tour in west coast sicily

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HOLIDAY HOMES APARTMENTS ACCOMMODATION RENTALS FOR VACATION IN SICILY OF SCIACCA AGRIGENTO

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Sicilia
Located on a maritime crossroads, Sicily (Sicilia), the largest island in the Mediterranean, lay at the heart of the ancient civilisedceramics of sciacca world—some of the best Greek ruins outside Greece are here. Picture a cultural heritage that divides its sources between northern and southern Europe, the Middle East, ancient Byzantium, and North Africa. Passing conquerors left a rich cultural legacy, much of which was assimilated and then reproduced in a uniquely Sicilian form. Unsurprisingly, the language, customs, cuisine, art, and architecture are quirky and eclectic. The landscape, too, is hugely varied, ranging from pastoral valleys to barren plains, high mountains, and wide, sandy beaches.
 

OUR HOUSE IT IS THE ideal starting point to visit:

Palermo
At Palermo's centre, churches and ornate palaces are squeezed into medieval quarters whose narrow streets host souk-like markets. Many important sights are here, close to the route of the annual Procession of Santa Rosalia in July. Reflecting Islamic architectural influences are the Norman church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, the magnificent interior of the Palatine Chapel inside the Palace of the Normans, and the red-domed San Cataldo. The cathedral, which houses the tomb of Frederick II, displays almost as many architectural styles as there have been rulers of Sicily. The excellent Museo Regionale Archeologico houses sculpture and artefacts from western Sicily's great sites, while the Regional Gallery of Sicily illustrates the development of Sicilian painting from its Byzantine origins. The Puppet Museum is also worth a visit.

Trapani 
Sciacca is a noisy port and a good base from which to explore Trapani, Erice, Mozia, Marsala and the ruins at Selinunte. A good time to visit is Easter, when the Good Friday Procession envelops the city and the Misteri (life-sized wooden statues depicting scenes from the Passion) are carried through the streets. The most important sight here is the Pepoli Regional Museum with its collections of local crafts, arts, and curiosities—including excellent 17th-century coral work, and Greek and Roman coins. Next to the museum, the Santuario dell'Annunziata is a lavish shrine to a number of local saints. The Duomo is an important baroque edifice, as is the Jesuit Noviciate.

Valley of the temples 
The Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi) is the site of seven Greek temples of the 5th century BC, built at a time when Agrigento, then called Akragas, was one of the richest cities of Magna Graecia (Greater Greece). The Temple of Concord is said to be the best preserved Greek temple in the world. A small but excellent archaeological museum serves the site.

SELINUNTE

Selinus is derived from the Greek name for the sweet-smelling herb they called Selinon: wild celery (heleioselinon – Apium graveolens) as well as mountain parsley (Oreoselinon – Petroselinum from which the English term is corrupted). Funnily enough, this herb that the ancients held in such high esteem was dedicated to Persephone, it was widely used to crown victors at the Isthmian games and to make wreaths for adorning the tombs of the dead. It grew in profusion in this part of Sicily and appears on the first coins minted by the town.

SALINE FROM TRAPANI

SCIACCA is a good base from which to explore Trapani, Erice  and Mozia, Marsala and the ruins at Selinunte. A good time to visit is Easter, when the Good Friday Procession envelops the city and the Misteri (life-sized wooden statues depicting scenes from the Passion) are carried through the streets. The most important sight here is the Pepoli Regional Museum with its collections of local crafts, arts, and curiosities—including excellent 17th-century coral work, and Greek and Roman coins. Next to the museum, the Santuario dell'Annunziata is a lavish shrine to a number of local saints. The Duomo is an important baroque edifice, as is the Jesuit Noviciate. The Salt Pans' origins go back to the Phoenicians who realized that geographic and climatic conditions of this area were very favourable so they installed some basins where sea waters come into and from where it extracts salt. Later under Federico II the of Salt Pans became very important since he mentioned them in the Costituzioni of Menfi (Menfi Costitutions) and made it property of the crown. During the times of Salt Pans had flourishing period which alternated with unproductive periods. But they have reached our times in their splendour and their productivity. The procedure through which from saltish water it gets to salt in grain production is long and, from a certain point of view, it is also complex. water at first is placed in the so-called fridde (cold) because of their low temperature. The fridde are two external basins with greater dimensions than the others. through a central mill, water passes in the vasu cultivu, that is a basin in which there are residuals of the precedent cultivation which are used as yeast. From here water flows until the ruffiana, that is the basin which is placed in the middle, between the vasu and the caure. In these last basins water becomes hotter than before and so it becomes salter and intense red coloured. At the end water resches the caseddri, that are salting basins where first strata of salt take form. In two particular periods of the year salt producted is amassed forming huts along the whole perimeter round the of Salt Pans which are covered by tiles toprotect them from the sun and from the wind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAVIGNANA

Die drei Inseln, die einen Mini-Mini-archipelago weg von Trapani bilden, werden Favignana, Levanzo und Marettimo genannt; sie zählen ca. 4.600 Einwohner. Alle drei werden mit den reizenden Küstenlinien gesegnet, die im prachtvollen Kristall-freien Wasser untergetaucht werden. Die Inseln, die bekannt bewohnt worden zu sein seit den prähistorischen Zeiten (in der Tat, wird es gedacht, daß Levanzo und gebildetes Favignana von der Hauptinsel von Sizilien in den Palaeolithic Zeiten zerteilen), gezeugt einem sehr wichtigen Fall im Altertum.

