|— Comune —|
|Comune di Palazzolo Acreide|
|- Mayor||Carlo Scibetta|
|- Total||86.34 km2 (33.3 sq mi)|
|Elevation||670 m (2,198 ft)|
|Population (31 January 2009)|
|- Density||105.2/km2 (272.6/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|- Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||St. Paul|
|Saint day||June 29|
Palazzolo Acreide (Sicilian: Palazzolu Acrèidi, in the local dialect: Palazzuolu) is a town and comune of in the Province of Syracuse, Sicily (Italy). It is situated 43 km from the city of Syracuse in the Hyblean Mountains.
The area around Palazzolo Acreide was settled by humans since very ancient times. In the 11th-10th centuries BC the Siculi lived here in small villages. The town occupies the site of the ancient Akrai (Latin Acrae), founded by Syracuse about 664 BC. The city was important as it controlled the paths of communication with the towns on the southern coast of the island. According to Thucydides, the Syracusans defeated the Athenians here in 413 BC.
In the treaty between the Romans and Hiero II of Syracuse in 263 BC it was assigned to the latter. After the Roman conquest, it became a civitas stipendiaria, and was still prospering in the course of the early Christian age.
The old city was probably destroyed by the Arabs, in the first half of the ninth century. The new city was built around a Norman castle, no longer extant. In 1693, an earthquake destroyed almost all of the city, which was slowly rebuilt in the following centuries.
The economy of Palazzolo Acreide relies mainly on agriculture (cereals) and farming of cattle and sheep.
The ancient city lied 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. Five miles north lies Buscemi, near which a sacred grotto has been discovered; and also a church cut in the rock and surrounded by a cemetery.
|Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily)*|
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|Criteria||i, ii, iv, v|
|Region**||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||2002 (20th Session)|
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.