Montepaone is synonymous of “holiday”. Sea-holidays of course, thanks to its golden and long free beaches among the most beautiful part of the calabrian Ionian coast, protected by the Gulf of Squillace. In a charming medieval village, lively and full of traditions and flavors. Discover the appreciated local craftsmanship and tasty & extra sweet gastronomy that smells of history and recalls the ancient Saracen forays.
A bit of history
The origins of Montepaone are lost in history along the foundation of the ancient “Aurunco”, halfway between the old village and “Montepaone Lido” on whose ruins arose, according to local historians, the current Montepaone. It is not known whether the legend that the ancient “Aurunco” was founded by the “auruncies” – arrived in Calabria from Lazio region – has any bases. But in this area, during the Second Punic War, there was a bloody battle of the Roman troops against the famous Hannibal, as evidenced by the “Column of Hannibal” still visible on a side of “Strada Statale 106”, the main road-artery that connects all the villages of the calabrian Ionian coastline. The name “Montepaone” comes from the latin term “Mons Pavonis” (Mount of the Peacock), probably because once upon time in this area these colorful birds were bred.
Montepaone, with its current name, began to exist since 1094, when the Norman lord “Ruggiero I” gave up to the Certosa of Serra San Bruno some villages including also the new side of the ancient “Aurunco”. Some think that the name comes from the breeding of these colorful birds, living at the time in all the area. With the Normans, the village experienced a period of peace and cultural growth thanks to the flourishing of trade. It suffered, like the other villages in the area, for the several fearsome Saracen raids & incursions and later its territory was divided by the French into baronies and fiefdoms. Two earthquakes happened and then in 1875 the first nucleus of the “Muscettola” arose, which only around the 70s of the last century became the famous seaside destination known as “Montepaone Lido”.
La Calabria da visitare tutto l’anno
Walking around the village
The upper side of Montepaone, know as “Montepaone ‘e supa”, is the ancient medieval village perched on the heights that protect the coastline. Its alleys and squares, today as yesterday, are teeming with life and are the favorite meeting place of locals, visitors and tourists. In “Piazza Immacolata”, the main meeting-place of the old-city center of Montepaone, you can still see the famous “Tree of Freedom”, the great elm that was planted on 1799 to celebrate the brief interlude in which Montepaone was part of the Neapolitan Republic. The 15th-century Palace of “Cesare Pirrò”, home to the town-hall, is certainly another visit to do. Recently the Municipality has restored the palace to its former glory. Visit the church “Maria S.S. Immacolata”, which dates back to the 16th century, and also located in the ancient village. The building was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1783 and retains a 17th-century paint-canvas, depicting the “Madonna del Rosario” attributed to Ippolito Borghese. Walking through the narrow alleys is not uncommon to see some skilled local craftsmen weaving the wicker twigs creating a “Crivu”, the typical local basket. There is also no lack of wise-hands in Montepaone that embroidered and worked on ancient looms. When walking through the village it seems to hear the sound of the loom: in the past some people spun linen or raw silk thanks to local farms of silk-worms.
Montepaone all year around
Lots of tourists usually match Montepaone to its sea-town “Montepaone Lido”. Here, it’s possible to enjoy & experience miles of open beaches with golden sand and crystal clear waters which welcome thousands of visitors every summer. The night “movida” of Montepaone, close to Soverato and equally lively, animates the area with parties and events. Athletes can access endless fun opportunities with sailing and windsurfing courses, boat trips and beach volleyball tournaments. After a day spent in the sun, a catamaran trip through the rocks to the small sea-caves of that enchantment that’s the beach of Caminia, reveal to tourists the most beautiful summer of the Ionian Calabria. On the first Sunday of August the village celebrates the saint-patron-saint “San Felice Martire” and its wooden statue is preserved in the local church of the village. The local community also celebrates St. Francesco da Paola with another important religious feast. But Montepaone also offers unique and fascinating experiences for travelers looking for slow and spiritual experiences in the less sultry months. One of these is certainly the interesting “Mills’ Path”, the ancient road that, historically, connected the territories of Montepaone, Montauro, Gasperina, Stalettì with the famous “Grangia di Sant’Anna” and with the system of water mills placed downstream. A 568-metre-long track that crosses a gentle and lush countryside among sunny olive groves. At Christmas there’s a community-tradition to prepare the local sweet “Cupeta”, the typical nougat – with Arabic origins – based on genuine sesame, honey, flour and “vincotto” cooked wine. This local dessert is a food-excellence and is also protected by a Slow Food Community.
Navigate the map and discover our land
Badolato, a quaint ancient village where time goes by slowly and the days are fulfilled with simple things and great emotionsDiscover More
Guardavalle is the green of the mountains and the blue of the sea. Guardavalle is a warm welcome, hospitality and smiles.Guardavalle è tradition and folklore. Guardavalle is a treat to yourselfDiscover More
Santa Caterina dello Ionio, between earth and sea a quaint treasure trove that preserves unaltered influence of a rich pastDiscover More
Stilo is an ancient medieval village that preserves unaltered influences of a past rich in art and cultureDiscover More
A town of warm hospitality, authentic food, ancient tradition and timeless culture stands on the iconic Calabrian slopes, between the blue Ionan Sea and green countrysideDiscover More
In San Floro, a village with a heart of hospitality along the evocative Costa degli Aranci, you can rediscover yourself and the value of timeDiscover More
In Calabria, between the sea and the hills, between the deep blue and woody valleys, between the Magna Grecia and Medieval origins, stands a charming town called Monasterace, rich of remarkable artistic and cultural assets.DISCOVER MORE
A journey through the picturesque village of Torre di Ruggiero to find the right peace of the senses, completely immersed in the pure nature of authentic CalabriaScopri di più
Satriano is the right location for those people who love enchanted walks through oak woods and mysterious hermits, sun-baths blinded by the glow of the blue waters of the Ionian Sea and its white beaches.Show more
White beaches and fun are the calling card of Montepaone in Europe. A destination also appreciated by those travelers who love authentic experiencesShow more
Soverato is a calabrian sea-town located by the Southern Ionian Coast. Known as “La Perla dell Ionio” it is also considered a sea-holiday capital, a gastronomic and cultural destinationShow more
A full real immersion in the history and culture of the destination of “Riviera e Borghi degli Angeli”.Show more