Porto Empedocle, Italy
7km/4mi to the southwest of Agrigento lies the little port of Porto Empédocle (17,000 inhabitants) which was founded in the 18th century and is today an industrial center. In the district called Caos stands the house where the writer Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) was born and which now contains a small museum. The writer is buried beneath his beloved pine tree.
The heart of Favara, an industrial town (13km/8mi to the northeast of Agrigento; 28,000 inhabitants; altitude: 345m/1,132ft) is the 13th century fortress of Chiaramonte.
Sant'Angelo Muxaro, Italy
CommunicationsTake the SS 118 from Agrigento to Raffadali (20km/12.5mi), turn right there towards San Biagio Plátani; after 14.5km/9mi a side road off to the left leads to Sant'Angelo Muxaro.This small town lies 36km/22.5mi northwest of Agrigento, above Plátani. The Sicanian necropolis in the valley, together with that at Pantálica, is one of the most impressive in the whole of Sicily. The main remains are an anteroom and a vaulted main room with benches all around. The grave goods are exhibited in the Syracuse Museum.MythThe necropolis supports the theory that this was the site of the Sicanian capital Kamikos of the mythical King Kokalos. Kokalos became part of Greek legend when Daidalos, the builder of the labyrinth at Knoss, fled from King Minos of Crete. Minos pursued him, landed in Minoa and reached the mountain fortress of Kamikos, which Daidalos had built for King Kokalos. The king received Minos in a friendly fashion and promised to hand over the refugee to him, but "he was then murdered by his host's daughters whilst bathing; they are said to have poured boiling pitch over him - other sources say it was boiling water". The Cretans, led by Herodot, then sent an expeditionary force against Kokalos and besieged Kamikos for five years, but in vain. Ancient legend has it that, when Akragas (now Agrigent) was founded in 583 B.C.Minos' bones were handed back to the Cretans. Sophocles mentions this in his tragedy "Kamikoi", only fragments of which have been preserved. Kamikos is mentioned twice more in historical records: prior to 480 B.C., when relatives of Theros of Akragas rise up against the latter, are beaten off and take refuge in Kamikos, and again in 258 B.C., when the Romans take Kamikos.
Caltabellotta's is picturesquely set on the side of a mountain of the same name, with views out over the surrounding countryside.
This small town, together with the neighboring locality of San Giovanni Gémini, is picturesquely situated on the eastern slope of Monte Cammarata, to the north of Agrigento. The ruins of the Castello dei Branciforti and the Church of Santa Maria with its Gagini statue are worth visiting.
This mountain has a double summit and is, at 1,578m/5,177ft, the highest point in Southern Sicily. It can be reached from the town by a winding mountain road (view).
Sambuca di Sicilia, Italy
CommunicationsFrom Sciacca on the south coast take the SS 188b as far as San Bartolo (7.5km/4.5mi) and there turn right on to the SS 188, which runs via the Misilbesi junction (10km/6.25mi) and north of Lago Arancio to Sambuca (9.5km/6mi).
7km/4.5mi north of Sambuca, to the right of the road leading to Contessa Entellina, lies the Adranone archeological site, 900m/2,960ft up on the eastern slope of Monte Genuardo (1,179m/3,870ft). This is a Siculan settlement, which later came under Punic and then Greek influence. Experts have uncovered the town walls, built in the sixth-fifth centuries B.C. and renewed in the fourth-third centuries B.C., the Acropolis, the huge "Tomb of the Queen", as well as a residential area outside the walls dating from the Hellenistic period.
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