Day 5: Agrigento
This morning we rolled our bags down the cobblestone streets of Trapani and said farewell, as we drove to Agrigento where we would see the Valley of the Templates and stay at the most picturesque hotel of the entire trip.
The drive to Agrigento from Trapani was slightly longer, however our guide made sure we took frequent rest stops to grab something to eat or drink or to stretch our legs. She also did a nice job of communicating when we would take those breaks.
The gas stations in Sicily are nothing like the ones we are used to.
Why do I make that statement more prominent? Because first of all this allowed us to gain a more authentic experience of day-to-day life and of course how in Italy, coffee is sacred. Drinking coffee is enjoyed in a much different fashion than the grande vanilla skim latte you usually order at Starbucks. If you ordered a latte in Italy they would serve you a cup of milk.
When we made a rest stop, Jeff, Julia, and I ordered a sandwich and it was the best sandwich any of us have ever had. All 3 of us light up when we see this picture. It was so unexpected to us to have such amazing food found at a gas station, but people in Italy like to break up their travel and enjoy a coffee on the way so you will notice the amazing food that is offered. Look at these decadent desserts they have! You won't find that at your local Shell gas station.
One of the most important stops we made was to get gelato; let's also be clear that there were many of these on the trip. However, our guide Nancy, treated us all to a gelato of our choosing. I picked the pistachio flavor because... when in Sicily... order the pistachio gelato. Nancy shared with us a Sicilian insider tip where you order a brioche and gelato and you dip the brioche in the gelato.
Valley of the Temples
When we arrived in Agrigento we first went to the Archeological Museum of Agrigento which was a great foundation for us to learn about the Greek architectural influences that are present here today. This area is called Valley of the Temples, however, these temples are located on a hilltop, not in a valley.
Valley of the Temples are a fine example of Greek temples and it is astounding to see how they are still in good condition after they were built in 6-th century B.C. Temple of Concordia is the structure that is most in tact out of all of the Temples. All of these temples were built out of sandstone.
After a busy day touring Valley of the Gods, we stayed at a magical, quaint hotel in the countryside. Many people on our tour said that this was their favorite place that we stayed. It was a great change of pace from the buzz of the other cities in Sicily. Personally, I am more of a city girl, but I did appreciate the change of pace at this point in our tour and they had the most picturesque gardens.
Once we were all settled in the hotel we met in the hotel courtyard for a group activity where we shared fun facts that we learned about our buddy.
After that we headed down to the hotel's garden where we sat and had a multi-course dinner. The ambiance couldn't have been more spectacular with a violinist playing the entire evening. The chef even came out after all the dishes were served.