While I was researching Mazara del Vallo, I noticed that the ancient Greek city of Selinunte was relatively close — only a little more than 30 minutes away by car. So, on our third day in the city, Susan and I hopped into the car, and made our way over to the HUGE archaeological park. Selinunte was a large Greek city. At its prime, before the year 409 B.C., it had more than 30,000 inhabitants. There were five temples that were all built around an acropolis, much of which lies in ruins today. In fact, the only building that has been slightly reconstructed is the Temple of Hera. This is the first thing that catches your eye, once you enter into the vast park. For those who prefer not to walk, and again — the place is really quite large — there are carts which are available for hire. This is a wonderful place to visit, for anyone interested in history, as once you pay your admission fee, you are basically left alone, to explore on your own. You can stick to the main roads and walkways that traverse the grounds, or you can wander along the tiny paths that take you right into the heart of the fallen stones. There are no boundaries here.Susan and I chose to walk the park, rather than ride in a cart. It made for a nice morning of exercise and sun, but I would imagine that in the middle of August, this would not be something that most people would want to do. For the most part, there is not much shade available, so be prepared. We spent a good three hours wandering around the archaeological park. By the time that we were finished, we were hungry and thirsty, and so we found a small bar/café not far from the entrance to the parking lot, and we had a bite to eat. After lunch, as we were making our way back towards Mazara del Vallo, we noticed signs for Cave di Cusa, and so we thought — why not! We turned the car around, and set off in search of this next attraction.Cave di Cusa was the quarry where most of the stone that was used to build the city of Selinunte came from. Now, it is an archaeological site, and while there was a ticket office, it was shuttered up, so we proceeded on to explore a bit.One we were finished at the quarry, it was time to head back to Mazara del Vallo.The small Museo Ornitologico, or the Taxidermy Museum, is located right on Piazza della Repubblica. Entrance into the museum is free.
Next up: exploring the outskirts of the city!
Note: this blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear.