ALCAMO – Day Two

DSCN8963Legend has it that the area in which Alcamo sits was inhabited by people who had escaped the destruction of the city of Troy.  The city of Alcamo itself was founded in 828 by a Muslim commander named Al-Kamuk — hence the name.DSCN8980DSCN8973DSCN8984DSCN8991DSCN8995Among the evidence of the town’s Arabic heritage is the old Arabic fountain, which is still functioning today.DSCN9002DSCN9009DSCN9004DSCN9030DSCN9032DSCN9038DSCN9039A flying eagle is the symbol of the coat of arms of Alcamo.DSCN9041While we were visiting Erice, the town was celebrating the release of a film that had been shot there.  Now, we saw posters advertising the film in Alcamo.DSCN9043DSCN9045The Church of St. Thomas dates from the beginning of the 15th century.DSCN9047DSCN9048DSCN9053DSCN9060DSCN9064DSCN9067DSCN9073DSCN9074DSCN9076DSCN9080The Church of Santa Maria Assunta is the city’s main church, or Duomo.  DSCN9081DSCN9085DSCN9087DSCN9088DSCN9090Knowing that the ancient site of Segesta was nearby, we hopped into the car, and tried to find it.DSCN9100DSCN9103Segesta was one of the major cities of its time.  While founded by people indigenous to Sicily, it quickly became Hellenized and, before long, was a classic Greek city.  DSCN9114There are two areas to the archaeological park — one is the temple and the other, the remains of the city with the Greek Theatre.  Both require serious uphill walking!  There is also a shuttle bus, which will transport you back and forth between the two, but of course, we chose to walk.DSCN9119DSCN9129The Temple was built in 420 B.C.   It is one of the best preserved temples in the entire world!DSCN9134DSCN9141DSCN9163DSCN9167DSCN9164DSCN9193From the Temple, it is about a twenty-minute uphill walk to the remains of the city.DSCN9225DSCN9227DSCN9266The Theatre is still used each summer for productions of Greek dramas.DSCN9279DSCN9302DSCN9306We made our way back to the car, and began the drive towards Alcamo.DSCN9315DSCN9322Being the curious people that we are, we could not miss the opportunity to make a little detour and check out the ruins of the Funtanazza, on Mount Bonifato.  This was the area’s water reservoir.  We then proceeded further up the mountain.DSCN9329DSCN9333DSCN9340The fact that we started seeing Stations of the Cross led us to believe that there was a church further up the mountain.  So, of course, we continued to climb!DSCN9355DSCN9363Directly behind the church was the  ruins of the Castello dei Ventimiglia, which dated back to the 11th century.DSCN9368DSCN9375DSCN9377The view from the mountaintop was amazing!

Next up: more of Alcamo, including a visit to Il Castello dei Conti di Modica!

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.

 

 

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Sal Americo says:

    Was born in Agrigento and have visited Bella Sicilian many times. Still, I love reading your posts. Your writing confirms the love I have for the various Towns and Villages. Last trip we explored Sutera,Mussomelli and the caves of Sperlinga. Looking forward to your next trip/instalment. The more We visit and read, the more the Island and it’s History beckons us back. I love it!!!

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