Local Insight: Discover a Sicilian Diamond in the Rough

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One marvelous benefit of hiring a local guide is getting an insider “scoop” about exciting places and events that haven’t made it into guidebooks, or group tour itineraries. Today our guide Sara in Sicily shares with us a place that Sicilians used to shun, but today embrace, thanks to a splendidly successful urban renewal project. Sounds to us like the perfect place for a local night out.

Favara is a town in southern Sicily, 10 km away from Agrigento, the famous Valley of Temples' city.

Most of its 33,000 thousands inhabitants live in shabby, unfinished blocks built along with the building boom that took place in Sicily after the second World War. This building wave has surrounded, but fortunately not destroyed, an enchanting old center whose most remarkable historical attraction goes back to the foundation of the place: the 13th century Chiaramonte Castle.

Until a few years ago, Favara was considered by the same Sicilians as a ‘Far West’ town. A place of no attractions, known for the rudeness and tendency to lawlessness of its inhabitants. A place not suitable for tourists or to go out to dinner.

Now the story has changed. A couple of local people have invested their money, ideas and energy and have revitalized the town.

Now artists, professionals, students, tourists or just families haunt every night the main square and the alleys in Favara’s old center. Attracted by the changing art exhibitions of the FARM Cultural Park, or what the British Blog Purple Travel has listed as one of the ten best places in the world for contemporary art lovers. People spend the whole night there listening to live music, eating ethnic or Sicilian food in old courtyards and alleys, taking part in artistic activities or drinking between the works of the latest art installation.

The Guardian has defined it as: "The art project that saved a town".

Once you go there you might think you were in Berlin or New York, but you are in a place that has no comparison in the world, because of its unique history made out of creativity and the will of redemption.

And this happens just 10 km away from the UNESCO site the Valley of Temples in Agrigento. Doesn't it deserve your visit as well?

We think it does! Thanks, Sara, for telling us about what’s happening around Agrigento. Travellers planning on visiting the Valley of the Temples (and perhaps enjoying a nightcap in Favara!) can get in touch with Sara to customize their perfect itinerary.
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