Archaeological site of Morgantina has a significant role in archaeology. It displays a native settlement, then hellenized, which became of great importance for trading at the time. It was located in mainland on an imaginary line connecting the northern coast and the southern coast of the island. It's in a valley on a long ridge, in a strategic position to be safe and to domain over surrounding territories at the same time.
The town was rebuilt in the V century after first settlement was destroyed. In the Hellenic period, under control of Syracuse tyrant Agathocles, the city was at its height and that's when acropolis was built up. A little more than 1 km from Agorá, there's still some remains on hill Cittadella. Morgantina was destroyed again in BC 211 by Romans and remained under Roman control until the I century AD.
The archaeologica park of Morgantina
While you take a walk through such a suggestive place and far from urban center, you can see also the interesting perimeter of Agorá. On the upper side of Agorá there are remains of bouleutérion (it hosted the public council of ancient Greek poleis) and Roman gymnasium.
Then there's a beautiful monumental fountain in front of the long porch originally fitted with columns. Past the porch there's a space which hosted Roman macellum, the Roman district of workshops. Back to the porch a paved street leads visitors to a slope running on the hill. Eastern residential district lied here.
It was made by fancy houses with fine painted walls and mosaic floors like the House of the Doric capital and the House of Ganymede. To the west of the lower side there's a theatre. It's believed that the walls in the middle once belonged to a sanctuary devoted to underground divinities while eastern walls were a long barn. After the barn can be found ovens for ceramics.
Among all important findings of Morgantina there's the famous Venus, probably made in the V century BC by a Fidia's pupil. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu hired the relic illegally in the past and now is displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Aidone, after a long quarrel between Italy and USA.
Treasure of Morgantina is popular as Venus. Made up of 15 silver pieces, dating from the III century BC, it was casually discovered near a building in 1998. It's believed that it might be hidden during Roman invasion. According to some experts, it belonged to the ierofante, the high priest of Demeter and Persephone. It stayed in USA for a long time as well as the Venus and was given back to Italy in 2006 at last.
Archaeological site is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Last entrance is at 6 p.m.
Tickets Cost: Full €6 - Reduced €3
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE PARK:
FOUNDATION: I Millennium BC
SUNSET: I century BC
CIVILIZATION: Sicels, Greeks, Romans
MANAGEMENT: Regione Sicilia - Assessorato per i Beni culturali
REDISCOVERY: XX century
Railway stations of Enna and Caltagirone are about 30 Km from Morgantina. We suggest to rent a car or call a taxi.
Follow motorway A18 and then take exit Mulinello. Keep driving in the direction of Piazza Armerina and then take the exit at junction Enna-Gela. Finally take SS288 before to get Piazza Armerina.