Agrigento Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Regionale "Pietro Griffo")
The anticipation-building entrance to the museum sets the stage. Walk through a lovely little garden, then over a bridge that suddenly overlooks the mystical ruins of Ekklesiasterion, a 4th-century BC amphitheatre. Once inside, admire the impressive collection includes ancient painted vases, an enormous recreation of the Temple of Zeus, an alabaster sarcophagus of a child from 2nd century BC, and a telamon—a gargantuan figure of a man, stacked against a wall.
Travelers may discover the museum as part of a guided day trip from Palermo, which begins with an exploration of the UNESCO-designated Valley of the Temples, before traveling on to the Agrigento temples (Hera, Concordia, and Apollo). Atop a jagged hill is a panoramic view of the ancient temples below.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Suitable for all travelers; history and archeology buffs especially.
- During the summer, remember sun protection and water for hydration.
- At the museum, take a cool break in the lush green garden.
- Tours operate in all weather conditions, and may depart only on specific days of the week, and may have a minimum number of participants.
- Check specific tours for details.
- Museum admission is about US$10.
How to Get There
Agrigento Archaeological Museum is on the southwestern coast of Sicily, just outside the town of Agrigento in a district where the ancient Greek settlement Akragas once stood. From Palermo, drive about two hours north along SS121 and SS189. Trains leave from Palermo Centrale Railway Station frequently; expect about a 2.5-hour ride.
When to Get There
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 9am - 7:30pm, and on Sunday and Monday, from 9am - 1:30pm. The best times to visit Sicily are from April to early June and late September to October when temperatures are very pleasant. High season includes Easter, Christmas and the summer, from July to September, when the beaches can get crowded.
Valley of the Temples of Agrigento Along one of the most picturesque routes in Sicily, this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site extends over 3,212 acres (1,300 hectares) just south of the Agrigento Archaeological Museum. Wander the fabulous Way of the Temples, with ruins dating to the 5th century BC—Agrigento’s halcyon era—and the most important sacred buildings such as the Temples of Hercules, Concordia, and Juno Lacinia. Exhibitions featuring contemporary artists complement the experience.
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- Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi)
- Kolymbetra Garden (Giardino della Kolymbethra)
- Enchanted Castle of Sciacca (Castello Incantato di Sciacca)
- House Museum of Soap (Casa Museo del Sapone)
- Villa Romana del Casale
- Mandralisca Museum (Museo Mandralisca)
- Cefalù Cathedral (Duomo di Cefalù)
- Monreale Cathedral (Duomo di Monreale)
- Ballarò Market (Mercato Ballarò)
- Palatine Chapel (Capella Palatina)
- Church of the Gesù (Chiesa del Gesù)
- Palermo Cathedral (Cattedrale di Palermo)
- Capuchin Catacombs (Catacombe dei Cappuccini)