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Le Castella in Calabria

Le castella is one of the most charming and interesting places in the whole of Calabria. Today we are going to get to know better this very special location in this even more special region.

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Introduction

Le castella is historic, beautiful and will make you fall in love. Located almost inside the sea, it is the kind of place that delights even the most demanding tourists. Its panorama presents itself in a unique way and full of charm; today we are going to visit Le Castella. So, let’s do it! Here at Traveling to Calabria you make the trip of your dreams!!! Are you staying in Calabria? Looking for a hotel? Click here and discover best accommodation options in Calabria!

A little more about Le Castella in Calabria

Le Castella is really a charming place, a small Calabrian village of the Island of Capo Rizzuto where you can admire a beautiful Aragonese castle that rises out of the sea, and can be considered a piece of paradise in Calabria. Built as a defense against the attacks of Turkish pirates, the Aragonese Castle on the Island of Capo Rizzuto, is one of the most spectacular castles in the region. Perfectly preserved and fully open, this fortress was built on a small island tied to the coast by a narrow strip of land in the middle of the marine reserve.

Two Castles…

The plural name of Le Castella (The Castles) is due to the existence of some castles that were in the islands, but that have disappeared along the time. According to legend, this castle was built in 204 BC, when Hannibal lived in this region. The peculiarity and strength of Le Castella is the location, which actually makes this building seem to emerge from the sea like a goddess. The origins of Le Castella are lost in a mixture of history and myth, legend says that in one of the islands adjacent to the city, no longer visible, lived the nymph Calypso.

The fortress Le Castella is placed in an environment of real natural worth, surrounded by the Marine Reserve of Capo Rizzuto, established in 1991. This castle never hosted the nobility of the place, but always served as a shelter for the soldiers against the attacks of the invaders that arrived by the sea. The Anjou tower is characterized by a beautiful spiral stone staircase that connects the three floors. In one of the rooms of the fortress, you can observe a protected area of the sea in real time, thanks to the underwater cameras placed 10 meters deep, is truly spectacular and exciting. Recently restored, the Aragonese Fort has become one of the main facilities of the Saracen Coast and has been adopted by the Region of Calabria as a symbol of tourism.

The Museum and other attractions

Inside there is now a museum where one can admire what has remained, including old cannon balls. Archaeological excavations, in the fort, have unearthed several layers of construction; the castle has, in fact, been continuously modified and adapted over the centuries. Definitely not to be missed is the Villa’s Chapel, which was built in the Aragon period and is a place of worship for the soldiers who lived on the city wall. The chapel is composed of a nave, where you can admire a fresco that dates back to the 16th century.

Then go to the Old Village, a charming village where there were shops and markets where people gathered to buy goods. Then there is the Drawbridge which leads to the tower; the Depot, which was used to store weapons and armor, the tower, which was the centerpiece of the castle’s defense and the mooring port, a port authority, made up of limestone dating the quadrant of the Greek period. Lying in the sea, the ideal season to visit the city is the summer, when you can also enjoy its crystal clear waters in a setting of incomparable beauty.

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How to get there?


You can reach this amazing place by plane, train or car.

1) How to get there? BY PLANE

As Le Castella is located about 20 km from Crotone, it would be good to get off at Sant’Anna di Crotone Airport. In any case, if you want, you can easily reach from  Lamezia Terme Airport.

2) How to get there? BY TRAIN

Crotone has a bus station that can be reached from the main Italian cities, or choose the FS station of Lamezia Terme at 90 km, which has a shuttle service.

3) How to get there? BY CAR

It is accessible by the A3 exit Salerno-Reggio Calabria, Sibari, stay on the state road S.S. 106 towards Catanzaro / Reggio Calabria to the junction of Le Castella.

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IMPORTANT TO KNOW!

Remember that to drive in Italy it is MANDATORY to have the International Driving License, the famous IDP (International Driving Permit). The certificate is not issued in Italian, but it is accepted in English! The IDP lasts 180 days (it depends where you live) and is issued by the Traffic Department of your country (if you have the European Driver License, you don’t need to worry about it!).

NOTE:
  • Check with your country’s Traffic Department which documents are required and the rates for issuing the IDP. If you chose to travel by car, be sure to read our Post “Driving in Italy“. It is very important to avoid winning fines for lack of information.

Conclusion

Le Castella is one of the most attractive and best preserved places in Calabria; spending a day in this village, and visiting the fortress of the sea, makes it a complete and unforgettable experience and you will have the feeling of being catapulted into the old era. You can swim in the crystal clear waters of the sea, sunbathe on the rocks and, finaly, visit the castle, from where you can enjoy the beautiful views that are enchanting. At night the path leading to the fort is illuminated creating a beautiful effect that will thrill you and will remain for a long time in your memory.

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