Agira is a city of archaeological importance. It is located in the mid-valley of the Salso river at about 600m asl near the Teja Mount. Here is one of its most attracting buildings, a castle of Arab-Byzantine epoch, later restructured by the Swabian. Far behind it, rises the Etna Volcano.
Founded by the ancient Sikels, it first became a Greek colony, in 339 BC, then
a Roman one. The latter, notably, brought about an economic decline, the city being subjected to heavy taxation.
Agira has numerous interesting buildings, such as the mentioned castle, retaining two of its original towers, and the Chiesa di San Filippo, a three-naves’ church with a Roman basilica plan, containing paintings by Olivo Sozzi. Other religious buildings deserve a mention. The Chiesa di Sant’Antonio da Padova, on a basilical plan divided into three naves and containing many attractive works of art, the Chiesa di Santa Margherita, the biggest in the diocese, built in the early 1200s although undergoing many changes throughout the centuries. The interior of the church is ornamented with thirteen altars and numerous paintings among which are The Four Evangelists and Our Lady of Sorrows by Olivo Sozzi. There follow the Gothic Santissimo Salvatore and the Norman Santa Maria Maggiore churches and several noble palazzi are also worth-seeing.
Very interesting naturalistic sites can be found in the city environs, such as the Pozzillo artificial lake, amidst a beautiful eucalyptus wood, providing a critical habitat for a great variety of birds and stopping point for migrators; the Riserva di Piano della Corte, in the Erei Mountains; the Vallone di Piano della Corte – that will soon become a Reserve – renowned for its Mediterranean forest.