Giardino della Kolimbethra
Concession from Region of Sicily1999
From Monday to Sunday 10am-6pm from April to June, 10am-7pm from July to September, 10am-5pm from October to March
Closed from 7 January to 31 January.
Last entry half an hour before closing.
A true archaeological and agricultural jewel in the Valle dei Templi (now returned to splendour after decades of abandon) Giardino della Kolimbethra is an extraordinary place for the magical blend of nature and the wealth of archaeological finds which are still being discovered today. It occupies an area of approximately five hectares inside the Valle dei Templi, within tuff walls making up its natural perimeter, standing between Tempio di Castore e Polluce and Tempio di Vulcano. Many unique plant species grow here, some of which are no longer cultivated today, outside the property.
The origins of the Garden date back to the period when the Greeks colonised Sicily (500 B.C.) and its history is linked to the development of the ancient city of Akragas which once stood on the plateau of the Atenea cliff. Diodoro Siculo wrote that the tyrant Terone
engaged architect Feace to design a system to supply the city with water. Thanks to this new system of channels, the Greeks of Akragas were able to transform the arid Sicilian earth into a flourishing garden rich with Mediterranean plants. The ancient underground works (or Feace aqueducts), which still bubble with clear water used for irrigation, can still be visited today in the Valley of Temples and date back to the 5th century B.C., when they fed the ancient swimming pool (Kolymbethra). In the last decades of the 1900s, due to the old farmers’ inactivity, Kolymbethra fell into a state of abandon until FAI - Fondo Ambiente Italiano (The National Trust for Italy) intervened. The Garden was granted under concession by Regione Siciliana to FAI, which undertook the extensive landscaping renovation work to return to public enjoyment an important historic, artistic and naturalistic wonder of our civilisation.