The Greek Theatre

Eraclea Minoa

To the east of the mouth of the River Platani, the ancient city of Heraclea Minoa stands majestically on a plateau. Site of a colony of Selinunte, from the 6th century BC it was fought over by Akragas and Selinunte, and later by Carthaginians and Romans.

According to legend, the name was given due to the death of Minos, king of Crete, who had come to Sicily seeking revenge on the Athenian architect Daedalus, guilty of helping his wife, Queen Pasifae, to couple with a bull. The consequence of that unnatural act was the birth of the Minotaur. The story says that when Theron, tyrant of Agrigento, found the tomb of Minos, he returned the bones to Crete.
Excavations have brought to light the boundary walls with the gates, the Hellenistic inhabited area, and many important finds, some of which are in the antiquarium of Minoa and some in the Museo Archeologico of Agrigento.

The splendid theatre with its rows of seats facing south is a testimonial to the magnificence of the ancient city. Built towards the end of the 5th century BC, the cavea consists of nine sectors and ten tiers of seats facing the Mediterranean. Heraclea Minoa was an important centre of the wheat trade, and the inhabitants adapted a cove where they could easily load and unload the ships.
The site is within easy reach of Agrigento by taking the SS115 after the turnoff for Montallegro.

The Val di Mazara territory

The other destinations in the surroundings of Relais Briuccia at Montallegro

The Sicilian territory of the Val di Mazara is a breathtaking spectacle both by day and by night: the ancient Phoenician colony of Eraclea Minoa is not to be missed, with traces of the Roman presence on top of the Greek remains (it is only 10 minutes from Relais Briuccia) and Burgio with its Jewish quarter, a town of ceramics and bell foundries.
And for those who love nature and the sea, a few kilometres from Montallegro is the WWF Torre Salsa Wildlife Reserve.

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