The Greek archaeological site of Selinunte in Sicily, Italy


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SelinunteOn the southwest coast of Sicily, not far from Mazara del Vallo, lies the largest archaeological site in Europe. On a par with pretty much anything found in Greece itself, Selinunte has lain abandoned for nearly 2,500 years, its numerous temples, its acropolis and its agora in dignified ruins.

Selinunte is beautifully located, sitting on a high plain and overlooking the sea.

From being one of the most progressive and eminent cities in Magna Graecia, in 409BC Selinunte was transformed, almost overnight, into a large expanse of rubble. The reason for this was an attack from the old enemy, the Carthaginians, who, for many years, had seen this upstart town as a threat to their influence in Sicily. Taking advantage of some trouble between the Greeks of Selinunte and the Elymians of Segesta, the Carthaginians sent some 100,000 men to lay siege to the town, which was only able to hold out for nine days. The subsequent sacking involved the massacre of some 16,000 of the town’s inhabitants while most of the remaining citizens were taken into slavery.

Click on map to enlarge

Map Selinunte | Think Sicily 

Selinunte is beautifully located, sitting on a high plain and overlooking the sea. It is flanked on either side by golden beaches and, being almost 1km wide, is an excellent excuse for a good walk, though it is also possible to get around on electric buggies.

There are two entrances to the archaeological site, one from Marinella di Selinunte to the east and one from Triscina to the west.

To see how Selinunte's temples were built, we strongly recommend you also visit the Cave di Cusa.

Villas in Sicily near Selinunte >>

Good ThinkingSelinunte is a great day out for families with kids. Combine it with a visit to the beach at Marinella, where there is a great restaurant, La Pineta!

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