Archaeological Sites in Sicily - Sicilyincoming

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Segesta is one of the most interesting archeological sites in Sicily. It is located between Trapani and Palermo on the slopes of Monte Barbaro at an elevation of 400 meters above sea level. Segesta, according to legend, was named after the nymph Egesta and it was founded by the tribe of Elimi. Of particular beauty are the theater, partly dug into the rock of the hill and the temple, in Doric style. The theater of Segesta dates from the 3rd century. B.C. and is located on the hill in front of the temple. The theater is quite large, the diameter of the semi-circular seating area is 63 meters. The seating area is known as the "cavea" and a good part of it was carved out of the solid rock of the mountain. Each year in Segesta and in its ancient theater are organized shows and performances of classical works (tragedies) belonging to the world Greek and Latin. Outside the ancient walls of the city is the Doric temple. It was built between 420 and 430 BC. and  it is one of the most important works of Greek archeology. The temple of Segesta is 61 meters long and 26 meters wide, built upon 4 steps, with a total of 36 Doric columns supporting the stone roof-frame of the structure. Apparently, the temple was never completed. It also appears that the structure never had a roof and archeologists are still in disagreement as to whether the Temple was deliberately planned this way, or was just never finished.


Selinunte was an ancient Greek city located on the southwest coast of Sicily. It is one of the largest archaeological sites in the world and is located in the province of Trapani. In the archaeological park of Selinunte there are still remains of Greek temples, ancient town walls, the ruins of residential and commercial buildings, countryside paths and zones not yet excavated.  Selinunte was founded, according to Thucydides, in the 7th century. B.C. by Greek colonists from Megara Hyblaea. Selinunte is divided into three areas: the Acropolis, the hills with Eastern Temples and the Sanctuary of Demetra Malophoros. On the eastern hill are three temples: the temple dedicated to Zeus, identified by the letter G, is now one of the largest temples (113 x 54m) and never finished, whose columns are all fluted and 16.27 m high. The temple F is the oldest one and was built around 530 BC. It was dedicated to Athena, but today it is completely destroyed. The temple E, dedicated to Hera, was built about the 5th century BC. Temple E is the only one of the temples of Selinunte to have been almost entirely re-erected and partially rebuilt. The Acropolis is also remarkable part of Selinunte and it was destined to the divinities.


One of the most interesting archaeological sites in Sicily is certainly the ancient Greek city of Morgantina. The city lies on a small plain surrounded by hills in east central Sicily in the province of Enna. The archaeological site of Morgantina contains evidence of occupation from the late Sicilian Bronze Age to the Late Roman Republic. At the center of plain are located Agora and Acropolis. In area of Acropolis are the oldest remains of the city, including the sacred area. At the foot of the Acropolis hill is located the residential area. In this area were found examples of luxury homes with mosaic floors and frescoed walls like the "House of the Doric capital ". The most interesting area of Morgantina is certainly the Agora. It was arranged in two levels (the lower for sacred rituals, the upper one for commercial and public) and connected by a large stairway. The Greek Theatre was also important part of Morgantina archaeological site. Its semicircular auditorium of 15 steps, divided into 6 areas , could accommodate near 5000 spectators.



Solunto is an ancient town near Palermo. It was founded in the 4th century BC by the Carthaginians and expanded by the Greeks, while during the first Punic War it was handed by the Romans. The town was abandoned for unknown reasons in the 3rd century AD. The excavations, which started in the 19th century, had already released part of the city. At the entrance of the excavations is the Antiquarium, which houses some coins, statues, architectural fragments, cartographic documentation of what was once the city of Solunto. The most important ruins are the Gymnasium, the House of Leda and the Sanctuary. The Gymnasium still has three Doric style  columns and there are still visible it’s remnants of rich mosaic floors. The house of Leda is another fairly well-preserved dwelling. It has a fascinating fresco showing Zeus in the guise of a swan seducing the lady in question. The house was excavated in 1963. All the rooms are richly decorated with mosaics and paintings. On the slope of the hill, in the north, are the remains of the Hellenistic-Roman theatre, which still preserves the seats of the stalls and parts of the scene. This theatre is one of the best preserved archaeological sites in the province of Palermo.


Mozia is an island of around 45 hectares, the biggest of a small archipelago in front of the Stagnone Natural Reserve in Trapani and Marsala. It was founded in the 8th Century BC. The Phoenician city was conquered and destroyed by Dionysius II of Syracuse in 397 BC. The following year, it was conquered by the Carthaginians, but lost considerable importance and, apart from sporadic inhabitations evidenced in the remains of a few villas of the Hellenistic and Roman periods, it was completely abandoned during the Roman dominion. At the beginning of the 20th Century the entire island was bought by Joseph Whitaker. He undertook and organised the digs, bringing to light the archaeological jewellery of Mozia: the Casa dei Mosaici (House of Mosaics), the Phoenician-Punic Sanctuary of the Capidazzu, part of the archaic necropolis, the Porta Nord (North Port) area, from which the artificial road linking to the mainland began.

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