The archaeological park of Selinunte is a place capable of giving you so many emotions . In some respects it recalls the beautiful Valley of the Temples in Agrigento , but the fact of being overlooking the sea gives it a very special charm. It is very large, so much so that it is the largest in Europe and to get around it without effort it is possible to take a nice little train ride.
The city of Selinunte was founded by the Greek colonists of Megara Hyblaea in 628 BC . who then founded the beautiful Eraclea Minoa . Its name derives from the Greek selinon which indicates the wild celery that grows in the area and which also became the symbol of the city, so much so that it was engraved in the coins. The city was then destroyed by the Carthaginians and the Elymians of Segesta in 409 BC and never returned to its former glory. Small communities lived among its ruins in the Byzantine Christian and Arab ages, but a terrible earthquake in the Middle Ages definitively put an end to the history of Selinunte.
What to see in Selinunte and where to eat
1. The Eastern Temples
In Selinunte you can still admire the ruins of the ancient Greek temples . Temple G, one of the largest Greek temples in the world (today unfortunately totally destroyed), was dedicated to Apollo. Opposite are the ruins of Temple F, also totally razed to the ground and dedicated to Dionysius, A little further on you will find Temple E dedicated to Juno and it is the best preserved and most impressive, thanks to restoration work that has allowed its partial recomposition. Near the temples is the Baglio Florio where archaeological finds are preserved . Finds that you will also find in the Traveler’s House in front of the O temple, overlooking the sea.
In the northern part it is possible to visit the ancient acropolis with a beautiful view of the surrounding temples, the sea and the Mediterranean scrub . Here you can admire the remains of ancient neighborhoods, the northern entrance to the city and the city walls. Going towards the sea you will instead see the ruins of temples A, B, C, D and O. Temple C, dedicated to Apollo is the only one to still have some intact columns, thanks to restoration work around 1920. The beauty and historical richness of this place is testified by the presence, around temples C and D, of the ruins of an ancient Byzantine village. Finally, in the south end, there is the Traveler’s House, which houses archaeological finds and offers a beautiful view of the sea and the coast.
3. Sanctuary of the Malophoros
The Sanctuary of the Malophoros was a sacred place composed of a small archaic altar, a larger one for sacrifices and a temple dedicated to the Malaphoros “Bearer of pomegranate” identified with Demeter. It was also used in subsequent periods to the Greek one, for example the Byzantines used to practice their cults here. About 300 meters to the north are the remains of the temple M.
4. Marinella di Selinunte
The nearby small fishing village, Marinella di Selinunte, is also worth a visit . The port is very nice (the redevelopment works have finally begun in 2020) and the view of the white houses that overlook it.
5. Where to eat
The trip to Selinunte will be beautiful and fascinating, but also very tiring. After the tour you will surely be hungry and you will not want to go far to be able to eat something good. In the vicinity of the archaeological park there are various restaurants, among which the Ethos restaurant stands out , where you can eat excellent first and second courses of fish.
Activities loved by tourists in the surrounding area or in Sicily in general
Interactive map of Selinunte – Points of interest in purple
Click on the “zoom in” symbol at the top right of the map to activate the location and understand where you are right now.
What to see around Selinunte
Selinunte is located in the province of Trapani. Here you will find listed the places to visit in Trapani and surroundings .