The restaurant Porto San Paolo is located at Sciacca (Thermae), a town in the province of Agrigento on the southwestern coast of Sicily. It has noteworthy views of the Mediterranean Sea .
Thermae was founded in the 5th century B.C. by the Greeks , as its name imports, as a thermal spa for Selinunte, whose citizens came there to bathe in the sulphurous springs of Mount San Calogero, which rises up behind the town. We have no account of the existence of a town on the site during the period of the independence of Selinunte, though there is little doubt that the thermal waters would always have attracted some population to the spot. Nor even under the Romans did the place attain to anything like the same importance with the northern Thermae; and there is little doubt that Pliny is mistaken in assigning the rank of a colonia to the southern instead of the northern town of the name.
Ferdinandea is a submerged volcanic island which forms part of the underwater volcano Empedocles , 30 km (19 mi) south of Sicily , and which is one of a number of submarine volcanoes known as the Campi Flegrei del Mar di Sicilia . Currently a seamount , eruptions have raised it above sea level several times before erosion has caused it to submerge again. When it last rose above sea level after erupting in 1831, a four-way dispute over its sovereignty began, which was still unresolved when it disappeared beneath the waves again in early 1832. During its brief life, the French geologist Constant Prévost was on hand, accompanied by an artist, to witness it in July 1831; he named itÎle Julia, for its July appearance, and reported in the Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France. Some observers at the time wondered if a chain of mountains would spring up, linking Sicily to Tunisia and thus upsetting the geopolitics of the region. More recently, it has showed signs of volcanic activity in 2000 and 2002, forecasting a possible appearance; however, as of 2006 it remains 6 m (20 ft) under sea level.
Thermal baths, Carnival and Sea are the main sectors for the tourist development of the town. Thanks to its sea and beachs, the town is having a much awaited development that portends in view of a better future. The first beach you come across to the East is "Stazzone", a sea full of rocks and a clear sea water.
The beach of Tonnara and Foggia displays mainly sandy sea bottoms.
The seaside resorts of San Marco, Renella and Maragani alternate rocky and sandy creeks, considered by bathers as real paradises. At West is located the beach of Sovareto, composed by very fine sand, that of San Giorgio, Timpi Russi and Macauda.
Popular traditions includes celebrations, festivals and popular theatre. These are a forceful tourist attraction. The most important celebrations are the Ascension Day and Easter Day. One of the most important festivals is that of Sea. In this occasion, the sculpture of St. Peter is raised during the sea procession, followed by lots of boats. The popular theatre happens during summer and comprises reviews of performances of prose and various arts. Sciacca's festivals also include the Carnival , celebrated during the week before the beginning of Lent (February).
The highlight of the festival is the parade of bizarre figures mounted on floats, famous throughout Sicily for their gaudy expressions.