Eryx is located on the top of a solitary mountain that dominates the west side of Sicily. It is the ancient site of the sanctuary of Astarte and one of the towns of the Elimians. The Phoenicians payed honour to the goddess whenever their ships touched Sicily. Later the Romans brought the cult of the goddess, which they called Venus, to Rome as the Venus Ericina.
Segesta was the capital of the Elymians. They built a great temple to compete with nearby Selinus, but the temple was never finished. They also built a magnificent greek theatre. The Elymians had good relations with the phoenicians and punics.
The Valley of the Temples. The main archaeological site includes the most important temples and the lower agorà of the ancient town as well as the hellenistic-roman quarter opposite the museum. In 1997 the Valley of the Temples has been declared world heritage by the UNESCO.
Campobello di Mazara (TP)
The Cave di Cusa are the quarries near Selinunte (Selinus) where the stones for the great temples of this Greek city came from. Unfinished drums of columns, half cut out of the rock, as if the work in progress was abandoned never to be taken up again.
Originally founded by the greeks of Selinunte as Minoa it passed under the rule of Akragas and became since 409 BC Heraclea Minoa, a frontier town between the Carthaginian sphere of influence and that of the Greeks. Part of the archaeological site has been excavated, including the theatre, and there is a small museum with the finds from Eraclea Minoa.
Megara Hyblaea was founded by the Greeks of Megara around 728 BC. The colony was not very fortunate squeezed between Leontini and Syracuse, finally Gelo of Syracuse would destroy the town in the fifth century. At the end of the fourth century BC a new town was built, much smaller, in hellenistic style.
Selinus (Selinunte) was founded by Greek colonists in the seventh century BC. The city was caught in the middle of the wars between Greeks and Punics and at some time in history it was conquered by Carthage. Selinus and Segesta were eternal rivals in West-Sicily.
The Cava d'Ispica is an archaeological site in a canyon where a large number of caves have been used since the prehistory and in particular during the Byzantine rule. The site is also excellent for long hikes.
The castle of Donnafugata is orginally a nineteenth century fortified masseria. The rooms are kept in their original state as a museum where it is not allowed to make pictures. The castle has been used in the series Montalbano.
Enna is at the heart of Sicily, the only province without beaches but with a particular natural and cultural environment.
Morgantina is one of the ancient cities in central Sicily, part of the territory of the Sicels. The town has many Greek features introduced by the Greek colonization of Sicily, but the population was a mix of Greeks and Sicels (siculi).
The salt-works of Trapani have been transformed into a natural reserve. Several salt-works, saline, are still operational and provide information to the public with small museums. One of the central mills is in use as a restaurant where typical Sicilian dishes are served.
The natural reserve of Pantalica, Valle dell'Anapo and Torrente Cava Grande. Pantalica is the bronze age necropolis. The setting is in the natural park, an ideal environment for hiking and enjoying nature
The towns of southern Sicily were rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1693. Now these towns are all on the list of World Heritage of the UNESCO. Noto, Modica, Ragusa Ibla, Scicli.
The province and town of Agrigento are situated in the south of Sicily. The town was founded by the Greeks as Akragas and known by the romans as Agrigentum. Near Agrigento you will find the world famous temples of the Greek period.
Founded as a greek colony in territory of the Sicels Syracuse became one of the most flourishing and powerful poleis of Sicily in antiquity. Until today it preserves a Greek theatre, Roman amphitheatre and a Greek temple that has been reused as a church with a baroque facade.
The province of Trapani in West-Sicily has a rich history and prehistory. In prehistoric times the Phoenicians settled here and under Carthage the Punics governed this side of the island, fighting their wars with the Greeks. Characteristic of the west are the salt industry, the tuna fishing and the vineyards.
The archaeological museum has a very large and important collection of prehistoric and greek artefacts from Syracuse and many other sites like Megara Hyblaea, Pantalica and Thapsos. The museum is named after one of the major Sicilian archaeologists Paolo Orsi. In the museum there is also a large collection of antique coins from all the greek and punic colonies of Sicily.
The archaeological museum of Agrigento has a rich collection ranging from prehistoric artefacts to the classic Greek ceramics and statues. Impressive is the statue of the Telamon and marvellous the statue of the Efebos.
The archaeological museum of Enna has a collection of archaeological finds from the territory of Enna excluding Piazza Armerina and Aidone (Morgantina).
A small museum on prehistory and the sea in the tower called Torre di Ligny. The museum is run by volunteers.
The Museum Whitaker, housed in the former residence of the family Whitaker on the island of Motya, preserves a very unique collection of archaeological finds. Most renowned is the marble statue of the young chariotteer.
Motya, or Mothia, was the most important Phoenician-Punic town in West-Sicily, built on a small island in front of the coast. It had a large industrial quarter and in punic times was surrounded by a city wall and city gates to defend itself against the attacks of the Greek tyrants of Sicily.
Roman villa near the river Tellaro famous for the mosaics of the fourth century AD
Piazza Armerina (EN)
Built in 303-337 AD the Roman villa contains a great number of rich mosaics. Unfortunately in may 2012 part of the villa was still under restoration and could not be visited. In july of 2012 the entire villa was reopened to the public.