Agrigento, a city in Sicily, may not be a well-known tourist destination, but it is definitely a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This travel vlog takes you on a journey through the city, highlighting the best things to do and places to visit. From the famous Valle dei Templi to the lively atmosphere of the San Calogero festival, this video gives you an inside look at why Agrigento should be on your travel radar.
One of the must-visit attractions in Agrigento is the Valle dei Templi, or Valley of the Temples, where you can explore ancient Greek ruins with the best tour guide in town. The video also features local eateries like Le Cuspidi, known for its delicious gelato and traditional Sicilian pastries.
With stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and a rich history that dates back to ancient civilizations, Agrigento truly has something for every traveler. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a foodie, or simply seeking a hidden gem off the beaten path, Agrigento has it all.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Sicily, make sure to check out this video for an in-depth guide to Agrigento and get ready to be captivated by this enchanting city.
Watch the video by Tourist to Local
Ah, Sicily, Italy’s overlooked masterpiece. Here, olive trees stretch their arms towards the sky, and vineyards quilt the landscape. But don’t let the postcard views fool you; this island has layers, my friends. The people are as warm as the island’s famous Arancini,
And its history as complex as its Nero d’Avola wine. From the Greeks to the Romans, the Arabs to the Normans, everyone wanted a piece of this paradise. And who can blame them? That’s Sicily for you. There’s Palermo, there’s Catania, but that’s not where we’re starting this adventure.
We have our sights set on Agrigento, a place that’s more than just a dot on the map for us. You see, I spent a couple of summers here visiting family and falling in love with the culture and
The food. I guess you could say it defined me as a traveler, and I haven’t shut up about this place since. And now, I’m back with Juliana, staying with my family, living the Sicilian lifestyle, sharing this place with you. This ancient city has been called many names by those who’ve
Conquered it: Akragas to the Greeks, Girgenti to the Normans, Agrigentum to the Romans. But to us, and to Martin’s family, who’ve called this place home for generations, it’s simply Agrigento. And so, we made it to Agrigento. The journey to get here was long, but you don’t care about that, and to be honest, we don’t either, because we’re here. Martin’s hugging his family and friends again, and even though I haven’t been here before, this place feels like home. And so, we settle into
Our accommodations, my family’s bed and breakfast, La Casetta. It’s a new business, actually. This used to be their home when I last stayed over here, but it’s been completely remodeled, and they gave us the bathroom with views of the Mediterranean Sea because I’m the favorite nephew,
After all. So, give us a second to sleep off our jet lag, and then we’ll start exploring. Now, Sicily is a stunning island at the tip of Italy, and the primary language is Italian, but you’ll often hear the beautiful, rhythmic Sicilian dialect. Spanish and English can
Get you pretty far, as well as plenty of hand gestures. Now, about money, Italy, and thus Sicily, uses the Euro. It’s always handy to have some cash for small purchases, although cards are widely accepted in most places. The best time to visit is
Spring or fall due to the great weather and fewer tourists. Now, let’s get exploring. Well, we’re in Sicily! I cannot believe that we’re actually here, Martin. Yes, I’m very excited to be here. The first video that we’re going to record over here is in Agrigento, and there’s a reason behind that. In 2011, I spent an entire summer over here trying
To learn Italian, and I kind of did. So, we’re extremely excited to be spending a couple of weeks here. And here in Agrigento, we have a plan to show you guys a lot of things to do in the city,
Make you fall in love with it, make you consider traveling here. And what’s up first on the agenda? First, if you guys know us, it’s going to be coffee, but right now, it’s going to be the Italian way. So, let’s go. Lesson number one: if you drink your coffee over here, you have to drink it very fast and standing up. That’s the real Italian way. That’s a concept I have to get used to. I’m still taking forever to drink my drink. But
What’s great is that they serve it at the perfect temperature, so you’ll never burn your mouth. We have the goods. So, we already showed you, we started with the coffee, but we also have this. This is so good right now. We’re at Le Cuspidi, which is a Sicilian tradition.
Oh yeah. So, it’s a chain. They have a few different locations all throughout the island. That’s right. But over here, it’s also well-known because of their, uh, ice creams. Well, gelato. Okay, got it. So, you’re going to probably have to come back here later, many,
Many times. But in the meantime, we got… What is this called? Cornetto. Oh my gosh. So, it’s like basically a pastry that is full of, um, pistachio inside. How do you say that? Yeah. Now, Martin hasn’t stopped raving about this. The whole time I’ve known him,
He’s always talking about how great these are, so I have high hopes. Wow, the inside is not what I expected. The pistachio, it’s almost as if there was a pistachio Nutella. That’s like the consistency of
It. And they actually do sell it in jars to go, so I think we’re going to have to grab a jar. Martin, I’m addicted. Does it feel weird to be back here? Not at all. Not at all. Agrigento always feels like home. It’s weird, that feeling of returning
Over here after many years, and it looks like the time doesn’t pass through here, you know what I’m saying? It looks like everything is the same, same places, same people. Well, I wish some of my friends were still here, but they moved to other parts of Italy because they finished their studies
And now they’re working. That happens. That’s life. But Agrigento per se is still the same. In front of Le Cuspidi, there’s this street that is very good for la passeggiata. That’s something that Italians do after the meals, and it’s actually just walking to see the
Different people that you know and say “Ciao, buona sera.” Normally, it’s after dinner, but you see over here, all the locals just walking around. But right now, we’re walking in the morning because, look, the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. It cannot get better than this. Hey, look, I made a friend.
Next spot is Via Atenea. The people are starting to come out. Town’s coming alive, which is perfect ’cause we’re going to walk down the street, see what we can find. It’s apparently the most, uh, it’s like the main street in town. Lots of bars, lots of shops. And along the way,
There’s a few other stops we’re going to show you guys. So, let’s get walking. So, over here, I’m going to say it in Italian. So, welcome to the art street. So, we’re going to see a couple of things that they paint over here. And you know,
Juliana and myself, we really like street art. So, let’s explore. It’s easy to get lost in this city, but that had a purpose. Because when the Arabs dominated this island, they built the city with that purpose: to defend themselves from the attacks from different pirates. They modeled the city after their own,
And you can see that influence right now. A lot of stairways, tiny alleys, but it’s charming. Oh, I have to show you something over here. This is very important for the people in Agrigento. This is the Church of San Calogero, and it’s very, very important. I don’t remember
If it’s at the end of July or the beginning of August, but it’s crazy. The city goes mad, and it’s a big saint. They carry it, but they need more than 100 people to take it out. So,
If you can see the stairs, sometimes just imagine 100 people taking it out and then they go back, and they’re just fighting to take it out, and then they go all around the city, taking this heavy saint all around, while they throw, um, some bread. It’s a beautiful, beautiful festivity.
So, in summary, this town is adorable. Got it. But like we said, the Mediterranean is, like, right there, and there’s a spot Martin and his family want to take me. So, we meet up with his aunt for a Sicilian beach day.
So, right now, we’re heading 10 km away from Agrigento, the city, but we’re still in the province of Agrigento. We’re going to one place that is beautiful. Take a look at the Scala dei Turchi, aka the Stair of the Turks. It’s not just a beach to swim at; it is an
Impressive cliff made of soft limestone and marble that’s been eroded into steps over centuries. For our first stop, a lookout point that offers a panoramic view. Viewpoint check. Now we want to make our way to the beach,
So we head to the main parking lot. And once you park, you’re going to hop into one of the most Italian-looking ways of getting around, and this will take you down to the beach. Maybe this driver watches our videos or something because his impression of me was spot-on.
Wow, oh my god. Wow, oh my god. So, my question is, why is it called Scala dei Turchi? Oh, because it looks like steps, and we’re, this island, we’re under the level of the sea for a long time. So, that is the erosion of the wind, the salt,
Etc. But because between the two hills, it’s a very nice and protected beach. So, every bandit came here for stealing this place, for robbing the richness of the town. And for us, every bandit who speaks different from us is a Turkish. Oh, so would I be Turkish? They call me Turkish.
They call you Turkish. Still today, we say in our Sicilian dialect, “Mamma dei Turchi,” because they arrive for stealing everything. So, that’s why they arrived, and it’s a safe place to remain, and it’s not visible from our sea. So, it was a free, protected, very strategic place to be. Oh, cool.
