We planed one day trip from Agrigento to visiting - Segesta tempio and Erice. Starting early in the morning we drove in direction of Trapani - Palermo. Archaeological site of tempio is located close the highway. (watch out on Segesta exit and follow signs for the Segesta archaeological site) .
From designated parking area we walked up to the hillside to visit imposing Doric temple - Doric tempio. The temple stands alone in a field of yelow meadow with great natural beauty around. The Greek Theater is about a kilometer away. We chose 15 minutes walk to the top of hill, of course you can choose bus. Architect who built the theater had a special taste for beauty: the stage is set in such a way that the spectators look out across the mountains to the sea - great
Segesta was one of the main cities of the Elimi, a people who according to ancient tradition came from Troy.
Fairly hellenized in appereance and culture the city played a leadig role among Sicilian centres and in the Mediterranean basin, to such an exent to involve in its own secular conflict with Selinunte both Athens and Carthage.
After the destruction of Selinunte the city was conquered by Agathokles of Syracuse, who renamed it Dikeopolis. Later on Segesta took back its former name and in the course of the First Punic war passed into Roman hands; but owing to the common Trojan origins the city was exempted from paying tributes, given a huge territory and granted a new phase of prosperity. .
Segesta was entirely replanned on the model of Asia Minor's big cities, assuming a greatly scenographic appereance.
It has been belived for a long time that Segesta was abandoned after the Vandals' raids, but recent researches have found a late roman phase with the evidence of a large Muslim village followed by a Norman-Swabian settlement dominated by a castle built on the summit of Monte Barbaro.
The ancient city occupied the summit of Monte Barbaro naturaly defended on the east and west sides by steep rock slopes, while the less protected side was provided in the classical age with a boundary wall and monumental gates, later replaced.
Tempio of Segesta
The city of Segesta is already well known for its two principal monuments, the Doric temple - tempio and ancient theatre.
The temple - tempio is one of the most extant examples of Doric architecture. Dating from the second half of the fifth century B.C. The
Theatre rises in an evocative setting with an impressive view Partly built into the hillside it dates from the fourth to third centuries B.C. and has auditorium of 20 levels of steps. In summer months performances of Greek plays are staged in the air-theatre.