Avola Tourist Attractions
LocationAvola, situated on Sicily's southeastern coast, is a small agricultural town, famous for its almond production. It is also a popular seaside resort. Like Noto, just 8km/5mi distant, it was founded at the end of the 17th century.HistoryThe old town of Avola (Avola Vecchia) was destroyed by the earthquake of 1693 to such an extent that it was decided to rebuild the town in its present location close to the sea. Because of its level position it was possible to give it - in common with Grammichele, Noto and Pachino - a regularly patterned layout with a geometric ground plan. A hexagonal shape was chosen. In the middle of the town lies the quadrate-shaped main square, from which leads the right-angled street system. The ground plan was carried out during the course of the 18th century and the rather rustic Baroque features of this period are what gives the town its characteristic appearance, most particularly in the center.
In the regularly shaped main square in Ávola, the Piazza Umberto I, stands the very imposing Chiesa Matrice San Nicola with its own square in front of it.
The Museo Civico in Ávola is also to be found in the Piazza Umberto I. Where each of the four main streets leading from this central square meets the hexagonal ring-road, there is another square. Two of these are laid out with gardens of flowers, trees and fountains, most spectacularly the Piazza Regina Sant'Antonio Abbate Elena, one side of which is dominated by the Baroque Church of Sant'Antonio Abbate (18th century).
Church of Santa Venera
A Baroque building, namely the Church of Santa Venera (on the road leading out of the town towards Syracuse), is worthy of mention.
There are facilities for sea-bathing at Lido di Ávola (to the northeast) and at Marina di Ávola (southeast).
8.5km/5mi to the northwest of Ávola, along a winding mountainous road with beautiful views, the ruins of the settlement which was the predecessor of the present town of Avola are reached. Avola Vecchia was inhabited as long ago as the second millennium B.C. but was destroyed in the earthquake of 1693.
As a result of erosion the River Cassíbile has formed a gorge, the Cava Grande, 8km/5mi northwest of Avola Vecchia. Here there are countless rock graves belonging to a Sikel necropolis.
Situated to the north of the mouth of the River Cassíbile, on the SS 115, is the town of the same name. It lies on the site of the ancient town of Kakyparis (10km/6mi north of Ávola). Close to the river mouth the Syracusan army repelled the invasion forces of the Athenians in the year 413 B.C. Cassíbile was also where Italy signed a separate cease-fire with the Allies on third September 1943.