Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi), Sicily - Stein Travel
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Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi)

Although not technically a 'valley' and rather a ridge located just outside the Sicilian town of Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi) is one of Italy's oldest and most interesting archaeological sites. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, the Valley of the Temples is filled with some of the most outstanding examples of Magna Graecia architecture in the whole world. The Doric-styled structures, built in the 5th century BC, are dedicated to gods and other mythological characters - including, quite rarely, an imposing structure dedicated to Vulcan; and there are also some fascinating commemorative structures, built in celebration of Rome's victory over Carthage, and in memory of Roman soldiers who were killed in the Second Punic War. In the tradition of Greco-Roman architecture of the period, all the structures face east to be illuminated by the rising sun. A must-see tourist attraction in Sicily, the site of the Valley of the Temples commands great views of Agrigento and makes for a wonderful half-day adventure.

Information & Facts


The official language of Italy is Italian. English is understood in the larger cities but not in the more remote parts of the country.


The Euro (EUR) is the official currency, which is divided into 100 cents. Those arriving in Italy with foreign currency can obtain Euros through any bank, ATM or bureaux de change. ATMs are widespread. Travellers cheques can be exchanged with ease in the large cities, not so in the smaller towns. Credit cards are accepted in upmarket establishments and shops around the cities. Banks are closed on weekends, but tend to have better rates than casas de cambios.

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