The city of Ribera is located in the province of Agrigento, at 223 metres asl between the Verdura and Magazzolo valleys; it stands in the so-called Plain of San Nicola, a former fiefdom that in the first half of the 1600s belonged to the Prince of Paternò Luigi Guglielmo Moncada. The Duke of Ferrandina Giuseppe di Toledo successively became the Lord of the town that would annex many of the lands in the surrounding area.
Agriculture is the town’s main industry, notably involved in the cultivation and marketing of the Washington Navel orange – here introduced by emigrants returned from the United States – and strawberries. Such businesses are enhanced both by excellent climatic and environmental conditions and a supporting policy by the local authorities.
Ribera has much to offer both historically and artistically. Among its major attractions are the birthhome of statesman Francesco Crispi, the 1700’s Mother Church and the 1800’s Palazzo Municipale.
The city surroundings are as much interesting. Only few kilometres away are the ruins of the 1300’s Castle of Poggio Diana, consisting of a battlemented circular tower and a square one. Originally built by Guglielmo Peralta, the castle successively belonged to the Counts of Luna. It has a dominant position over the gorge dug by the Verdura River. A 13th century necropolis stands nearby, home to some thirty tombs.
Several close naturalistic sites are available for excursions. Among these is the Borgo Bonsignore, a village founded under the Fascism – as part of the “colonization” policy that encouraged the creation of new villages – grown as a summer resort.
The Platani river, the third Sicilian river, flows nearby. It has enormously contributed to developing both farming and tourism in the area. Its mouth has been designated as a Nature Reserve.