Stilo ... and its 1000 years of history
The city of Stilo is a small village with just over 2500 peoples and is considered among the most beautiful villages in Southern Italy, it is also included in the circuits of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Its position perched on the river guarding the Ionian sea tells us about the extraordinary story of this place, which interprets and represents that of the whole of Calabria. Located at 400m above sea level and behind which stands the steep wall of Mount Consolino, Stilo is believed to have been founded in the 7th century by refugees from a mythical maritime city.
The legend ... tells that, to find escape from the continuous raids, with consequent looting and destruction, often suffered by the fierce and marauding Saracens, the peaceful inhabitants of this former Greek colony took refuge en masse at the foot of the mountain and there they fixed their stable abode, calling it Stilida (or perhaps Cocinto).
Around it they built very high walls, to make that place impregnable. To allow access and exit from the town, five large doors were built, which were hermetically closed from the inside at night. These doors were called: Porta Stefanina, Porta Reale, Porta Cacari, Porta Scanza li Gutti and Porta Terra.
Today Stilo is one of the most beautiful and visited cities in Calabria. Its land rich in history and monuments, its ultra-millenary culture and the numerous events present throughout the year, give tourists pleasant surprises and offer them the opportunity to enrich their stay with moments of culture, art and crafts.
The historic center and the nearby village preserve the splendid riches: a set of small alleys, houses attached to each other as if to support each other, courtyards and gardens that create glimpses of enchanting poetry, majestic noble palaces, beautiful churches and especially the surrounding walls with towers and city gates, give Stilo the appearance of a typical medieval town and make it one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
The city has given birth to illustrious personalities, such as Tommaso Campanella, Francesco Cozza, Domenico Vigliarolo. Men who with their work have given prestige not only to their country but to the whole nation.
What to visit in Stilo:
It is a small religious building located adjacent to the town of Stilo, on the slopes of Monte Consolino.
The term "Cattolica" probably derives from the Greek "Katholikon" which indicates the place of worship of a monastic complex or the center of worship for the hermits who lived in the same area.
The expressive richness, belonging to a typically Byzantine architectural tradition, places it fully among the most notable Calabrian monuments.
Its birth follows the advent of the Normans in 1072 AD, conquerors of the village of Stilo. In fact, they choose the village, for its strategic position dominating the entire Stilaro Valley, as a royal state property, that is, a city under the direct control of the king, a role also maintained in the Swabian, Angevin and Aragonese dominations.
Erected by Roger the Norman in the second half of the 11th century, to better dominate its restless city, the fascinating medieval castle dominates the surrounding area unchallenged.