The historical centre of Agrigento (Kerkent to the Arabs,Gergent to the Normans and Girgenti until 1927) is perched on the Hill of Girgenti, a place chosen in the Middle Ages for defensive needs and also for its proximity to the new port, and therefore more favourable to trade. Walk with us through the densely-layered historical centre of Agrigento and explore the maze of tiny alleys, piazzas and side-streets of old Girgenti.
The guided tour of the old town of Girgenti starts at the Church of San Calogero (16th c.), situated on the corner of Viale della Vittoria (magnificent vista of the Valley of Temples)
Continue to the Porta di Ponte and Via Atenea, the main street, lined on both sides with old palaces built between the 18th and 19th c. by the most notable families: Borsellino, Carbonaro, Costa Noto-Biondi, Granet Caruso.
Later, we visit the Abbey Church and the Convent of the Holy Spirit (Monastero di Santo Spirito), a splendid example of medieval art and prototype Chiaramonte style in Sicily, by far the most interesting monument of the historical center of Agrigento. Don’t miss the almond macaroons, couscous and sugary sweets still prepared by the nuns according to ancient recipes jealously preserved and kept secret.
Then, we walk up to the Cathedral, built by San Gerlando at the end of the 11th century, in Arab- Norman style but enlarged and altered throughout the centuries according to changing architectural fashion. Finally, we visit the Church of Santa Maria dei Greci (12th century) built on the remains, still visible, of a Greek temple from 5th c. B.C., perhaps dedicated to Athena