|Città di Avola|
|• Mayor||Luca Cannata (GS)|
|• Total||74.27 km2 (28.68 sq mi)|
|Elevation||40 m (130 ft)|
|Population (31 January 2009)|
|• Density||430/km2 (1,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||Santa Venera|
|Saint day||Last Sunday in July|
The foundation of the city in an area previously inhabited by the Sicani and invaded by the Sicels in the 13th-12th centuries BC, is perhaps connected to the city of Hybla Major. Hybla was the name of a pre-Greek divinity, later identified with the Greek Aphrodite. The Greeks colonized the in the 8th century.
When the Romans conquered Sicily in 227 BC, the city of Syracuse maintained some autonomy in the control of the area, which lasted until the Second Punic War (212 BC). Hybla disappeared in the early Middle Ages, and the territory started to be repopulated during the Islamic domination of Sicily (9th-11th centuries). However, the village near what is now Avola appeared only during the Norman or Hohenstaufen rule (12th-13th centuries).
Like much of south-eastern Sicily, Avola was destroyed by an earthquake in 1693, and was refounded in a new location of the coast, under the design of friar architect Angelo Italia, having a geometrical and regular plan.
Along the main road that goes to Syracuse is situated a megalithic monument, so-called "pseudo-dolmen" because of natural origin but adapted, in the prehistory, to experimental architectural elaboration.
The Nero d'Avola, a typical red wine of Sicily, is named after the city of Avola, where was made the first grafting of the vine, but its grapes may grow and the wine be produced in other regions of the island too.
During the 'Hot Autumn' of 1969, Avola was the scene of an infamous massacre, when police opened fire on demonstrating day-labourers demanding the renewal of their contract. Two were killed and many wounded. This scene was depicted in the film 'Il Grande Sogno'.
- Robert Andrews, Jules Brown (2002). Sicily. Rough Guides. p. 287. ISBN 1-85828-874-6.
- Salvatore Piccolo (2013), Ancient Stones: The Prehistoric Dolmens of Sicily. Abingdon: Brazen Head Publishing. ISBN 978-0956510624
Media related to Avola at Wikimedia Commons