Avola Antica, also known as "Avola Vecchia", is an extra-urban fraction of the city and is the place where the ancient city of Avola stood, which was razed to the ground by the 1693 Val di Noto earthquake.
The ancient Avola has Sicilian-Greek origins and was called by the Romans who conquered it in 211 BC. “Hybla Mayor”, or “Ibla Maggiore”, for the prestige it held thanks to its impregnable position. In fact, the ancient city of Avola stood on Mount Aquilone, from whose summit it was possible to scrutinize the sea of all south-eastern Sicily. The Mount was dominated by the Arab-Norman Castle and the whole town extended over the valley. Some of the buildings that once stood in the city are still visible and can be visited, including the Hermitage of the "Madonna delle Grazie".
In 1600 Avola Antica was a rich and flourishing city but the terrible earthquake of 11 January 1693 razed it to soil.
Along the road that leads to the top of Monte Aquilone, you will find the remains of the ancient village and the Necropolis which testify to the presence of this place in pre-Greek times. From the top of the mountain it will be possible to admire the overhangs and valleys and enjoy a splendid panorama. Among the main places of interest we mention: Cozzo Tirone and Cava di Pisciarello, where there were churches and military fortifications; the Ronchetto, the Vallone Bugliola known as the Cava di Avola Antica, where there was the Church of Santa Venera and a cave, which still exists, where, according to tradition, the "Patron Martyr of Avola" stayed there.