The Botanical Garden of Agrigento houses approximately 20,000 plants, representing over three hundred cultivars and Mediterranean scrub species. This marvelous “green treasure,” spanning an impressive 7 hectares, is located just a short distance from the Valley of the Temples and the historic center of Agrigento, serving as a perfect link between the ancient and modern city. It can be considered an “open-air museum” as it not only preserves a rich botanical heritage but also contains various fossil and archaeological remains, such as underground chambers, caves, which were used as dwellings, stables, and warehouses during different periods. In the 5th century BC, Carthaginian slaves, who had survived the Battle of Himera, extracted blocks of tuff from this site for the construction of the Temples. These ancient works have left a space that has since been reclaimed by nature and repurposed. Recent studies have also revealed that the famous statue of the Agrigento Ephebe, displayed at the Pietro Griffo Archaeological Museum, was discovered here, inside one of the underground chambers in the Garden.
The recent reopening of the open-air theater, known as the Ephebe Theater, situated beneath the impressive limestone cliff, was named in honor of this significant discovery and as a tribute to the artistic and expressive code of performances linked to the myth and history of Akràgas.
The Garden is crisscrossed by numerous paths which conduct the visitors to shady spots and hidden corners, enabling them to admire the various species, each clearly illustrated and classified. Rest points with a view over the Valley of the Temples are conveniently situated at various levels of the sandstone terraces.
The origin of the Garden is quite curious: starting in the 1930s and for many decades, it served as an agricultural colony with socio-therapeutic purposes for patients of the former Psychiatric Hospital of Agrigento. It was opened to the public in 2002 after an initial careful restoration and repurposing of certain spaces, including for cultural purposes, carried out by the Free Consortium of Agrigento, then the Regional Province of Agrigento. In the following years, some cracks on the top of the cliff limited its accessibility to a few areas. Today, after a second intervention to ensure safety and consolidate the entire area, again undertaken by the Free Consortium of Agrigento, the Botanical Garden is fully enjoyable and open for visitors.
The Botanical Garden is seven hectares wide: five hectares of cultivated area and two hectares of buildings and tourist routes.
From March 2022 until further notice.
Open in the morning: Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Open in the afternoon: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The Botanical Garden is free entry
Botanical Garden: contacts for information and visits during other than those indicated
Giardino Botanico di Agrigento, via Demetra – 92100 Agrigento
The following coordinates indicate the point of interest
N 37° 18' 4.9''
E 13° 35' 50.03''
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