Santa Elisabetta is located in a fertile, hilly countryside. The medieval Piazza San Carlo, decorated with ceramic tableaux depicting scenes of grain cultivation, is its centre. The most important archaeological remains can be found on Monte Guastanella: Guastanella Castle, an Arabian fortress built by the Byzantines, presumably coincident with a previous Greek-Punic and perhaps even proto-historic settlement. Unique in its kind and partly hewn out of the rocky buttress, in a thousand years this fortress has witnessed the passing by of many civilizations. In the 12th century it was conquered by the Normans, who put an end to the Saracen rule in the area. The underground structures, a cistern and a silo hewn out of the rock, are the best preserved parts. Perhaps the legendary city of Kamikos stood just on this sharp and almost inaccessible crest of Mount Guastanella: fortress built by Daedalus for the Sican king Kokalos as a gift for having saved him from the wrath of the Cretan king Minosse. Beyond the myth, the influences of the Minoan-Mycenaean culture in the area were investigated around 1930 by the famous archaeologist Paolo Orsi. Recently, inspired by a interesting ancient oral tradition of the place, some topographical investigations and some reflections noted in the notebooks by Paolo Orsi, the archeologist Mariarosa Rita Lombardo has hypothesized that Guastanella is the site of mythical “Camico” as well as the mausoleum where Minosse was buried. Minosse, in fact, died in Sicily after having tried in vain to capture Daedalus who had escaped from prison by flying from Crete to the Sicilian coastwith a pair of wings of wax and landed near the mouth of the Platani river.
Santa Elisabetta: distance from Agrigento approx. 23 Km
Contacts of organizations and associations which offer tourist information and other useful services:
Municipality of Santa Elisabetta: telephone reception
GSSE – Gruppo Speleologico Santa Elisabetta: booking and information about excursions on Monte Guastanella
+39 470065 / +39 3384931858
Santa Elisabetta: the coordinates indicate Guastanella’Castle.
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N 37° 25' 44.33''
E 13° 31' 33.32''
37.42898 , 13.52592
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