Going to Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples

posted in: Italy Travel, Writing | 6

DSCN2775 (640x480) (2)Wednesday Sept 17, 2013
I awoke with the alarm at 7:30 this morning to have time to finish packing and have breakfast before checking out of the hotel and leaving for Agrigento. By ten we were on the road, driving past the port of Catania, where I could see a lot of cargo containers stacked up. We also passed some fruit vendors who were selling meloni bianchi for anywhere from one euro fifty cents to three euros.

We shared the road with other cars, buses, trucks, and of course, Vespas. The annoying voice on the GPS added to the frustration of getting out of Catania’s crazy traffic. Within twenty minutes we were on the A-19 freeway or autostrada on the way toward Agrigento. The rolling hills with rows of citrus trees along the campagna were a much more soothing scene.  Mt Etna loomed high, although the clouds obscured its peak. Italian cypress trees and farms dotted the landscape, and the farther we drove away from the coast, the fewer palm trees and cactus we saw. Windmills to the south and solar panels to the north were part of the view this morning as we drove along.

I was surprised to see an outlet center in the middle of nowhere. It was named Siciliani Outlets and the Gucci store seemed so out of place here. As we passed this, I noticed men working in fields by hand as we approached a small town named Sacchitello high on a hillside.

 Although not many trains run throughout Sicily, I saw a track near Caltanissetta. We bought some gas and paid €1.82/liter for full service. The total price to fill up with diesel was €72. Rick checked the damaged right front fender again without saying anything. After driving through some tunnels, gallerias, and mountainous terrain, we turned at the Agrigento/Caltanissetta exit at 11:45.

As we neared Agrigento, we passed some industrial businesses and then some apartments, and some ceramics and plastics businesses. As the road descended I could see the ocean and again the cactus plants with fruit and olive trees and vineyards appeared. DSCN2712 (640x478)

We passed yet another commercial center with stores like H&M, Euronics, and Gruppo o Bruno.  By 12:45 we arrived in Agrigento.

Since we couldn’t check into our hotel until three, we walked across the street and had lunch at Trattoria dei Templi. I tried their specialty, cavatelle alla Valle dei Templi, which was delicious. IMG_3456

After lunch we wandered around the beautiful grounds of our hotel before we  checked in.

DSCN2702 (640x480)We could see one of the temples from here. Then we drove the short distance to the Valley of the Temples, one of Sicily’s most famous historical archaeological parks. Stay tuned.

DSCN2707 (640x480)

6 Responses

  1. Jenny P

    What a country of contrasts. Men harvesting by hand in the south, while here in the north everything is so modern. What type of pasta did you have for lunch? It looked delicious.

  2. imarancher

    I too thank you Margie, this blog is so good for me. I could almost smell the cypress and taste the food. The frustration with the roads and the smashed fender and the price of gas, on my! I guess I will be quiet over $3 bucks a gallon gas. It was higher but due to the gov shut down (?) it is lower now. I don’t know why they still are collecting gas taxes when they won’t pay IRS returns but that is the government for you. So to step into Italy by turning on my computer is a marvel of the 21st Century.

  3. dollygoolsby

    I surely enjoy following your travels. they parallel many that I have done, but you are also going places that I haven’t been yet, and you are making me put them on my Bucket List. Thank you for your wonderful blog.

I'm always interested in your thoughts, so please leave a comment.