The Archaeological and Landscape Park of the Valley of the Temples was established by Regional Law no. 20 of 3 November 2000 and aims to protect and promote the archaeological, naturalistic and environmental heritage of the Valley. It also aims to promote the identification, preservation, study and research of the archaeological, naturalistic and environmental heritage for scientific and cultural purposes.
The park extends for around 1300 hectares and is home to a great historic and natural heritage, including the ruins of the ancient city of Akragas and the surrounding area and coastline. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, the Valley of the Temples contains one of the largest archaeological sites in the Mediterranean immersed in a uniquely beautiful natural environment. In 2015, UNESCO recognised the park’s management decisions to promote the site’s use and accessibility with the award of the DEUV – Declaration of Exceptional Universal Value.
In recent years, the Park and its technical and scientific team have pursued a policy of openness, establishing partnerships with several research groups and universities including the IULM of Milan, Bari Polytechnic and the Universities of Bologna, Catania, Padua, Palermo and Ausburg. The various projects currently being pursued have led to monumental discoveries such as the Hellenistic Theatre and the Baths of the Roman-Hellenistic Quarter, increasing our understanding of the ancient city not only during the Greek and Roman periods or purely in terms of archaeology but also from a broader historical perspective.
These policies include the constant promotion of educational initiatives and workshops aimed at a vast audience of users as well as the sponsorship of grants and projects aimed at young academics. In 2017, the “Agri Gentium – Landscape Regeneration” project won the Premio Paesaggio Italiano [Italian Landscape Award] at the very first Giornata del Paesaggio – Landscape Day – organised by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, and was nominated as Italy’s entry to the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe 2017-2018, where it earned a special commendation for “the exceptional nature and practice of the measures implemented to promote sustainable development and social reintegration”.
Finally, since 2017 the Park has drawn on the collaboration and experience of CoopCulture for visitor services, ticket office facilities, bookshops, tours and educational workshops with a view to integrating the region’s cultural heritage with the local culture, tourism and economy.