I’m ecstatic! Tomorrow I’m jetting off to Agrigento, Sicily for a fabulous four-day blogger trip with il Daily Slow, a web portal for sustainable and slow travel. I’m really chuffed to be a part of this exciting event. Not only will I have the opportunity to meet other travel bloggers who appreciate the slow movement (and arts and culture too), but I’ll also be seeing various cultural and historic sights that Sicily has to offer.
Below you’ll find a handful of the places I’ll be visiting in Agrigento (and watch this space for hidden cultural gems as always!):
1. Casa Pirandello – home to Luigi Pirandello (1867 – 1936), a famous Sicilian playwright who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934. Pirandello wrote novels, hundreds of short stories and is well-known for his plays (of which around 40 were written). Below is Pirandello’s 18th century rural home, overlooking the open ocean and a landscape of olive trees and other Mediterranean fauna and flora. What writer wouldn’t want to retire here?
Today the house is a museum and national monument. Rooms are filled with a collections of photographs, awards, books and paintings as well as other family memorabilia. As an arts and culture lover, i’m pretty excited about this one…
From Casa Pirandello, we’ll be making our way to Inspector Montalbano’s statue. Montalbano is a well-known literary figure who is the police chief of Vigata (a fictional city in Sicily). Andrea Camilleri created the detective story in 1994 and since then many of Camilleri’s novels have been translated into English. There is even a popular TV series dedicated to Montalbano.
3. Porto Empedocle Vigata
After a visit to the inspector, I’ll then explore il Municipio, the central town district before heading to Porto Empedocle (a name that derives from a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher). It’s really strange to note that this port recently changed its official name fromPorto Empedocle to Porto Empedocle Vigata, since many of Camilleri’s novels were based in this locale – an amazing merging of fact and fiction in a single location!
4. il Mercato del Pesce
Next I’ll learn about the history of the fishing industry in the area. With the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean all around, it is little wonder that the industry is one of the island’s most important!
5. La Scala dei Turchi – Perhaps one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the region is the La Scala dei Turchi, or the ‘Stairway of the Turks’. This white rocky cliff made of limestone is world-reknown due to it’s exquisite contrast against the azure Mediterranean waters. Heaven on earth truly awaits.
Another unspoilt beach I’ll be visiting in the area is the Lido Azzurro, which has been dubbed the St. Tropez of eastern Sicily. Apparently there are plenty of restaurants, bars and pubs along this white sandy strip and I’m curious to see if I can discover a cultural gem or two here too. While in this seaside region I’ll also stop by Torre Carlo V, an ancient tower dedicated to – you guessed it – Carlo V (Charles V. the holy Roman emperor who reigned in the 1500s).
So join me over the next four days as I explore Agrigento, a commune in the southern region of the largest island in the Mediterranean. Let’s get #sicilying – follow the hashtag on Twitter and don’t forget to also follow il Daily Slow and The Museum Times‘ Twitter handle. You can also visit the il Daily Slow website for additional slow travel stories (in Italian and English).