Palazzolo Acreide 世界遗产

Saint Paul's Church
Saint Paul's Church is built on the ruins of the pre-existent church of Saint Sofia. Declared a World Heritage site by Unesco, the baroque facade is divided in three orders and a pronaos that bring about impressive light and shade effects. The rhythm of the facade's three orders is marked by arches and columns with Corinthian capitals. The facade is decorated with six pairs of statues representing the Apostles. The interior is built around three naves with two lateral apses and eleven altars, two of which are located in the lateral chapels.

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Saint Sebastian's church
The church of Saint Sebastian  - with its superb flight of steps - stands on the Piazza del Popolo square. Re-built after the 1693 earthquake, it is included in Unesco's World Heritage sites. The baroque facade, divided in three orders, was designed by Mario Diamanti. The interior is structured in three naves, with two lateral chapels. The vault over the central nave is decorated with three big nineteenth-century frescoes, fine stuccoes and precious marble. In the sacristy visitors can admire a huge wardrobe with artistic carvings and bas-reliefs; it is said to be the work of the Costa family, a notable family of cabinet-makers residing in Palazzolo. We should not forget to mention the majestic organ made by Carlo del Piano in 1728 – 29, one of the finest in Sicily.

The Greek Theatre
On the Pinita hill yet another sepulchral civilization dating back to the late Bronze Age provides evidence as to how this area, fertile and with abundant water, an unassailable natural fortification, was inhabited long before the arrival of the Greeks. Thereafter, as narrated by Thucydides, in 664 B.C. the Corinthians who 70 years earlier had founded Syracuse, in order to expand their territory and conquer the rich Hyblean hinterland, chose this strategically important hill for the founding of Akrai, their first colony, to gain control on the communication routes directed to inland Sicily and as a bastion against the possibility of retaliation on the part of the indigenous populations of the Hyblean plateau. The residential area is thought to have covered an area of 35 hectares; it was surrounded by walls in which two gates ensured access to the town: the remains found are most likely those of the western gate, the “Porta Selinuntina”. Of the original urban layout there remain still visible today the main streets of the road network dating back, probably, to the Hellenistic and Roman periods. In the archeological park the visitor can also see the remains of some eighteenth-century constructions, the so-called “niviere”; rustic buildings whose purpose was to store and conserve snow, which were used until the nineteenth century. In the summer the snow was transported using mules to the coastal towns where it was used to make ice-creams and sorbets. The acropolis of the city was probably located on the hill overlooking the ancient Akrai. In fact, the ruins of an archaic temple dating back to the second half of the VI century B.C. seem to support this theory which is also confirmed by an inscription listing the main monuments of the town, among which is the Artemision, dedicated to Minerva, the temple dedicated to Persephone and the Afrodision, dedicated to Aphrodite, whose importance can be ascertained also by the fact that the goddess's high priest was at the same time the eponymous magistrate of the town. The theatre dates back to the III century B.C., namely the age of Ierone II. It was discovered in 1824 by the Baron Gabriele Judica, an eminent scholar and researcher of the ancient Akrai, who promoted the first archeological excavations on the territory. Adjacent to the theatre and the yet to be excavated agorà, Judica dug up the bouleterion, where the city's senate was located, which was originally included in a compound of other constructions. Among these remains, in more recent times an extraordinary and unusual circular structure with a double entrance has been found, which appears to be unique in Sicily – but it has not been sufficiently studied to make plausible assumptions on its purpose.

The Santoni
The worshipping area of the Santoni is dedicated to Cybele, the Magna Mater. The cult of the Magna Mater originated in Asia Minor in the VII century B.C. and spread to the Mediterranean area in the IV – III centuries B.C.. The Santoni is also one of the very few of this kind of sites attested and documented in the entire Mediterranean area. This place of remote memories shows all that remains of a series of bas-reliefs representing Cybele, in accordance with the iconography of this Hellenistic cult which after arriving in Sicily took root especially in Syracuse, where it seems to have been very dear to Dionysius the Young. From the highest point of the acropolis a visitor can see the entrance to the quarries (known as “latomie”) of the Intagliata and Intagliatella, old stone quarries used during the Greek age to excavate the raw material for the building of Akrai. These areas were subsequently used as places of worship and then as necropoli in the Late Antiquity. The path that leads to the Intagliatella is called “Sacred route” because of the many square niches where in ancient times small votive statues were placed, honouring the deceased in the manner of heroes. One of these bas-reliefs – of remarkable dimensions - can be still admired in situ, depicting a scene of sacrifices and a funerary banquet for the deceased.

Antonino Uccello's Regional Casa Museo
The Casa Museo,  located in the eighteenth-century Palazzo Ferla-Bonelli, is one of the world's most beautiful ethno-anthropological museums. It was conceived and set up by Antonino Uccello, an eminent scholar and researcher of local culture and traditions. It bears witness to the millennia of forestry and pastoral activities that characterised life in this territory. The museum is located in an edifice built after the 1693 earthquake on a pre-existing construction in the neighbourhood “Mannarazzi” where there used to be sheep pens. In the museum, Antonino Uccello reproduced the domestic environment typical of the Hyblean rural and peasant culture, where two worlds would often co-exist, distinctly different but also extremely close.
Via Machiavelli n° 19

Archeological Museum G. Judica
The Cappellani Palace is located in via Gaetano Italia. It was built at the beginning of the last century in an eclectic and classical style. It was bought by the Region and it now hosts the Archeological Museum, home to the Judica collection counting more than two thousand items unearthed by the baron in his excavation campaigns between 1809 and 1830 at the sites of the ancient Akrai, the Santoni and the Pinita necropoli. The collection consists of pottery, vases, amphoras and sculptures.
Via Gaetano Italia

The travellers' museum
The museum is located in the interior of the palazzo Vaccaro in the via Maestranza. It is a permanent exhibition,  documenting the nineteenth-century “Grand tour”. The museum includes engravings made by the travellers focusing on the Hyblean area, two of the most important eighteenth-century “voyage pittoresque” with photographs that show the present state of the places depicted. There are also maps of Sicily that testify to the evolution of topographic studies linked to the act of travelling and a valuable collection of ancient books addressing the topic of travel, among which the extremely rare first edition of the “De rebus Siculis” by Fazello. Next to the exhibition there is also a library that through books and information technology documents the history of travelling.
Via Maestranza n° 5

The Medieval Castle
The Medieval Castle existed already in the year 827, when the Muslims conquered Sicily. It was abandoned after the 1693 earthquake and only ruins remain today: part of the moat, the base of the towers, a few hypogeums, the cisterns and in the smaller courtyard a part of the battlements carved in the living rock. From the site it is possible to admire a breathtaking view of the Anapo Valley.

Orologio Tower and Lenza neighbourhood
The ancient watch tower dominates the evocative Lenza neighbourhood and can be seen from the San Paolo neighbourhood as well. The entire area has been subject to an urban requalification project aimed at creating affordable housing. When the redevelopment work was finished, the neighbourhood was included in the historical centre recovery project in order to make it inhabitable. In this neighbourhood the visitor wandering among blind alleys and narrow streets can admire the tiny Soccorso Church, while the via Machiavelli will lead him to the Casa Museo, the ethno-anthropological museum.


Traduzione di Aurora Cantone
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