Eating an amazing breakfast of fresh tomatoes, pistachio cream spread on warm croissants and delicious coffee, while sitting on a terrace, overlooking the bright blue Tyrrhenian Sea had me in Sicilian heaven. It made it difficult to leave the table and begin our day (I was too busy licking my fingers to take appropriate photos).
The rediscovered treasures and trinkets of past civilizations have always intrigued and interested me. Our first stop after breakfast was at the Regional Archeological Museum. Along the pathway to the entrance of the building, a 2016 excavation uncovered a Greek Theater and an Agora (marketplace and meeting place) which could hold over 3,000 people. Inside the seventeen room museum are incredibly preserved and displayed examples of pottery, statues, war paraphernalia and sarcophagi. The collection includes pieces dating from prehistoric to Hellenistic periods.
After the museum, we continued our walk to The Valley of the Temples. I expected a cross between the Forum in Rome and the Acropolis in Athens. There is no comparison other than there are Greek/Roman temples. The Valley of the Temples is massive. Some of the Temples are in terrific shape, others not so much. The vastness is amazing with sweeping sea views (and city views too). Woven through the ruins are explanations of the temples, gardens and a temporary modern art installation. There are some fences keeping visitors from climbing into the temples, but you can get pretty close to everything. The scale of each building and what it took to get each stone in place is daunting. The Valley filled most of our day and we headed back up to the old town to find a cafe for a cold drink and a bite to eat. Some prosecco, a cheese platter and people watching made the day even more beautiful. Ruin a day… no way.