate with deep bays, adorned by the typical Mediterranean maquis that characterizes much of Sicily. Aromas of the land combine with the scent of the sea, that floats towards the shore on the light marine breeze. The Islands of Lampedusa, Lampione and Linosa, make up the Pelagiean Archipelago. These “Islands of the High Seas” are the southernmost point of the European Union. The hinterland is a great expanse of plains cultivated with vineyards, various grains and wheat, fruit orchards and orange groves; there, an array of greenery resides, and notable is the striking candor of […]

Sicily almond blossom festival in the valley of the Greek temples in Agrigento

Almond Blossom Festival (Sagra del mandorlo in fiore) has been taking place in Agrigento for already 72 years. It’s an international folk festival aiming to spread the message of peace, integration and cooperation between people. Every year in February, Agrigento celebrates the first almond blossoms of the season in its Sagra del Mandorlo in Fiore. The highlight of the festival, which continues until the beginning of March, is on the closing Sunday. A parade, accompanied by songs and dances, winds through the streets of Agrigento, celebrating peace, joy and fraternity. The almond blossoms are celebrated as harbingers of spring; once the delicate pinkish-white blossoms appear, spring can’t be too far behind—at least in Sicily. Planting spring crops begins in earnest, and here in the south we can start to taste the promise of fava beans for the Festa di San Giuseppe (St. Joseph), Italian Father’s Day, on 19 March. Agrigento, founded by Greek colonists in 6 B.C., is one of Italy’s most under-appreciated spots with its Valle dei Tempii, home to five ancient temples: Concordia, Juno, Jupiter, Hercules, Castor and Pollux. They are official World Heritage landmarks, glow gorgeously golden at sunset, and provide an amazing backdrop for the Almond […]