• Registration Year

    2002

  • Registered Sector

    Palazzolo Acreide. Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily)

  • Historical Function

    Agricultural, cultural, religious

  • Administrative Status

    Municipality in the Province of Syracuse

Location and site

Palazzolo Acreide rises on a hill, the Acremonte (670 mt. high), in South-Eastern Sicily, 40 km at the west of Syracuse.

Urban Morphology

The town has a triangular shape with the main entrances from the three corners. In the higher part of Palazzolo Acreide there is the Archaelogical Park with the remains of ancient Akrai. Here is located the small but pretious Greek Theatre, discovered in 1824 and well preserved. It was built around the III century b.C. during the kingdom of Ierone the second of Syracuse. From 1991, in this theatre, during the month of May, groups of highschool students coming for Italy and foreign countries perform Greek dramatists and comedy writers' works in the International Festival of Classic Theatre of Youth. A very narrow tunnel joins the theatre cave to the Bouleuterion, the place, quite small, used for the assemblies of the Acrense Senate. This area was left during the Middle Age. After the earthquake of 1693 people of Palazzolo Acreide gave to the urban centre a new and wider urbanistic plan. The town was endowed with considerable inhabitable areas and with a lot of stately and artistic churches in the place of the former ones devastated or destroyed. Polycentric town, Palazzolo Acreide modelled itself in the time on two focuses, around the St. Paul's Basilica and the St. Sebastian Church. Exspecially after the earthquake the town is restructured in two big quarters, the St. Paul's of feudal origin and the St. Sebastian's with baroque imprint. In the middle a series of popular quarters. The new post-earthquake urbanistic definition fixes the more significant places of ecclesiastical architecture, hinges of squares anf road axes in which in time formes the image of the town.

Registration Criteria

(C i, ii, iv, v) The eight towns (Caltagirone, Catania, Militello Val di Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa, Scicli) in south-eastern Sicily were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late baroque style of the day they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building

Historical Reference

  • The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily: Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building.
M. Gallo Salvatore
Maire
Comune di Palazzolo Acreide
Pizza del Papolo, 1
96010 Palazzolo Acreide, Sicilia, Italia
Tel:
+39.(0)931 87.12.10
Fax:
+39.(0)931 87.60.50
Email:
Mme Rosa Maria Puccio
Segretaria Comunale
Comune di Palazzolo Acreide
Piazza del Popolo, 1
96010 Palazzolo Acreide, Sicilia, Italia
Tel:
+39.(0)931 87.11.11
Fax:
+39.(0)931 87.56.85
Email: