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|Comune di Porto Empedocle|
|• Mayor||Calogero Firetto (UdC)|
|• Total||24 km2 (9 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2 m (7 ft)|
|Population (31 August 2010)|
|• Density||720/km2 (1,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||Saint Gerland of Agrigento|
|Saint day||February 25|
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 However, the decision was revoked in 2009.
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