|Licata (called Phintias in ancient times) is a city located in southern Sicily, at the mouth of the Salso River, (the Himera in ancient times).
It is a major seaport developed at the turn of the twentieth century, shipping sulphur, the refining of which has made Licata the largest European exporting centre, and asphalt, and at times shipping cheese.
West of the port city there is a series of pocket beaches separated by wave-cut headlands as high as 40m.
The setting took advantage of a small natural harbour, about 80m across, which corresponds to a natural depression along the coast that is now infilled with construction. The site was protected by the headland now named Monte San Michele. At nearby Cape Ecnomus, in 256 BCE the Romans won a major battle in the Punic Wars.
Diodorus Siculus mentions a large agora with porticos, but since no formal excavation has yet taken place, the Hellenistic and Roman material connected with Phintias comes from chance finds. The ancient site was progressively abandoned as flood-borne river deposits, associated with deforestation of the hinterland, moved the mouth of the river seaward. On the rocky promontory the ruins of the castle of San Giacomo are still visible near the base of Licata's harbour lighthouse.
Licata served as an Allied landing point during the 1943 World War II invasion of Sicily.