The Province of Agrigento ( it|Provincia di Agrigento; Sicilian
: ''Pruvincia di Girgenti''; officially ''Libero consorzio comunale di Agrigento'') is a province
in the autonomous island region of Sicily
, situated on its south-western coast. Following the suppression of the Sicilian provinces, it was replaced in 2015 by the Free municipal consortium of Agrigento. It has an area of , and a total population of 474,493.
There are 43 comune
s (Italian: ''comuni'') in the province.
History and location
It is surrounded by Province of Palermo
in the north, Trapani
in the west, Mediterranean Sea
in the south and Caltanissetta
in the east. Gela inhabitants founded the province in 6th century B.C. as Akragas. The province was destroyed by the Carthage in 406 B.C. but was later ruled by the Romans, Goths, Byzantines and Arabs. The Arabs rebuilt several parts of the province. Several ancient Doric temples were constructed during the 6th and 5th century B.C. for the purpose of worshiping Hercules, Olympian Jupiter, Juno, Castor, Pollux and Demeter. They are located in the Valley of Temples
(Italian: ''Valle dei Templi'').
The ancient temples and other architectural structures were built using the stones of the hills near Capo San Marco.
Here below are listed the towns of the province with more than 10,000 inhabitants:
* Palma di Montechiaro
* Porto Empedocle
Agrigento is the birthplace of the noted writer Luigi Pirandello
and the philosopher Empedocles
According to the government records the number of unemployed people is about 17% of the total labour force.
The province faces the Channel of Sicily
in the south and is known for its beaches. The beaches of Torre Salsa have been designated as natural reserves and are protected due to their environmental importance.
The province is well known for its vineyards and wines. The total areas covered by vineyards in 1984 was almost triple to that in 1949. During this period Marsala
based wine merchants used the grapes produced in the province to produce Marsala wine
. In 1984 the local government passed a law which regulated this practice. Around three-quarters of the Sicilian land devoted to growing Fiano
grapes is in the province. Some of the important municipalities known for their vineyards include Sambuca di Sicilia
, Menfi and Santa Margherita di Belice
The road network in the province comprises 540 km. of street roads, 1,000 km. of provincial roads, 260 km. of communal roads and 56 km. of regional roads. 55% of the total rail network is suitable for electric trains.