Segesta (in ancient Greek: Ἕγεστα) was an ancient Elymian city located in the north-western part of Sicily. The old city is located on Monte Barbaro, in the municipal area of Calatafimi Segesta, a few kilometers from Alcamo and Castellammare del Golfo. Inside the archaeological park, it houses a Doric-style temple and a theater from the Hellenistic period, partly excavated in the rock of the hill. Other excavations have brought to light a Hellenistic-Roman town and a medieval village.

The temple, sometimes referred to as the “Great Temple”, was built during the last thirty years of the 5th century BC, on the top of a hill west of the city, outside its walls. It is a large hexastyle peripteral temple (ie with six columns on the shorter side, not grooved). On the long side it has instead fourteen columns (in total 36 therefore, 10 meters high). The current state of conservation presents the entire colonnade of the peristasis complete with all the entablature.

The theater was built at the end of the third century BC with blocks of local limestone on the highest peak of Monte Barbaro, on a site behind the agora. Oriented to the north, towards the Gulf of Castellammare, it takes advantage of the splendid panorama of the sea and the hills as far as the eye can see as a backdrop. It differs from the typical structure of Greek theaters because the auditorium with a diameter of 63 meters, does not rest directly on the rock but was purposely built and is supported by retaining walls. It consists of two entrances, slightly offset from the main axis of the building and can hold about 4000 people.

A Sicilian pearl to be preserved, obviously a visit is a must.

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