The park, which covers about 1300 hectares, preserves an extraordinary monumental and landscape heritage that includes the remains of the ancient city of Akragas and the surrounding territory up to the sea. In the Valley of the Temples, which was listed as a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO in 1997, lies one of the largest archaeological complexes in the Mediterranean, in the midst of an exceptionally beautiful agricultural landscape, consisting mainly of centuries-old olive trees and almond trees.
The Valley of the Temples
The Scala dei Turchi is a rocky wall (cliff) overlooking the sea along the coast of Realmonte, near Porto Empedocle, in the province of Agrigento. Over time it has become a tourist attraction both for the uniqueness of the cliff, white in colour and with peculiar shapes, and as a result of the popularity acquired by the novels starring Commissioner Montalbano written by Andrea Camilleri.
The Andromeda Theatre
As we all know, Sicily is dotted with magical though simple locations. As you walk along the hinterland of Agrigento, you may come across a stone theater with the sky as ceiling and the Sicani mountains as walls. Near the small village of Santo Stefano Quisquina you can find the Theatre dedicated to the Constellation of Andromeda, the result of the genius of Lorenzo Reina, an artist who became famous for some breathtaking shots and for his work quite unique.
Reina has placed 108 stone cubes along the proscenium which, seen from above, are shaped like eight-pointed stars and give life to a faithful terrestrial projection of the constellation of Andromeda. The theatre can only be the perfect location for some special events such as the summer solstice.
Santo Stefano Quisquina
A step away from the hotel on Pizzo San Calogero stands the same-named church, whose origin can be traced back to the sixteenth-century, although it was rebuilt in 1861 and opened for worship in 1862. On 18 June each year, in honor of the Saint, there is a nocturnal procession that goes from the village to the top of the mountain.
The small town of Santo Stefano Quisquina lies on the slopes of the Monti Sicani (732 m a.s.l.) in the valley of the Magazzolo river. The town has a historic centre that still preserves the original urban fabric. The Sanctuary dedicated to San Giacinto Giordano Ansalone, rich in precious paintings and pure golden decorations, the eighteenth-century fountain of Piazza Castello, the church of SS. Sacramento and the villa Comunale are all a must-visit.
The natural protected area of Mount Cammarata, together with the Eremo, offers glimpses of landscapes that are worth a visit. The Regional Forestry Corps has traced many trails in the area and among them we recommend the one of Pizzo delle Rondini, from the top of which you can enjoy a truly breathtaking view.
Hermitage of Santa Rosalia in Quisquina
The Hermitage of Santa Rosalia alla Quisquina is a magnificent architectural complex built at the end of the 1600s around the cave where, about five centuries before, the Saint led a hermit life. The Hermitage, which stands out imposingly in the green of the Quisquina forest, is located at about 1,000 meters above sea level and includes, in addition to the sacred Grotto, the Sanctuary and the convent which, inhabited by a Congregation of Hermits until the first half of the 1900s , is now used as a museum. The guided tour inside the convent is a dive into the past that, retracing the lifestyle led by the monks, allows you to appreciate its spirituality and ancient habits. The Sacred Grotto, a place of silence and of strong spiritual charm, preserves at its entrance an epigraph engraved on the rock, historical testimony of the permanence of Santa Rosalia in these places.