This is as one of the top tourist attractions in Sicily. It is the largest archaeological site in the world and stands in about 1,300 hectares. The area was included in the UNESCO world heritage site list in 1997. So we certainly couldn’t come all the way to Sicily without visiting these terrific monuments.
We checked out the website and they had parking for motorhomes. So we decided not to get the bus but to drive up. We arrived at the first car park to find a sign by the entrance stating no motorhome parking. We upset all the Italian drivers while we logged on to the website again to find where we could park. It said that motorhomes could park at the other car park so we drove a couple of miles down the road and parked up.
We couldn’t believe our eyes when we started walking along the path. The ruins are magnificent. We hired an audio guide for 5 euros so we could understand exactly what we were looking at and at least come away slightly more educated then when we arrived.
Temple of Juno is also known as Temple D. It was built in the middle of the fifth century BC, about 450 BC. The temple was originally dedicated to the Greek god Hera.
Temple of Concordia is just magnificent. It is not only the largest but also the best preserved Doric temple in Sicily and apparently one of the best preserved Doric temples in general. The temple was built in approx. 44o BC. It is made of six columns by thirteen columns. The columns are 6 metres high and carved with 20 flutes. You could see the three rooms inside and also the alter.
Temple of Hercules is another Doric style building. The temple is of unusually elongated proportions – 67 metres long and 25 metres wide. It has six columns along the front and fifteen columns along the side. This Doric temple has suffered from some destruction which is believed to have been caused by an earthquake.
Its hard to appreciate the actual size of the Doric temples from photos. Below is a picture of what would have been the corner off Hercules.
There are still some of the remains of what would have been the huge walls that would have surrounded the valley.
The views were just breath taking.
It took us nearly 3 hours to walk around the site and I think its fair to say we loved every minute of it.