fbpx

The garden of Kolymbetra in Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples in Sicily  

Thursday, 02 June 2022 08:00

The garden of Kolymbetra in Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples is a striking feature in the Sicilian archaeological site and is mentioned by Andrea Camilleri in one of his popular detective novels.  

 
Montalbano phones Marinella. Livia had just returned. She is happy. 'I discovered a wonderful place, do you know it? It is called Kolymbetra. Just think, it used to be a gigantic pool, dug by Carthaginian prisoners". "Where is it?" asks Montalbano "Right there, at the temples. Now it's a kind of enormous Garden of Eden, recently opened to the public...promise me you'll go there one day." 

The garden was entrusted to the Italian Environmental Fund

This passage, taken from Camilleri’s La pazienza del ragno describes the Kolymbetra Garden which in 1999 was entrusted to the Italian Environmental Fund (FAI) by the Sicilian Region for a period of 25 years. It thus became one of the most important archaeological and naturalistic sites in the region and in Italy, ending the state of abandon in which it had languished since the last decades of the 20th century. 

Kolymbetra1

A water system for the city of Akragas

The Greek term Kolymbetra indicates a type of pool used for water games in Roman times, and the origins of the garden date back to when the Greeks colonized Sicily in 500 B.C. Diodorus Siculus narrates that the tyrant Theron entrusted the architect Phaeace with the task of designing a water system to supply the ancient city of Akragas which ended at the foot of the urbe and was known as Kolymbetra.

An ancient hypogea and a citrus grove

With its five hectares, the garden is a compendium of the agricultural and natural landscape of the Valley of the Temples. In the steepest areas there are intact patches of Mediterranean scrub, along the stream running through the valley floor there are poplars willows and tamarisks on the wide terraces, as well as an ancient citrus grove with many rare species and varieties. Of particular note are the ancient hypogea or Phaeacian aqueducts, the only ones visitable in the Valley of the Temples. Dating back to the 5th century B.C. they fed the ancient pool from which today limpid waters still gush out, irrigating the garden with its ancient citrus, fruit and olive trees.

Image

Latest Video

La Collina dei Ciliegi
Video

La Collina dei Ciliegi

The dreams of Massimo Gianolli and his family: from Milan to…

29
La Collina dei Ciliegi
Video

La Collina dei Ciliegi

The dreams of Massimo Gianolli and his family: from Milan to…

29

- Our Partners -

- Under the patronage of the Italian Tourist Board -

Image
© 2021 Travel Open Day Srl | All Rights Reserved. - P.IVA IT13119651001