Agrigento is about 2 ½ hours from Trapani via SS189 but because passing through some construction zones is the norm, it could take longer to get there. Our rule of thumb is to try to stop every two hours, and so, a stop at the Palace of Ficuzza fit the bill and I got to visit a palace on this trip.
Taking eight years to complete, the Royal Palace of Ficuzza, referred to as a hunting lodge because it was located near a preserve, was commissioned by Ferdinand III of Sicily in 1802. One tends to overlook how much influence Spain had on land in the Mediterranean and northern Africa. We walked through a portrait gallery providing a timeline of who ruled here and their interesting list of marriages linking the royalty of Europe.
Like many palaces, the Palace of Ficuzza has a chapel.
Some of the rooms had displays which included marionettes.
Like most iconic places, it is not uncommon to see a wedding or at least the bridal party and cars.
We had an enjoyable bit to eat at a local place and headed towards Agrigento.
Upon arrival, we noticed an overcast sky,misty atmosphere, and within minutes, RAIN. These endearing kittens knew not only how to find cover, but to pose for the camera.
The Valley of the Gods was a 4-5 minute drive away from our lodging. This is the view of two of the temples from our hotel’s grounds.
In the evening of our first night in Agrigento, one of the hotel owners (who was a chef in Palermo ) prepared dinner for us. What was supposed to be a fancy meal al fresco changed as we noticed the intermittent rain drops quickly increasing their frequency. Everyone and all the furnishings needed to be rushed inside to escape the torrential downpour. The cats ran inside as well and were quite entertaining although the wait staff did not find their antics amusing.
The next morning after a sumptuous breakfast we walked down to the UNESCO World Heritage Valley of the Gods where we spent the good part of the day and saw impressive Hellenic temples
On the cliff-line of the Valley of the Gods numerous cavities with curved upper surfaces that have been hewn into the rock and used as tombs can be seen..
After flying too close to the Sun, Icarus plummeted to his death, drowned in the sea, and now lies in front of the Doric-style Temple of Concordia.
While Sicily is full of archeological wonders it also has beautiful beaches, cliffs and landscapes. One nice place in the Agrigento area is the Stair of the Turks. The cascading white cliffs and azure waters are quite picturesque.
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To continue reading about our recent trip to Sicily by way of Rome please look for our next segment - Ragusa by way of Villa Romana del Casale 2022
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