|Città di Avola|
|Province / Metropolitan city||Syracuse (SR)|
|Frazioni||Marina di Avola, Lido di Avola, Avola Antica|
|• Mayor||Luca Cannata (Great South)|
|• 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 there in the 8th century. An important hoard of Ancient Greek gold jewellery and over 300 coins was found in the vicinity of Avola in 1914. Estimated to date between 370 and 300 BC, the extant items of ornate jewellery are now housed in the British Museum and comprise a pair of bracelets with double snake-heads, a finger-ring and an ear-ring with the figure of Eros.
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.
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'.
Nero d'Avola: The Nero d'Avola, a typical red wine of Sicily, is named after the city of Avola, where the first grafting of the vine was made, but its grapes may grow and the wine be produced in other regions of the island too.
Avola's Almond: The denomination Avola's Almond includes three different types of almond: Pizzuta Fascionello Romana or Corrente d'Avola.
These three kinds of almond come from Avola's area and are the most prestigious ones at international level. Blooming in winter, these almonds can only grow either in sea areas or on litte hills, where frost rarely happens. Since Avola belongs to one of the sunniest towns in Sicily, this makes it one of the main production areas for almond.
Pizzuta and Fascionello are mainly used in the making of "Confetti", white sugared almonds, "Granita", ice slush, almond milk and other pastries, while Romana is only used for pastries and other bakery products.
- Robert Andrews, Jules Brown (2002). Sicily. Rough Guides. p. 287. ISBN 1-85828-874-6.
- British Museum Collection
- Salvatore Piccolo (2013), Ancient Stones: The Prehistoric Dolmens of Sicily. Abingdon: Brazen Head Publishing. ISBN 978-0956510624
- "Solidarity Online | The hot autumn: How workers’ revolt shook Italy". solidarity.net.au. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- "Enemies". Archived from the original on 2003-04-02. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- "Il grande sogno (2009) - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved 2015-12-08.