The historic center of Agrigento
(named Kerkent by the Arabs, Gergent by the Normans and Girgenti until 1927) takes up, almost entirely, the hill of Girgenti. This perched position was chosen in the Middle Ages for defensive purposes and also for its proximity to the new harbor, and therefore more favorable to trade. Strolling down the streets and alleys of old town Girgenti you can discover quaint corners and significant monuments that reveal Agrigento’s multi-cultural past: and complex history: the Arab maze of streets and courtyards, the Norman palaces and churches, and the Baroque architecture of Spanish derivation.
The visit to the historic centre or Girgenti old town ideally begins in Piazza Vadalà
where there is a monument to the philosopher Empedocles. Through Porta di Ponte (Bridge’s Gate) we enter Via Atenea
, the long and winding main street, which crosses from west to east the lower part of the old town. Along or near this street there are a number of churches
and buildings of interest.