A couple of years ago, whenever I was living over here, people could go over there, and just, you can see all that big rock full of people. Sometimes, I brought my two cousins, a couple of friends, we grab a couple of paninis, we go over there, even without a towel,
We just sit over there, just take the sun, jump to the water, have a blast. Then, we just ate our panino, and we were having such a great day. But because people didn’t take care of this place,
They forbid now people to go over there. It’s a shame, but well, you can see how beautiful it is. So, instead, for us, this afternoon, the hangout spot is this beach club, where the Aperol spritzes flow, and you ask yourself,
How all these people look so beautiful when the food here is this good? Speaking of which, time for lunch. A hole-in-the-wall place called Bar del Porto, off the road back to Agrigento. See, this is what I love about coming to a town that has a local who’s lived
Here for decades. Who would have never known to stop here? And uh, it’s time for lunch, and you know what time that is for us. Arancini time. We’re going to make a whole video talking about all the food you need to try in Sicily,
So stay tuned next week for that. But in the meantime bon apetite… Next step, we’re visiting one of the most famous places in Agrigento and in Sicily. That is Valle dei Templi. Luckily for us, we have one person with us that knows a lot about this place. That is my aunt, and she’s a tour guide. So, let’s meet up with her.
So, Martin has this family here, right? And you may be wondering, what the connection here is exactly. Well, Martin’s aunt is his mom’s sister. She’s from Mexico originally, and during Mexico’s World Cup in 1986, she fell in love with a visiting Sicilian. The rest is a story as old as time.
So, she’s the family’s traveler, working as a flight attendant for many years, and eventually settling down in Sicily. My uncle has an eerily similar story. And for both Martin and I, these two family members were the reason we were inspired to travel
And live abroad. Maybe you have an aunt or uncle like this too. Maybe we all do. Anyways, now she’s living in Agrigento, maybe one of the only Mexicans living here, and she’s found a way to use her multilingual skills by being a certified tour guide in
Valle dei Templi. I mean, the process to become a tour guide here is rigorous, and she’s got hustle and a unique talent at giving this tour in English, Spanish, Italian, even Portuguese. We’ll leave her info below, but in the meantime, we’re going
To enjoy following her around on today’s unofficial “bring your nephew to work” day. So, it’s the biggest archaeological site in entire Europe. That’s wonderful. And you haven’t seen it all yet, even though you’ve been here 12 times. Yep, imagine that.
To really understand Valle dei Templi, we got to go back a few centuries before Christ. Picture this: ancient Greece, but not just any old town. We’re talking about Agrigento, or as it was called back then, Akragas. This was the third most crucial city in the Greek world,
Just behind Athens and Syracuse. And it had everything: lush agriculture, bustling fish markets, booming trade, and yes, even the drama of war. When the poet of the era, Pindar, came to visit, he was so blown away that he dubbed it “the city of the golden temples” and called
It “the most beautiful city of the mortal world.” Talk about a five-star Yelp review. Here’s where it got complicated. By 406 BC, Akragas caught the eye of the Carthaginians, and let’s just say they weren’t here to sightsee. The city took a hit, big time. Fast forward to 210
BC, enter stage left, the Romans. And boy, did they know how to make an entrance. They chopped down every cypress and pine in sight. Why? Because they could. And they’d much rather grow wheat and turn this into an agricultural town. The result? Desertification. And with that,
A name change to Agrigentum, or Farm Nation. After the Romans had their fun, it was like a revolving door of rulers. Arabs, Normans, and finally the Spanish, before Italy said, ‘Alright, enough. Let’s wrap it up.’ Fast forward a few centuries, and the ruins of this once glorious
Greek city are what we now call Valle Dei Temple. Each temple here, from the majestic remains of the Temple of Concordia to the fragments of the Temple of Zeus, stands as a testament to human ambition and reverence. This was their way of reaching for the divine, of trying to touch something greater
Than themselves. And yet, time has done its number on them. But these ruins, well, they are some of the best-preserved temples of the Greek that we still have today. And amidst all this talk about history, Martin’s aunt pulls us over to grab something from a tree. She mentions something
About getting ready for the goats. We won’t ask too many questions. So, there are some goats here that are almost extinct in the rest of the world. They’re just here. Apparently, they really like to eat these little seeds that we picked up earlier. Look at the horns. Wow, I’ve never seen
A goat like this. His little tongue. You smell kind of bad. Both of us are in the same boat. We’re hungry, and let’s be honest, we stink in this heat. But let’s tackle one issue at a time.
