On the road between Trapani and Palermo in the north of Sicily, just outside the ancient city of Segesta, is a beautifully preserved Doric Temple. It sits magnificently on a rise surrounded by rolling green hills and rocky cliffs, setting it off perfectly.
Segesta was one of the major cities of the Elymian people, one of the indigenous inhabitants of Sicily. The population mixed with the Ionian Greeks and it was an Athenian architect who designed the temple. It is thought to have been built in the 420s BC.
It was not finished. The columns are not fluted and the roof was never built. It somehow avoided destruction by the Carthaginians in the 5th century…lucky for us.
The temple attracts quite a crowd, as you would expect, but the area is huge so there is plenty of room for everyone to walk around the temple and see it from every angle.
We were there in spring and the wild flowers were spectacular, making the views even more beautiful.
Further up the hill is a semicircular theatre built about the same time. It is a bit of a climb but the thoughtful people looking after the site provide a bus to take you to the top.
There would have been no need for stage props with a view like this.
The theatre is still used today.
We walked down the hill from the theatre to get some views of the temple from above.
We stayed at a great B&B, Villa Palmeri, on top of a nearby hill.
We had amazing views of the temple as well as the gorgeous hills.
It looked beautiful at night.
…and the next morning.
Sicily is full of amazing things…we will return.