I remember thinking on several occasions, “These Greeks really liked high places.” We always walked up and up and up to the Temple or amphitheater. The most natural Theatre we saw was at Sequestra.
We rode in a bus up the road and then we walked up and up to the Theatre gravel underfoot and then foot path on wood over rough terrain. The theatre had as the backdrop of the stage the valley below which was planted with vineyards and vegetables. There could have been a production that day at this theatre. A vending machine for water covered by a small wooden shed caught my eye. Odd to see a vending machine here. And then I thought of the merchants that no doubt sold their offerings, spirits or god icons, food, water, wine outside the theatre. Cut stone seats stepped down to the stage. It was a beautifully formed partial bowl.
Taormina Theatre- On the lower level there were plastic backed seats which for me detracted from the experience of the theatre. This was a working theatre and while we were there a woman from a tour group demonstrated the great acoustics of the theatre by singing in the center of the stage. I was up near the top of the theatre and I heard her clearly.
Agrigento Temples- This was like a Greek/Disney site, “The Avenue of the Temples.” In the distance you could see the town up on the next hill. We had a very knowledgeable guide for the Museum and for the Avenue who also was a Montalbano tour guide. The mystery writer Andrea Camilleri was from this area and his fictitious town in the books was created here. I looked on the web and discovered a thriving community of tour guides for Montalbano trips in the area.
An interesting architectural point I never knew that was pointed out to me here was that the columns are spaced differently and shaped differently for aesthetic purposes, so that the columns from a distance looked equally spaced and proportioned. If the columns were equally spaced and of the same proportions the aesthetics would be off and from a distance they would not look good. This is one of the finer points of this Greek architecture.
The best preserved temple was the one that had been used as a Christian church in its lifetime. These temples were perfect for pictures and for 3D photos as well with the columns in a line.
See Temples and Theatres slideshow: http://hosting.soundslides.com/sz41b