Agrigento & Caltagirone Tour
Agrigento with Valley of the Temples and Caltagirone with the production of pottery, particularly maiolica and terra-cotta wares.
We offer unique travel experiences in Sicily with personalized and tailor-made tours. Let’s explore Agrigento & Caltagirone together, local friendly staff and comfortable vehicles at your disposal.
The Valley of the Temples is the site of Akragas, an ancient city founded the year 581 BC by colonists from Gela and Rhodes. Its history lasted for more than a thousand years and ended between the VII and the IX century AD, when its inhabitants moved to the Girgenti hill, that is on the most western end of the area where the ancient Greek city used to be built. The ancient classical city which stretched between the Rupe Atenea hill and the Ridge of the Temples, shows the remains of its impressive buildings in what we call today the Valley of the Temples, a unique art heritage. Valley of the Temples covered only the area between the Ridge of the Temples and the Rupe Atenea hill. It includes also the surrounding area where you find the necropolis and the extra-moenia sanctuaries (that is outside the ancient city walls), and the rivers Akragas and Ipsas flow down to the sea by San Leone beach. The environmental and natural balances are strongly enhanced by the intervention of man. They fuse admirably together with the archaeological monuments, solemn like the temples, discrete and suggestive like the necropolis and the complex hypogees. However most of the ancient classical and roman city is still hidden under almond trees and hundred year old olive trees. Even today the remains come to the surface of this secret reserve to show more of its own past. In the middle of the 1900’s an aerial view showed one of the most interesting sides of the town: the Hippodamian street plan in the area between the southern ridge and the foot of the Rupe Atenea hill.
Swirling patterns, vibrant colours, painstakingly detailed designs..... Wherever you go in Caltagirone this is what you will see: ceramics is the name of the game and it has been for millennia. Virtually all buildings in the old town are decorated with ceramic tiles, shops spill their delightfully crafted wares onto the pavements and the effect is one of multichromatic vivacity. The highlight is undoubtedly the 142 steps of the Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte that connect the lower town with the older upper town. The upright of each step is decorated with ceramic tiles, offering a colourful alternative to the grey lava stone of the horizontal parts. During the last two weeks of May, the steps are home to a festival known as the "Infiorita" in which they are covered by an enormous floral display. At the end of July (24th and 25th), in honour of the town's patron saint, San Giacomo, and in the middle of August, the steps undergo yet another transformation, the "Illuminata". Thousands of candles flicker away creating a truly breathtaking sight. Very much an aristocratic town, Caltagirone is brimming with splendid palaces and churches.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR TOUR!
In case none of the above excursions suit your need and you wish to customize something for you, kindly write us specifying: - Your Group Size (and average age); - Your interests; - Port of Call and Cruise schedule. Our local staff will be pleased to work together with you to find something that fit your needs.