We haven’t explored even half of this place yet, so a shower is off the table for now. However, there’s a cafeteria right here that can definitely take care of our hunger. Alright, so about midway through our tour, there’s a little stop at a little cafe. Well needed. Yes, well needed. And
It’s my first time trying this. This is a granita, and you can have it in different flavors. So right now, Juliana had one of watermelon, which sounds so good in this heat. Yeah, and for me, I have
The traditional, that is, lemon. Oh my God, it’s delicious. And also, pro tip, they serve a special type of coffee here with almonds and pistachio. That’s right, the only place pistachio, the dust, let’s say like that. It’s totally unique to this spot right here. And you might not realize that if
You’re coming here as a tourist, you think, ‘Ah, it’s just a spot to grab a snack.’ No, that’s like something you definitely need to try. We wrap up our snacks and decide to keep exploring. I don’t know if you recognize this? This is Temple of Concordia, so it’s the best-preserved temple over
Here in this valley. And, uh, curious thing, this is a symbol of the UNESCO, so this is a big thing, and it’s beautiful, beautiful right now. So, I think we are very lucky that we can see this,
This, and hopefully, you can also do that. Oh, wow, look at the shell. Check this out, guys. Sicily used to be underwater many, many, many years ago, and when you’re still walking around, you can see shells everywhere, which is super cool. But anyway, that’s not what I’m here to
Talk about now. Check this out. This temple, not only is it so well-preserved, but there’s actually a fun little optical illusion here as well. See, if this was designed how you’d think, it would be perfectly straight at the top. The human eye would actually morph it, so it looked arched. But the
People who designed this knew that and accounted for it, so they overcompensated with how they structured the top. It’s actually slightly curved this way, which with the human eye, it makes it look perfectly straight. Same concept applies to the columns as well. If they would
Have just designed them perfectly straight, they wouldn’t look perfectly straight. They actually have them a little bit bigger in the middle. So, there’s so much to say about this place, but just look at it, it’s gorgeous. Valle dei Temple was definitely a highlight of our trip, so much so
That we went back for a second visit. For those thinking of going, it costs €13 to get in, and a word of advice: bring a hat, water, sunscreen, and maybe an umbrella. It gets seriously hot, and you’ll be walking for hours. Just when we thought our visit couldn’t get more memorable, as
We reached the Temple of Hercules, the sky started to put on a lightning show, like we’re straight out of a Greek myth. We bolted for shelter faster than you can say Arancina. Which brings us to our
Next lifesaver, a little shop where we grab some more of those delicious rice balls to go. [Music] And where did we enjoy this impromptu snack? Back at our cozy hideout, Martin’s family’s bed and breakfast, which by the way, had killer Wi-Fi and a kitchen that saw more of us than the local
Eateries some days. Speaking of our Sicilian lifestyle, we were juggling our actual jobs on this trip from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. So, by the time we were able to actually go outside, most of the restaurants in Agrigento had already been closed. Where do you go when you’re in search
Of dinner and things are closed? Wherever people party. We’re currently in San Leone, and we’re grabbing just a big sandwich over here. We met up with Martin’s friend Alessandro and his fiancée, and they took us to this little fair food truck park where they say they come all the time,
Every time after they’re done partying on the beach in San Leone. What did he say? He said like, ‘Alessandro doesn’t like to dance; he likes to eat.’ Yeah, I like to eat, me too. Actually, brings me a lot of memories over here because I used to spend every single night in this place.
Oh my gosh, I bet. And now, take a look at what we have to. It’s cheap, it’s huge, looks delicious, and we would never have known about this place if it wasn’t for them. That’s right. I take a moment
To realize here I am, catching up with an old pal from 2011, while my wife, who’s never seen this side of the world, takes it all in around us. Carnival rides spin in the neon light, and in my hands, I got an absurdly delicious sausage sandwich buried under a mountain of fries,
While the Mediterranean Sea sparkles under the moonlight. This is what made me fall in love with this place, these unassuming nights. Just another Tuesday for the locals, yet an extraordinary moment for a nomad like me. I hope you enjoy and love Agrigento the
Same way I do. Yeah, and you guys are in luck because this is only video number one of our entire series through Agrigento. So, we’ve left this video for you guys to watch next if you’re watching this in the future. So long, and make the world your neighborhood. See you guys next time.
Video “Why Agrigento is Sicily's BEST Kept Secret – Valley of the Temples, Scala dei Turchi, and more!” was uploaded on 01/07/2024. Watch all the latest Videos by Tourist to Local on Gretopia