The port is right in the center of town.
Porto Empedocle is an important fishing and trade port in South-western Sicily, situated on a peculiar limestone hill.
1853 the town was given a new name : "Molo di Girgenti" (pier of Girgenti), to evidence the prosperous portal activity that influenced the town's development. Subsequently, the town was called Porto Empedocle, in memory of the famous philosopher from Agrigento Empedocle. The most outstanding monuments are the Quadrangular Tower of Carlo V, the Chiesa Madre dedicated to SS. Salvatore dated 1904, and the eighteenth century Chiesa del Buon Consiglio.
In the 15th century, when it was still called Marina di Girgenti, it was one the most important loading place for corn, all over Sicily. Here the whole production of cereals was collected from the fields in Agrigento and Caltanissetta areas. Emperor Charles V (1500-1558) built a huge tower and committed the building to an architect/sculptor from Florence, Camillo Camillani.
The tower was intended to protect the important port against pirates, which often quickly depredated the people living along the coast. The building is characterized by a truncated pyramid shape, ending with a large watching terrace. The interior is formed by some rooms with vault ceilings. In 1780 the Bourbons changed it into a prison. Today it is a cultural center, conference point and library.
Tourist office at via Marconi Guglielmo.
The nearby harbor offers daily excursions to the Pelagie Islands.
It is a short distance from the famous Turkish Steps, and a short drive or bus ride delivers you to the Valley of the Temples and the city of Agrigento.
In Ancient Greek times Agrigento or Akragas as it was known was an important walled city. It was home to the philosopher Empedocles. At the southern edge of the Greek city, temples were built and these can be seen below. Parts of the Agrigento still reflect their Medieval heritage in particular the church of San Nicola and the Cathedral. Today it is the main town in the province of Agrigento, and is the commercial and shopping center. A large market is held in Agrigento every Friday and is worth visiting for a bargain. It is also worth a visit in early February to see the Festival of the Almond Blossom.
The Valley of the temples in agrigento is home to some of the finest remains of Greek temples outside of Greece. The site also has the ruins of necropolises, houses and streets. The temples were all built in or around the 5th century B.C. During the day time the site is busy with tourists arriving in coaches. It can also get unbearably hot during the summer months.
Linosa is a pleasant volcanic island.
Emergency number: 112
Most shops and businesses in Italy open from Monday to Saturday from around 8am until 1pm, and from about 4pm until 7pm, though many shops close on Saturday afternoons and Monday mornings, and in the south the day can begin and end an hour later. In the north some businesses work to a 9am-5pm day to facilitate international dealings. Traditionally, everything except bars and restaurants closes on Sunday, though most towns have a pasticceria open in the mornings, while in large cities and tourist areas, Sunday opening is becoming more common.
January 1 (New Year's Day)
January 6 (Epiphany)
Pasquetta (Easter Monday)
April 25 (Liberation Day)
May 1 (Labour Day)
August 15 ( Ferragosto ; Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
November 1 ( Ognissanti ; All Souls Day)
December 8 ( Immaccolata ; Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
December 25 ( Natale ; Christmas)
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