The Archaeological Museum is located on the hill of St. Nicholas: a nice ridge with the majestic view over the temples and the sea. This was the place where the upper agorà of Akragas was located. In the 12th century a Cistercian Monastery was built here and its cloister and some rooms have been incorporated into the modern Museum, thus creating a well-balanced complex composed of modern and antique structures. The museum contains more than 5000 exhibits displayed according to scientific criteria which guide the visitor chronologically in the discovery of Agrigento from prehistory to the end of the Graeco-Roman era. The Museum has 18 rooms organized in 2 sections: the first section is dedicated to the remains of Agrigento (rooms 1-11) and the second is dedicated to the archaeological finds of the surrounding territories (rooms 12-18).
The most outstanding exhibits are undoubtedly the collection of vases with decorations depicting epic and mythological scenes, the giant Telamon placed in the room dedicated to Zeus, Greek and Roman sarcophagi embellished with splendid bas-relief details, the Ephebos of Agrigento and fine floor mosaics of Roman dwellings (domus). Recently the museum’s garden has been embellished with superb bronze sculptures by G.Wyatt and dedicated to the philosopher of Agrigento, Empedocle. Empedocle was not only a philosopher but also the politician who introduced democracy to Akragas during the last decades of the 5th century BC. The museum is surrounded by the archaeological remains of the political centre of Akragas: to the South, the cavea of the Ekklesiasterion, and to the North the Boulèuterion.
Legislative proposals were formulated by the ‘Boulé’ which were then discussed and voted by the general assembly of the citizens (‘Ekklesia’). The cavea of the Ekklesiasterion is ‘invaded’ by a small Roman temple built on the site in the 1st century BC, incorrectly called “Oratory of Phalaris” (the tiny temple was possibly used as an oratory in the Middle Ages by the monks of the nearby Church of St. Nicholas). During the Imperial age the entire area was generally re-organized: nearby the Boulèuterion was built a large Roman temple with an ample podium and a portico running around three sides. Recently statues of Roman magistrates in toga, which are now exhibited along via sacra, were found here. The presence of this temple and the noble dwellings of the nearby Roman-Hellenistic quarter demonstrate the importance of this area during the Roman age: this was the urban centre of the Roman Agrigentum.
The Archaeological Museum “Pietro Griffo” is located next to the Church of St. Nicholas and on the side facing Roman Hellenistic Quarter.
In the entrance area you will find the following services: Parking, Tickets, Bus, Information.
The entry to the Roman Temple area is allowed in specific days, in small groups, and sometimes it’s necessary authorization by Archaeological Park
Open Monday to Saturday from 9.00 a.m. – 7.00 p.m.,
Open Sunday and public holidays from 9.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.
The Roman Temple is open to the public every Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m.
Ticket to the Museum: € 8 per person
Free entry for younger than 18 years old. 50% discount for EU citizens between 18 and 25 of age
Valley of the Temples + Archaeological Museum = € 13.50 per person
Roman Temple: free entry in the public opening days
Archaeological Museum: contacts for institutional information
Tel. +39 0922401565
Fax +39 092220014
Coop Culture – Ticket Office: contacts for ticket and information
The following coordinates indicate the point of interest
N 37° 17' 48.52''
E 13° 35' 22.89''