When Jon had to do a rotation in Sigonella, Sicily, I decided to go with him! We took an overnight ferry and had our own cabin, much like a cabin one would see on a cruise ship. It was a surprisingly comfortable trip, and we both wound up getting a great night’s sleep. We were excited to explore a different part of Italy. The ancient ruins of Sicily were especially intriguing to us, so we looked forward to visiting popular towns of Agrigento and Siracusa.
We couldn’t have asked for a better place to stay in Sicily. Right outside of the base were gorgeous views of Mt. Etna. Jon took these beautiful pictures:
Exploring Ruins and Temples in Agrigento
Since Jon’s schedule wasn’t too busy, we had plenty of time to explore. Agrigento sits on the southern side of Sicily, about 1.5-2 hours from where we were staying. It is best known for its ancient Greek ruins, and more specifically Valle dei Templi (Valley of the Temples). At this site, seven monumental temples were built around 500 B.C.
There were some pretty interesting statues around…
We also visited the museum, which contains artifacts taken from the site.
The temples sit below the city of Agrigento, which looks out to the Mediterranean Sea. The city has small shops, a large cathedral, and small churches.
More Ancient Ruins (and pizza!) in Siracusa
A few days later, we visited the city of Siracusa. This is another city that is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheaters, and architecture. Before going to the city center, we visited the area’s ancient ruins. We saw the Greek theater, which was spectacular! They continue to use the theater to hold plays. We also saw the Roman amphitheater, which is considered the 5th most important Roman theater in Italy.
While in the ancient “park,” we discovered many caves and nature walks.
The city center of Siracusa has many churches, piazzas, and fountains scattered around the city. For lunch we had some Sicilian pizza, and we found that we very much prefer the pizza from Naples, the world’s pizza capital. It was still very good and we had it a few times while we were in Sicily, but nothing beats the pizza in Naples!
What a treat it was to visit the towns of Agrigento and Siracusa!