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Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily)
Palazzolo Acreide, due to its exceptional architectural and urbanistic historical treasures, has been included on the Heritage List by UNESCO. Palazzolo Acreide is a town with an aspect characteristic of the seventeen hundreds which combines successfully with the modern features of the townĺs built-up area; it is also incredibly rich in ruins dating back to the era of Ancient Greece. This summer holiday resort town on the southern side of the Anapo valley stands on a hill on the slopes of the Monti Iblei. It was rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake.
The palaces and churches, in the late Baroque style, include the church of Santi Pietro e Paolo, which has a richly sculpted decorative facade, or the church of San Sebastiano, at the top of a spectacular flight of steps. The church of the Immacolata has a fine Virgin and Child sculpted by Laurana (1470). Not far from here is the archaeological area of the ancient └krai, founded by the Syracusans in 664 bc. Of particular interest are the remains of the theatre (3rd c. bc) and, nearby, the bouleuterion, headquarters of the Council of Senators. The two latomias (stone pits), the Intagliata and the Intagliatella, were used as places of worship during the Byzantine period; and votive reliefs can be seen in the Templi Ferali. The so-called Santoni, at the bottom of the hill are reliefs sculpted in the rock.
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