Wonder  }  Location

The Norman Middle Ages of Santa Severina

The impregnable fortress becomes the guardian of the history of the village

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Where is


Discesa Paolo Orsi, 1, 88832 Santa Severina KR, Italia (303m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

In the charming village of Santa Severina, a fortress castle towers on a thousand-year-old rock, between the Sila Mountains and the Ionian Sea, set in the path of the legendary Neto River. Its structure is imposing: a square plan with four towers at the corners, and each tower corresponds to a bastion. Access to the castle is via a majestic bridge, the only soaring, aerial element of the mighty mass that can be admired from the outside.

Why it is special

Being located on the highest point of the village gives it two enviable features. The magnificent view of the surrounding landscape is probably the easiest to guess. The second, on the other hand, is land-related: in an area that can boast of having been part of Magna Graecia, fortresses and castles are not the only buildings on high ground. Excavations in the castle area have revealed traces of a Greek acropolis. The artifacts collected are now on display in an archaeological museum located inside the castle itself.

Don't miss

The fortress dominates Piazza Campo, paved in the 1980s with the use of different materials that, skillfully placed, draw a large ellipse, in the center of which the wind rose takes shape, while around it is arranged a complex symbolism that refers to different branches of scientific knowledge. This very square, every year on the first day of May comes alive with processions, knights, dances, fights with living history... all seasoned with local delicacies. This and much more, is the Santa Severina Medieval Festival.

A bit of history

The earliest known settlements on this high ground date back to the time of Magna Graecia, when the acropolis, perhaps of Siberene, was located here. To condense the long history of the castle into a few lines would be a real evil, it would debase it. It is much better to treat oneself to a trip to Santa Severina and come in person to listen to the stones of this imposing fortification that speak of Byzantines, Normans, Swabians, Angevins, Aragonese and feudal lords, each of whom left an imprint, more or less marked, legible in the architecture, archaeological finds and frescoes in the magnificent halls.


In addition to the Archaeological Museums of the Castle and the Territory, other exhibitions can be visited inside the fortress : the Documentation and Study Center on the fortifications of Calabria, the Arms and Armor Exhibition, the Museum of Costume, set up with the support of the students of the Liceo Classico D. Borrelli of Santa Severina, which has a conspicuous number of period garments, restored by the inmates of the Castrovillari prison, and, recently established, the Museum of Opera.

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Recommended by
Ferdinando Panza

History has given this Calabrian village important evidence of the past with monuments of high historical and artistic value, nestled in nature between the Sila Mountains and the Ionian Sea.


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