Province of Agrigento

Sciacca city of the sea and spas

The history of Sciacca and its unusual features make it a place absolutely not to be missed when visiting the province of Agrigento.
The first settlement was founded by the inhabitants of Selinunte because of the abundant thermal springs in the area. The town has many religious monuments, such as the Norman church of Maria Santissima del Soccorso, founded in 1108 by Judith, the daughter of Count Roger, with works by Laurana and Gagini inside, and the 18th-century sanctuary of San Calogero, with his statue sculpted by Antonello Gagini in 1535; there are aristocratic palaces, like Palazzo Manno; military architecture such as the bell tower of 1550, the 14th-century medieval tower, and the Pardo tower, also 14th century. With such a complex history there are bound to be castles. The old castle, situated in the eastern part of the town, had rectangular towers and underground passages leading to the monastery of Valverde.

Coral and Carnival

The life of Sciacca

The craft of working coral is very famous. The coral of Sciacca has certain characteristics making it unique in the world: it is sub-fossil coral, already dead for natural processes, and therefore environmentally sustainable. Mediterranean red coral (Corallo rubrum) is distinguished by its unique variations in colour, ranging from deep orange to pale salmon pink, spotted with brown or sometimes black marks, testifying its volcanic origin. The processing techniques of such a delicate material as coral have been passed down through the centuries, and today combine tradition with modernity.

Dating back to the Roman feasts in honour of Saturn, the carnival of Sciacca is a not-to-be-missed experience. Here too local handicraft comes into play with the papier-maché used to create the majestic floats on which dancers and actors will perform while passing though the city streets on Shrove Thursday, when the symbolic ceremony of giving the keys of the city to the king of carnival, called "Peppe Nnappa", until Shrove Tuesday when the king's float is burned.
Also not to be missed is the gastronomical experience of the Tabisca Saccense, a farmer's pizza with sardines, tomato, pecorino cheese, oregano and onion and a typical elongated form, cooked in a wood-burning oven, besides the many other sweet and savoury delicacies of ancient tradition.

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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