Porto Empedocle

Porto Empedocle
Comune di Porto Empedocle

Coat of arms
Porto Empedocle

Location of Porto Empedocle in Italy

Coordinates: 37°18′N 13°32′E / 37.300°N 13.533°E / 37.300; 13.533Coordinates: 37°18′N 13°32′E / 37.300°N 13.533°E / 37.300; 13.533
Country Italy
Region Sicily
Province / Metropolitan city Agrigento (AG)
  Mayor Calogero Firetto (UdC)
  Total 24 km2 (9 sq mi)
Elevation 2 m (7 ft)
Population (31 August 2010)
  Total 17,231
  Density 720/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Empedoclini
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 92014
Dialing code 0922
Patron saint Saint Gerland of Agrigento
Saint day February 25
Website Official website

Porto Empedocle (Sicilian: Marina) is a town and comune in Italy on the coast of the Strait of Sicily, administratively part of the province of Agrigento. It is the namesake of Empedocles (Greek: Ἐμπεδοκλῆς, c. 490 – 430 BC), a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of the city of Agrigentum (present-day Agrigento), in his day a Greek colony in Sicily. The primary industries of Porto Empedocle are agriculture, fishing, ironworking, pharmaceuticals and rock salt refining.

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, ordered a tower built to protect the territory's reserves of harvested grain in the fifteenth century. The tower was later converted to a prison and is now a social and cultural center.

Trade increased in the area after the completion of the harbor wall in 1763. The comune became autonomous in 1853. Its early names were Marina di Girgenti (seashore of Agrigento) and, after the artificial harbor was built, Molo di Girgenti (wharf of Agrigento). The town took its present name in 1863, after the Agrigentine philosopher Empedocles.

In 2003, the town changed its official denomination to Porto Empedocle Vigata, after the name of the fictional town where the popular novels by Andrea Camilleri, famous Italian writer and native of Porto Empedocle, about detective Inspector Montalbano are placed. However, the decision was revoked in 2009.

The main church is Parrocchia Maria SS.del Buon Consiglio, which is located in the center of the town. The marl Scala dei Turchi is located nearby, on the coast of Realmonte.

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