The ancient village of Santa Caterina dello Ionio in Calabria
Slow holidays in Calabria all year long
village santa caterina dello ionio

The ancient village of Santa Caterina dello Ionio

Passing through the Porta dell’Acqua, the only remaining trace of the ancient city walls, you enter into the village of Santa Caterina dello Ionio, whose heart beats with art, history and tradition. The narrow and steep lanes, flanked by the typical houses amassed one atop the other, safeguard the testimonies of the past and the faces of the present, inextricably linked to this evocative location. One of the most precious buildings is undoubtedly the historic noble palace, the old residence in Art Nouveau style of the Marquis Di Francia, who conquered the town in 1799. Unfortunately, a devastating fire occurred in Santa Caterina in 1983, preventing the monument from telling its entire story as only the elements in local granite remain. The winding streets are pervaded by the scents of the traditional cuisine: the fragrance of homemade bread alternates with the rich perfume of pork, the artichokes preserved in olive oil or vinegar, after being harvested in May from the adjacent countryside and then carefully cleaned and prepared by the local ‘signore’. The village is rich in churches bearing a strong symbolic and religious value, as the main meeting places for the faithful of the village. One of the most noteworthy is the 17th-century matrice church, dedicated to the Mary, mother of Jesus, being the Chiesa di Santa Caterina di Alessandria. The laughter of playing children reverberates through the streets of the ancient village, where it is easy to come across the smiles of the locals, who like to pay homage to visitors with a chat and a coffee at the bar. To be savoured are the postcard-worthy views of the landscape adorned with the lush green of the gently-sloping cultivated fields, right up to the deep blue of the waters of the Ionian Sea.

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