For the Italian/Slovenian wine grape, see Avola (grape).
Città di Avola

Panoramic view

Coat of arms

Location of Avola in Italy

Coordinates: 36°55′N 15°08′E / 36.917°N 15.133°E / 36.917; 15.133
Country Italy
Region Sicily
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)
  Total 31,695
  Density 430/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Avolesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 96012
Dialing code 0931
Patron saint Santa Venera
Saint day Last Sunday in July
Website www.comune.avola.sr.it

Avola (Sicilian: Àvula) is a city and comune in the province of Syracuse, Sicily (Italy).[1]


Part of the Ancient Greek Avola Hoard on display in the British Museum

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.[2]

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).

1756 print showing the layout of Avola

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.[3]

In World War II the town was attacked and liberated by troops of the British 8th Army during the Allied invasion of Sicily on 11 July 1943.

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.

During the 'Hot Autumn' of 1969,[4] Avola was the scene of an infamous massacre, when police opened fire on demonstrating day-labourers demanding the renewal of their contract.[5] Two were killed and many wounded. This scene was depicted in the film 'Il Grande Sogno'.[6]


  1. Robert Andrews, Jules Brown (2002). Sicily. Rough Guides. p. 287. ISBN 1-85828-874-6.
  2. British Museum Collection
  3. Salvatore Piccolo (2013), Ancient Stones: The Prehistoric Dolmens of Sicily. Abingdon: Brazen Head Publishing. ISBN 978-0956510624
  4. "Solidarity Online | The hot autumn: How workers revolt shook Italy". solidarity.net.au. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  5. "Enemies". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  6. "Il grande sogno (2009) - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved 2015-12-08.

External links

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