The ancient city lies on the hill above the modern town, the approach to it being defended by quarries, in which tombs of all periods have been discovered. The auditorium of the small theater is well preserved, though nothing of the stage remains. Close to it are ruins of other buildings, which bear, without justification, the names Naumachia, Odeum (perhaps a bath establishment) and Palace of Hiero. The water supply was obtained by subterranean aqueducts. In the cliffs of the Monte Pineta to the south are other tomb chambers, and to the south again are the curious bas-reliefs called Santoni or Santicelli, mutilated in the 19th century by a peasant proprietor, which appear to be sepulchral also. Near here too is the necropolis of the Acrocoro della Torre, where many sarcophagi have been found. About 5 miles (8 km) north lies Buscemi, near which a sacred grotto has been discovered; and also a church cut in the rock and surrounded by a cemetery.
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Castle of Palazzolo
Dating back to the Norman period, the castle, built on a rock foundation overlooking the Anapo valley was mostly destroyed during the 1693 earthquake. Some walls and foundations are still visible today.
In Palazzolo Acreide, in the province of Siracusa, during the last week of June you will fine the fabulous “Feast of San Paolo”. The village has been celebrating San Paolo since the 1600’s. St. Paul, is considered by the farming community the saint of good harvests and also the healer of snake bites, scorpion bites and tarantula bites.
The feast begins with the unveiling of the statue on the first day. The next day the villagers make their offerings of lavender and bread decorated with the shapes of snakes, which are then blessed and auctioned in the church yard. After mass the Saint is then carried out on the shoulders of many men amidst blazing fireworks, confetti and cheers from all of the people.
As he is carried through the streets, it is tradition to hand up naked babies as a sign of protection for having received grace.
Palazzolo is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with awe-inspiring Baroque architecture, spectacular churches and mouth watering local food.
A very striking baroque style church in the center of town, just across from the piazza. A delight to photograph, especially at night as it is lit up beautifully. Be sure to bring a tripod for the evening shots.
A magnificent church to visit with fine examples of baroque architecture. Don't miss the annual Feast of San Paolo celebration and procession each year. The fireworks display is one of the most spectacular and booming that you will ever see or hear.