Archaeological Park of Soverato Vecchia on Calabria's Ionian coast
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Soverato Vecchia with its ancient city ruins

Immersed in an evocative and tranquil undulating landscape that slopes gently towards the sea, stands the archaeological site of ancient Soverato.

Although there are no certainties, it seems that the birth of Suberatum dates back to about the 10th century, when the inhabitants of the Soverato Marina moved away from the coast in search of an area less exposed to enemy raids.

After the Greeks and Byzantines arrived, the Normans Latinised the territories of southern Italy and made Soverato a Universitas of Squillace, a characteristic that ensured the administrative autonomy of the Calabrian hub. Throughout the Swabian period, there were many feudal lords, such as the well-known Federico Passalacqua, who reigned until the advent of Angioino. At the end of the 1400s, Soverato passed to the Borgias, who ruled for over a century, until the arrival of other feudal families. Unfortunately, the history of ancient Soverato stops as of 28th March 1783, the day when a devastating earthquake shook Calabria, destroying entire towns – including Suberatum.

The remaining inhabitants preferred to rebuild the town in another area, which today constitutes Soverato Superiore.

The remnants of the medieval village still speak to those who observe them, recounting the story of an ancient world that has not fallen into oblivion.

Along the urban structure, being typically medieval, there are quaint buildings, historic habitations and towers. Amongst these are the ruins of the Antico Palazzo Baronale, once home to the extensive succession of feudal lords. With a surface area of over 100 square metres, it is split over two floors – the lower one for servants and the upper one home to the nobility.

In the ancient piazza, facing the sea, is the Mother Church – or what remains of it. Unusually large for a city of this size, it symbolised civil and religious life. The remains of the peasant houses are still visible, comprised of small spaces sometimes shared with the animals, mostly being single-storey. There is also that remaining of the ancient city walls, which once embraced the entire town and culminated with a watchtower to announce attacks from the sea.

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