advertisement

On the way to the Parco Archeologico di Solunto (Solunto Archaeological Garden), you'll pass an Antiquarium just inside the gate. Everything of any real value was hauled off to Palermo a long time ago, but you might stop in for a look at some artifacts removed during excavations, including bas-reliefs, statuettes, ancient coins, and architectural fragments.

Immediately to the north lie the ruins of the Terme, the old thermal baths, with a mosaic floor remaining. Brick supports from below held up the rooms, allowing hot air to circulate.

The Terme fronts Via della Terme. If you head north and then right, you'll be walking along the main street of Solunto, Via Dell'Agorà. The first ruin of any interest is the so-called Gymnasium, actually a patrician house with a peristyle and atrium more or less intact. Partially restored in 1866, the building has a trio of Doric columns and a partial roof. Directly east of it is an even more impressive patrician house, Casadi Leda, with a wall frescoed with a scene of Leda and her amorous swan. This house was built around a peristyle with an elaborate cistern system for collecting rainwater. In one room you can see the remains of a fresco similar to those discovered in the ruins of Pompeii.

The Agorà, the center of public life in old Solunto, lies east of Casa di Leda. Directly north of the square are the ruins of the Odeon, a small theater, and to its immediate east the larger ruins of what must have been an impressive theater in Hellenistic times, although not much remains today.

Admission is 2€ ($2.60). The park is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 7pm (closes at 3:30pm in winter), Sunday 9am to 2pm. Call tel. 091-904557 for more information.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.