In 664 a.C., on the hill called Acremonte, which separates the valleys of’Anapo and of Tellaro, the Syracusans founded Akrai. This place even before being appreciated by the Syracusans was chosen by the Siculians, you raised a real village around the XII century numerous were the dominations that were avvicendarono over the centuries: Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman. From here the various names given to the cityà in different eras: Akrai, Balansùl, Placeolum or Palatioli, and finally Palazzolo to which, in 1862, was added the patronymic of Acreide.
The first historical news of Palazzolo Acreide current you have from the XII century. The medieval center was erected close to the ancient Acre, on a small rocky outcrop below, in a strategic position of control over the territory and the roads, Là where once stood a "palatium" imperial, which has given the name of the new village: "Palatiolum". Here a castle was erected by the Normans. From 1104 it avvicendarono in Palazzolo different baronie: from Guilfredo son of Count Ruggero to Artale d'Alagona, to finish the principles Ruffo di Calabria. In the XIII-XIV century the demographic increase determinationò expansion of the town in the surrounding area. Destroyed by the earthquake of 1693, the cityà it was rebuilt in part on the original structures of the medieval quarter and in part around the actual main course. In the XVII century the palazzolesi rebelled to feudalism until in 1812 Palazzolo was recognized as a country demaniale. The Iblei Mountains and the valley of’Anapo are natural and evocative setting to the territory of Palazzolo Acreide.
The valley, crossed by the river of the same name, a rich vegetation with spots of shrubs and oriental platani, preserves the natural reserve and the necropolis of Pantalica. They deserve to be mentioned also the quarries of Cardinal and the forest of Bauly, interesting for flora and fauna. The baroque, climate, popular traditions, gastronomy, cordialityà and L’hospitalityà people make this town, a methà not to miss. Palazzolo è a village not only to visit but to live for the history and charm, for the many beauties by love, for its churches, for its palaces and its evocative districts.
The church of San Michele was built between the XV and XVI and rebuilt after the earthquake in 1693, the facade rises on a staircase and develops on two orders. Stands out left the bell tower hexagonal enclosed by a dome.The internal is divided into three naves with columns of white stone to smooth drum surmounted by Corinthian capitals.
The church of Sant’Antonio Abate was built in 1634, destroyed by the earthquake of 1693 è was rebuilt in ‘700, but it's never been completed. The facade è incomplete: lacks the second bell tower, while it was built only the central nave and a part of the right aisle. You can admire several beautiful canvases in the altars.
The church of Immaculate, from’elegant baroque facade convex, unique in its kind in Palazzolo, preserves a statue in white Carrara marble of the Madonna col Bambino, a Renaissance masterpiece built between 1471 and 1472 by the sculptor Dalmata Francesco Laurana.
The church of S. Francesco è L’ancient church of the Capuchins. Rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693, has been reopened for worship in 1984. In its interior, with a single nave, is guarded a wooden altar with the statues of Capuchin saints and the statue of S. Francis.
The construction of Church Convent began in 1870, the complex and the ancient monastery was suppressed in 1866. The Church è a single nave, in the sacristy is guarded a valuable eighteenth-century cabinet in walnut-tree with inlays in cypress tree that was found in the old convent. The church also holds the manuscript “La Selva of historical news” Father Giacinto Farina.
The church of Maria SS. Del Soccorso è devoid of works and decorations, but has a charm austere. Rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693, recently reopened for worship. Of the original structure, remain a precious holy water stoup in marble and stone floors paved.
The Palazzo Lombardo Cafici is located along via Garibaldi, dates back to the XVIII century and boasts the mostù long baroque balcony of the world. The corbels depict anthropomorphic mascheroni with vivid expressions grotesque.
The Museum of travellers in Sicily collects at Palazzo Vaccaro the original engravings, concerning’iblea area, of più important Voyage Pittoresque ‘700, ancient maps of Sicily and a valuable collection of ancient books related to the theme of the journey including the rare first edition of De Rebus Siculis of Fazello. The Palazzo Rizzarelli Spadaro is the seat of the Museum of the noble traditions.
on vast Piazzale Marconi is located the Villa Comunale, desired and realized by the barons Judica and Messina, its construction beginningò in 1880. Inserted between the historical gardens of Italy by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage, has an extension of 30,000 sqm. And è a veritable botanic garden for the variety of trees and flower essences. It's characterized by four spacious long boulevards lined by secular ornamental trees, some of which are very rare.
The Castle Medieval existed GIà In’827, the year of the muslim conquest, abandoned after the earthquake of 1693, remain only some ruins: part of the ditch, the base of the towers, some local hypogea, tanks and in baglio small part of crenellations carved in the living rock. From the site, you can enjoy a view over the valley of’Anapo of unparalleling beauty.
The district “i scaliddi” has its name because of a series of stairs, diramatesi in different directions and then rejoin, puts into communication the districts of “San Paolo” and the “The Holy Spirit”, that are located in the “Low” the cityà with those of “San Michele”,’ “Clock” and “San Sebastiano” which are in the “High” the city. The stairways, some very evocative, overlook the beautiful valley of’Anapo, from here you canò enjoy a vast panorama that extends up to’Etna. This district is one of the most ancient and currently valued only on the occasion of the “Living Crib”, in the month of December.