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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Italy Travel Tips: Agrigento and Agropoli

Tempio di Giunone (Temple de Junon), Agrigento...
Tempio di Giunone (Temple de Junon), Agrigento , Sicile, Italie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Remains of one atlas in the Olympeion field.
Remains of one atlas in the Olympeion field. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Temple of Heracles (temple A) in Agrigento".
Temple of Heracles (temple A) in Agrigento". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Temple of Concordia - Agrigento, Italy
English: Temple of Concordia - Agrigento, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By []Barbara Conelli

Agrigento is comprised of two separate parts. The first part is the city itself, with its typical narrow, winding streets, old stone houses and countless little stores and bars. The city was built on a steep hill and its architecture is mostly medieval. The charming alleys will take you up to the very top of the city, to a majestic cathedral built by the Normans. There is a long terrace around the cathedral that offers stunning views of the city and of the nearby seaside.

The second part of the city is called Valle dei templi - the Valley of Temples. It is a large area with an excavation site full of unique remains of ancient temples. There are so many. For example, the Temple of Heracles, of Goddess Demetra, of Hefaistos, and the Temple of Concord. But the most famous temple in the Valley is the Temple of Zeus. This was supposed to be the biggest temple of all times but it was never finished. But still, you can admire the Atlantes - statues of muscular men used as pillars which are typical for Greek architecture. It's also important to say that all the temples in this area belong to UNESCO heritage.

Once you're there, don't forget to visit the nearby city of Porto Empedocle. This charming seaside city has beautiful, long sand beaches that create an amazing coast. Porto Empedocle is stunning especially at night, and it's a perfect place for a peaceful seaside vacation.

AGROPOLI is a small, yet lively city situated about 26 miles south of Salerno. Is has a beautiful historical center with charming houses and narrow streets, and also a modern part with hotels and tourist resorts. You shouldn't miss its yacht port and miles of short and long sandy beaches divided by cliffs.

In 19th century, Agropoli has expanded beyond its medieval city walls. However, the old part of the city with its 17th century gate remained intact. Above the city, on the top of a rock, rises a castle from the 6th century that stands on the foundations of a Byzantine fortress. In the summer, it hosts concerts, theater plays and other events.

If you walk west of the modern port, you can visit St. Francis's watchtower from 16th century and the remains of an old monastery of the same name.

Agropoli is an ideal base to discover the region of Campania. If you love hiking, don't forget to explore Parco Nazionale del Cilento e Vallo di Diano, a beautiful natural park. If you prefer to stay in the city, Agropoli is the perfect place to learn Italian, go yachting and diving, or to take boat trips that will show you the gems of the coast.

Barbara Conelli is an internationally published bestselling author, seasoned travel writer specializing in Italy, and Chiquenist on the mission to bring Fantastic Fearless Feminine Fun into women's lives. In her charming, delightful and humorous Chique Books filled with Italian passion, Barb invites women to explore Italy from the comfort of their home with elegance, grace and style, encouraging them to live their own Dolce Vita no matter where they are in the world. Do you dream of Italy? Sign up for Barb's FREE 10-Day Virtual Tour: "The Secret Gems of Italy Every Woman Must Know" at: http://www.barbaraconelli.com

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