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Palazzolo Acreide is a baroque town in the Hyblaean mountains, built on the site of former Akrai, one of the first inland colonies founded by Syracuse. The town developed in the Middle Age around a Norman castle and was almost destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 1693. Following the reconstruction, Palazzolo Acreide boasts beautiful baroque churches and noble palaces worth to be listed in UNESCO's World Heritage Site.
More About Palazzolo Acreide
A magnificent three level façade embellishes the basilica of San Paolo, the main patron saint, decorated with polychrome marble and art works adorning the many side altars. A fine baroque portal with twisted columns leads into the Church of the Annunziata, one of the city's oldest, housing a refined marble altar of fine workmanship.
An imposing staircase leading to the elegant three level façade of the baroque church of San Sebastiano dominates Palazzolo Acreide's main square. On the opposite side stands the 19th century city hall and other 18th century lavish palaces can be seen along the center's streets, where also the house-museum of Antonino Uccello stands, an exhibition of ancient objects and Sicilian ethnographic material.
Hellenistic and late Roman remains can be seen in the Akrai's archaeological area, such as the small but well preserved Greek Theater, still used for classical performances. The Early Christian Intagliata and Intagliatella latomie, stone quarries readjusted as catacombs or homes, the temple of Aphrodite and the Bouleuterion, were used as a meeting place.
The patron Saint Paul's feast is celebrated on the 29th of June every year with the procession of the saint's statue through the old town streets, anticipated in the evening by the exciting “A Sciuta ra Cammira”, the statue's exit from the niche where it's guarded during the year. On holidays it is a tradition to bless the ''cuddure'', large donuts of typical Palazzolo bread.
The local cuisine's pride is the Palazzolo sausage, made of pork meat mixed with wild fennel, pepper and wine. Almond paste is the most popular dessert, prepared with the renowned almonds of Avola.