The province of Agrigento



The city of Agrigento
Photo © Roberto Meli

Agrigento (Zip Code 92100) chief town of the province, is 72 Km. distant from Caltanissetta, 199 Km. from Catania, 107 Km. from Enna, 295 Km. from Messina, 139 Km. from Palermo, 136 Km. from Ragusa, 217 Km. from Siracusa, 182 Km. from Trapani.

Photo © Luigi Nifosì 

Chiesa San Nicola

The municipality counts 55.814 inhabitants,(Agrigentini o Girgentani), its surface measures 24.457 hectares, and its population density is of 228 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises on a coastal hilly area, 230 meters above the sea-level

The City Hall is located in via Luigi Pirandello n. 1, phone ++39 0922-20105 and fax ++39 0922 - 590717. E-mail address is:

Agrigento, land of the "Mandorlo in Fiore" (blossoming almond trees), is one of the most characteristic agricultural country towns of Sicily because of  the mixture of wonderful almond tree cultivations blossoming in spring, and vast areas of cereal cultivations during the summer season.

There are also many vast citrus plantations and olive groves, that stand out from the entire local production and are the basis of the island's economy.

Throughout the centuries, Agrigento has assumed different denominations: the Greeks called it Akragas meaning the "high land", the Romans called it Agrigentum, the Arabs Kerkent, the Normans Girgenti. In 1927, the town acquired its current name, Agrigento.

Photo © Affinità Elettive 

Church of Santo Spirito

It was founded approximately during 580 B.C. by a group of Cypriot colonists from Gela. It experienced an initial period of splendor under the ruling  of the tyrant Terone, approximately during 490 B.C..

Devastated by the Carthaginians, the town rose again thanks to king Timoleonte approximately during 340 B.C.. During 827 A.D., it was conquered by the Arabs, who made it richer and and enhanced its beauty by building numerous mosques.

In 1087 it became a Norman seat. As of the XIV century, the town belonged to several noble families such as the Chiaramonte and the Montaperto families.

Under the Spanish and Bourbon ruling , the city experienced a period of progressive decline, and was ultimately set free in 1860 by the intervention of Garibaldi.

Numerous and remarkable are the monuments present all over the city, among which we mention the Cathedral, erected during the XI century by bishop Gerlando, that has a Chapel dedicated to the same bishop, and the Chiesa di San Nicola (Church of Saint Nicholas), XIII century, that is now an Archeological Museum.

Photo © Affinità Elettive by Pitrone Angelo 

House of Pirandello

Also, the Chiesa del Santo Spirito (Church of the Holy Spirit), and its homonymous Monastery, one of the most antique and best preserved monuments in Sicily; the Chiesa del Purgatorio (Purgatory Church), XVII century, that beholds eight allegorical statues representing "Virtue".

There is also the Chiesa di S. Maria dei Greci (Church of Saint Mary of the Greeks), XIII century, whose structure rises above a temple of the V century B.C..

"La più bella città dei mortali" (The most beautiful city of mortals): this is how Agrigento was described by Pindaro, Greek poet of the V century B.C..

During ancient times, it was one of the three metropolis along with Athens and Siracusa, and was homeland of remarkable philosophers such as Empedocle and dramatists such as Nobel Prize Luigi Pirandello.

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