colony, with a mainland facing expansion bridge, Akrai
was founded in the 664-663 BC on a terrain
already inhabited since the Stone Age. Scattered Necropolis
testify to the existence of Sicilian villages
during the 10th-11th Centuries BC, which on their arrival,
the Greeks managed to control and manage
thanks to Akrai’s position,
that of being constructed on a 770 metre high hill in a dominant
The City then had a period of development and well-being,
continually following the fate of the mother city of Syracuse.
According to Tucidide, in 413 BC on the outskirts
of Akrai, the Syracuse people finally
defeated the Athenian army which was controlled from Nicia.
It was under the reign of Gerone II (275-215
BC) that Akrai peaked its maximum splendour.
The City was taken by the Romans in 211
and became incorporated in its dominions, where it remained
until the end of the Empire. At first it was a Decuman city
(paid a tenth) and therefore became Civitas Stipendiaria
(paid a wage) when it also began to mint its own currency.
Passed over to Byzantine dominium, it was
then beseiged and destroyed by the Arabs
in 827 and quickly forgotten.
Only during the Norman period, was a castle
constructed on the site of ancient Akrai. A suburb
then developed which was protected by a town wall,
which became known as Palazzolo.
Today it is known as Palazzolo
Monuments of great importance have been discovered and recovered:
the Latomie (stone caves) where stone was extracted for use
in building temples, roads and defence constructions, a well
preserved theatre, which could hold up to
600 spectators, the quadrangular Bouleuterion
or Council room, the Ferali Temples, the
Decuman and important Acrensi temples.
Not too far away, you can also visit and admire the Santoni,
Rupestri sculptures from the 3rd century BC, the Greek
and the Sicilian necropolis, both carved
out in the natural rock.