The history of fattoria dei templi

The agricultural character of the farm has ancient roots. For centuries and until 2003 the farm belonged to the barons of Agrigento. On the property many architectural evidences left by farmer generations in thousands of years can be found, testifying the continuity of the agricultural activity.

This continuous presence of people is witnessed by the architecture of the site: eight well-preserved tombs of the second Iron Age, two perfect functioning feaci aqueducts built by the Greek about 2.600 years ago, one of the oldest Byzantine cave churches of Sicily, used until the sixties as parish church.

Around a 16th century watchtower a Sicilian baglio was built and in the 18th century some other buildings were erected. Notwithstanding its agronomic, historical and architectural value, once the Agrigent baron’s hunting reserve, the property was abandoned for 40 years resulting in a cultivation and architectural decay

Over the last 300 years many studies of the farm have been made. Paintings, stamps, photos and agronomic articles help us to have an idea of the farm throughout the ages. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited the farm on 23rd of April 1787, guest of the baron Celauro, and was impressed with the way broad beans were planted, with the technique of soap making by burning broad beans stems and almond shells. He also writes in his diary about the crop rotation techniques: beans, wheat, tumenia (ancient wheat variety).

Nowadays the Fattoria Valle dei Templi recovers its past and projects itself into the future with a new way to experience agriculture: agro-ecology!