Porto Empedocle was born as the port of Agrigento but over the centuries it has gained importance and in 1853 it became an independent municipality. Nevertheless, the towns are still strongly linked both historically and culturally and both boast a famous resident writer: Andrea Camilleri and Luigi Pirandello. Via Roma, the harbour and the locals are the backdrop of many of Camilleri’s novels and have inspired the character of Commissario Montalbano, an investigator always working on a new case in Vigata (Porto Empedocle) or Montelusa (Agrigento). The 16th century Tower of Charles V, at the entrance to the harbour, was used as a prison by the Bourbons as is described by Camilleri in his novel “la strage dimenticata”. Nowadays it is a small museum and hosts various art and cultural events. Casa Museo Luigi Pirandello, just outside town, displays a collection of letters, fotos and other memorabilia once belonging to the illustrious writer. It is curious to know that Camilleri met Pirandello soon after he had been awarded the Nobel prize for literature: Luigi was a cousin of Andrea’s grandmother and when he came to visit her, still wearing his Nobel ceremony suit, Andrea opened the door. That was in 1934 when Andrea Camilleri was 9 years old.
Porto Empedocle: distance from Agrigento approx. 10 Km
Contacts of organizations and associations which offer tourist information and other useful services:
Municipality of Porto Empedocle: telephone reception
+39 0922 531611
Pro Loco Porto Empedocle:
+39 0922 535404
Hydrofoils and Ferries for Lampedusa
+39 0922 636683 +390922636110
Porto Empedocle: the coordinates indicate Via Roma
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N 37° 17' 21.51''
E 13° 31' 44.59''
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