Morgantina (Aidone)

Morgantina is surely one of the most interesting archeological sites in inland Sicily. It was an ancient Greek town that extended on a small plain among gentle hills. Settlements of Castelluccio culture and from the Bronze age were already here before the Greek colonization; in the IX century BC the Morgetes arrived and named the site Morgantina.

The acropolis contains some Morgetes' huts and the oldest ruins of the town and sacred area, including a big temple from VI century BC, about 32 m long and other smaller temples. The residential quarter lies at the foot of the hill of the Acropolis, where luxury dwellings with mosaic floors and frescoes have been found out. Among these, House of the Doric capital, famous for the mosaic floor inscription: EYEKEY, “Welcome!”, House of Ganimede, House of Tuscanic Capitals, House of the Magistrate.

The agorà is the most interesting area of Morgantina, it extends over two levels joined by a big staircase; the lower one was used for sacred rituals while the upper one was for business and public use. The Greek Theatre dates back to the same age as the staircase while the adjacent public granary dates back to III century BC. The Macellum, from II century BC, is located in the middle of a terrace. It is the oldest example of Macellum ever discovered. Archaelogical remains found in this area are kept in a small, very interesting archaeological museum in Aidone, not far away.

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Cava is an interesting place to visit too, it houses the miraculous simulacrum of St Philip the Apostle, destination of thousands of pilgrims from all over Sicily.