Displaying items by tag: Santa Caterina dello Ionio

Tuesday, 03 May 2016 19:06

Ancient villages


The territory is part of the communes of the Gulf of Squillace, renowned not only for its beauty, also for its history.

Santa Caterina dello Ionio is characterized by a heterogeneous morphology; in a parcel of land of 41 km2 encountered mountain landscapes, hills and sea. Therefore, the landscape is typical of the Mediterranean maquis. In the mountains we encounter magnificent woods of beech, chestnut and oak, but also impressive afforestation of Douglas fir and Laricio pine. In the hills the landscape is characterized by agricultural areas planted with olive trees and other types of crops (screw, arable land, etc), and in some areas are observed afforestation of Eucalyptus and in areas more prone to erosion phenomena are observed suggestive Calanchivi landscapes.

Worthy of note are the rivers that cut the entire territory forming seven valleys. An excursion in these places allows you to discover breathtaking canyons, forests and the rediscovery of finds of agricultural archeology.



The territory is linked to the figure of St. Caterina dello Ionio, from a legend which tells that a group of monks, traveling toward an unspecified place of worship calabrese, encounter ruthless Saracen pirates. The monks now without the possibility of escape await the martyrdom. For a stretch in heaven calabrian there is a glare blinding and from heaven drops the Holy that save the monks and converts to Christianity, the Saracen pirates.

Historical sources more documentary dated that relate to the territory of Santa Caterina dello Ionio are dated around the year 1000. Her birth is supposed to be due to the presence of places of worship dedicated to the homonymous Santa. The village is also represented at the Vatican museums.

The rooting of the devotion to a Holy of oriental origins draws explanations in these territories, the documented presence of monasticism Italo-Greco and Basilian, which spread all over a wide radius throughout Calabria among centuries VI and XIII. To whose work can be attributed the introduction of culture techniques and innovative production facilities, also of origin distinctly eastern, aimed at the implement of local agricultural production.
With the passing of the centuries, the historical events of the town, see the succession of sovereignties, local families, feudatories laity and religious. In fact, around the 1060 S. Catherine was part of the County of Badolato.
In 1487 the house of Arena (the Concublet), involved in a plot of the Barons, it was temporarily ousted and the land of Santa Catherine was granted to the Earl Alberico da Barbiano (grandson of Alberico the old). In the following years came then several noble families: from Cordova to have gleaned from Gioienis to Column.
The June 30, 1685 and feudatory Erasmo Marzano, who rebuilt it a castle existing on the highest point in the country. The castle was destroyed by the earthquake of 1783. In coastal areas there is a cylindrical tower of 1565 built by the Royal Court of Naples to combat the Saracen raids.
In 1799 the estate passed to the Di Francia who held it until the of feudalism. Recently you can observese an increase in interest in the so-called "archaeological heritage minors" i.e. evidence that lie hidden in a context of local reference very visible and accessible.
This category also includes various rural sites characterized by the presence of building structures both productive that residential monastic appliances, tools and artifacts that together constitute the most genuine expression of the material culture of a given place.
In the territory of Santa Caterina dello Ionio, recent insights on these aspects to highlighted the existence of palmenti caves and rocky, arab norias used for pickup by wells and latest water mills to grind cereals.



The structure of the village is characterized by alleys was intricate and, typical of medieval villages and in particular of those villages subject to the Saracen raids. In correspondence of the revenue to the village there are the portals of particularly valuable historical and architectural. These portals were the only ways to enter and exit of the village, and also had defensive function.

In addition to Santa Caterina in the course of the centuries were built places of worship of particular merit is listed below:

  • Matrix church
  • church of San Pantaleone
  • church of the Immaculate Conception
  • church of the holy rosary
  • church of the Madonna della Neve
  • church of San Gabriel Archangel
  • convent of s. Francesco



The first building in marina is a watchtower wanted by the King of Naples and is part of a defense system that wanted all the coasts of the kingdom of Naples.
For centuries the coasts have never been inhabited for the presence of malarious areas and to the continuous raids by the Saracens. The only activity present in marina (in addition to that of defense) was to provide assistance to fishermen from other territories, which shelter along our coasts. In the early years of the 1950 starts to repopulate even the maritime area of the territory.

The territory of the marina is mainly characterized for its vicinity to the sea, which makes it to the tourists the holiday very comfortable and relaxing.

Published in Excursions