 

 

 

PALERMO

Palermo 
At Palermo's centre, churches and ornate palaces are squeezed into medieval quarters whose narrow streets host souk-like markets. Many important sights are here, close to the route of the annual Procession of Santa Rosalia in July. Reflecting Islamic architectural influences are the Norman church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, the magnificent interior of the Palatine Chapel inside the Palace of the Normans, and the red-domed San Cataldo. The cathedral, which houses the tomb of Frederick II, displays almost as many architectural styles as there have been rulers of Sicily. The excellent Museo Regionale Archeologico houses sculpture and artefacts from western Sicily's great sites, while the Regional Gallery of Sicily illustrates the development of Sicilian painting from its Byzantine origins. The Puppet Museum is also worth a visit.
Palermo, Sicily’s main port, nestles in the middle of a wide bay enclosed, to the north, by the Pellegrino Mount and, to the south, by Capo Zafferano. It lies on the edge of a very fertile plain that was called in the 15th century Conca D’Oro (meaning the golden shell or horn of plenty) on account of its lush citrus plantations, palm trees and olive-groves. At one time it was a favorite haunt of writers, poets and artists, who were enraptured by its eastern atmosphere and beauty.

 

 

MONREALE

THE DOM FROM MONREALE

With a splendid position high above the Conca d’Oro, the Monte Reale in Norman times was a royal hunting lodge and residence. It was not until William II decided to build the famous cathedral with a royal palace and monastery attached, that a town developed in its own right in the area. The city’s heart and soul is still represented by the area radiating from the cathedral. On the north side lies Piazza Vittorio Emanuele with its fine Fontana del Tritone.

AGRIGENTO

La Valle dei Templi

La Valle dei Templi rappresenta, a tutt'oggi, la testimonianza più sublime della civiltà greca in Sicilia. Tra le campagne colme di mandorli in fiore, lo sguardo si poggia sui meravigliosi ruderi dei templi che nel tempo hanno conservato intatta la loro imponenza architettonica.

La Valle dei Templi sorge nella parte più a sud sulle vestigia dell'antica città e comprende numerosi templi edificati nel V secolo a.C.. Essi furono costruiti con tufi calcarei locali in stile dorico e rivolti verso est, per rispettare così il principio secondo cui la statua raffigurante la divinità, posta all'interno della cella d'ingresso, venisse illuminata dal sole nascente. La Valle è stata istituita a zona archeologica che si estende su una vasta area su cui si trovano, quasi allineati, i templi classificati con i nomi greci delle divinità. Percorrendo l'itinerario consigliato troviamo:
Il tempio di Zeus Olimpio (Giove) che venne edificato per ringraziare il dio Zeus in occasione della vittoria del 480 a.C. degli agrigentini sui Cartaginesi. In origine il tempio, che fu uno dei più maestosi dell'antichità, era lungo 113 metri e largo 56 metri. Esso presentava una trabeazione sostenuta da colonne alte ben 20 metri alle quali si alternavano i cosiddetti Telamoni, cioè delle gigantesche statue con sembianze umane. Molti dei blocchi tufacei presentano tutt'oggi particolari incisioni a forma di U che servivano a contenere la corda con cui veniva sollevato e sistemato il blocco di pietra.

Il tempio di Castore e Polluce (Dioscuri), che venne eretto nel V secolo a.C., fu attribuito ai due gemelli nati dalla dea Leda e dal dio Zeus. Il tempio, che rappresenta il simbolo della città di Agrigento, conserva solo quattro colonne e una parte della trabeazione. Poco distanti da esso sono stati rinvenuti due altari sacrificali, uno quadrato e uno circolare, appartenenti probabilmente ad un originario santuario dedicato alle divinità infernali.

Il tempio di Eracle (Ercole), che è il più antico e di cui oggi sono visibili ben otto colonne rastremate (assottigliate verso l'alto per apparire più alte).
Guardando verso sud si trova la Tomba di Terone, grandioso monumento di pietra tufacea e di forma piramidale, che venne edificato per ricordare i soldati morti nella seconda guerra punica.


Il tempio della Concordia, che è l'unico giunto a noi nella sua integrità. Edificato nel 430 a.C., nel VI secolo a.C. esso fu trasformato in un edificio sacro, di cui sono ancora visibili le arcate inserite nelle mura della cella centrale. In esso sono presente imponenti colonne rastremate e la parte del fregio risulta decorata da triglifi e metope. Il nome Concordia deriva da un'iscrizione latina ritrovata nelle vicinanze del tempio stesso.

Il tempio di Hera Lacinia (Giunone), che venne edificato intorno al V secolo a.C. e incendiato dai Cartaginesi nel 406 a.C.. Esso fu attribuito a Giunone, dea protettrice del matrimonio e del parto, e ha mantenuto inalterato nel tempo il colonnato (solo in parte restaurato nel 1900) della cella d'ingresso. Uscendo dal tempio verso est si trova ancora l'altare del tempio.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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