Porto Empedocle is a maritime centre situated on the south-west coast of Sicily. It is less than 10 km from the main town of the province, and approximately 7 km from the Valley of Temples, defined by the Unesco 'Patrimony of Humanity'. This small maritime village originated about 750AD, when it was built for the Bishop Ugo Gioeni, and was then called 'Molo di Girgenti'. In l863 it became an autonomous commune, taking the name of a famous philosopher of Agrigent, Empedocle. The historical memory of the town is represented by the tower Carlo V, which was built in 1584 by the Spanish Crown as a bulwark for defence against invasion by pirates. The beautiful coastline of Empedocle extends for 5 km along the blue water of the Mediterranean and mainly consists of a beach with fine golden sand protected in some places by splendid white marble cliffs behind, a wonderful sight which has not been eroded by time or progress and fascinates the numerous tourists who in summer fill the beaches of Empedocle. The town of Empedocle has developed around the port and the large structures provide protection from wind and currents. Modern port facilities ensure efficient provision for ships in transit and the large fishing fleet in the port contributes to the varied local gastronomic specialities which are highly praised. There are embarkation points for the wonderful and suggestive Pelagie Islands, Linosa and Lampedusa, a paradise where sub-aqua fishing can be practised in the still uncontaminated waters. The short distance which separates Porto Empedocle from Agrigento means that a visit can be easily arranged to the wonderful Valley of Temples and other archaeological sites which are nearby, such as Eraclea Minoa. The view over the Valley of Temples is magical and incomparable and you can experience the fascination of past lives in the present with structures that continue to defy the passing of time: the Temple of Concorde which is one of the greatest and best conserved monuments of antiquity, the Temple of Hercules, the Temple of Juno, the Temple of Jupiter, the Temple of the Dioscures and many other archaeological remains. In the Regional Archaeological Museum can be seen archaeological finds of inestimable value and great historical and artistic importance. On the coast of Empedocle there have been found the remains of a roman villa, with floors that present estimable mosaics, with motives of floral and geometrical patterns. Between Porto Empedocle and Agrigento, it is possible to visit the house where the winner of the Nobel Premium for Literature, Luigi Pirandello was born.