At the sea near the city of Agrigento, the former fishing hamlet is now a bustling resort town but also hosts some fabulous natural formations and intriguing beaches. It was a port for warehousing and transporting grains in the 1400s, and then became known for its sulpher and salt mines. The Torre Carlo V was built 1554 to defend the area from invasions by the Turks and pirates, then was used as a prison until the 1700s. The town gained importance in the 1830s and expanded from a village clustered around the port to a larger town with churches, palazzi, warehouses, and cafes.
In 1863 it was renamed in honor of an Agrigento philosopher who inspired many subsequent writers. Two other famous writers came from here: Luigi Pirandello, who received the Nobel prize for literature in 1934, and Andrea Camilleri, known for his Inspector Montalbano books, fictiously set in this part of Sicily.
The municipio town hall is built in neoclassic style, while the main church ("chiesa madre") dedicated to Maria Santissima di Buon Consiglio (the holiest Mary of Good Counsel) was built in 1892 has Baroque embellishments. Don't miss the whimsical Stazione-Museo, a train museum at the station.
There are sandy beaches, and some stunning natural wonders - like the Scala dei Turchi. Of course, there are plenty of cafes, restaurants, shops and waterfront strolls to enjoy.
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Explore nearby towns
Agrigento is a contrast, where bustling modern city meets sprawling ancient ruins.
Founded in 1681, the town of Realmonte is "young" as far as most towns in Sicily go, but it does offer some historical sights nonetheless.
San Leone is best known as the beach destination of Agrigento.