Palizzi

Palizzi

Things to do - general

The SS 106 highway leads to Palizzi Marina, an ancient port that the late sixteenth-century Calabrian scholar Gerolamo Marafioti said could “easily accommodate seafaring vessels “.

Porto Palizze, as the bay was called in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, still has, and not surprisingly so, a promenade that, though small, is the only one that throbs with life in winter. There is no trace left of the port’s berthing harbour, except for the watchtower which in 1595 began to be called Torre Mozza [stumpy tower] because its upper storeys had been flattened. Only a single corner, standing on a rectangular base, remains today. The village is divided by a river into two districts: Murrotto and Stracia, names clearly alluding to the past. From both neighbourhoods two roads lead, respectively, to small hamlets called Palizzi Superiore and Pietrapennata, passing through the finest vineyards to be found in the Grecanica area.
But the beating heart of Palizzi is its historic centre which stands 272 metres higher up than the seaside village.

THE NAME

Some hold that the name of the town derives from the Greek politsion a diminutive of polis (city), others claim that it comes from polìscin, which seems to mean “shaded locality”.

HAMLETS AND TOWNLANDS

Palizzi Marina, Palizzi Superiore, Pietrapennata, Spropoli; Contrada Iermanata, Contrada Gruda, Case Sparse.

HISTORY

Palizzi is all one could ask of the typical fairy-tale village: a castle towering on the top of an imposing outcrop, a mediaeval village at its feet and a humpbacked bridge straddling a stream from way back in the fourteenth century. Documented for the first time in the mid-eleventh century as belonging to the monastery of Sant’Angelo in Valle Tucci, Palizzi, at the end of the twelfth century it was mentioned as part of the property of the Counts of Bova. In 1322, the estate was sold by Bartolomeo Busca to Guglielmo Ruffo di Calabria, Count of Sinopoli, a landowner with vast estates covering huge areas of southern Calabria. At his death, Guglielmo’s grandson, Antonello, had to share the barony with his uncle Folco, thus giving rise to the Ruffo di Palizzi-Brancaleone branch of the family, which continued for four generations, not without some abrupt interruptions due to dynastic strife between the Anjou and Aragon dynasties. In 1479, Palizzi was in the hands of Bernardino de Maldà Cadorna though by 1498 it had returned to the Ruffo, who had work done to the north-eastern part of the castle, where signs of the refurbishments carried out by architects from the Kingdom of Naples, Francesco Giorgio Martini and Bernardo Rossellino, are evident. The marriage between Geronima Ruffo and Alfonso de Ayerbo d’Aragona in 1505, ushered in a series of repeated dynastic changes which saw the barony pass first to the Troiano Spinellis, then back to the Ayerbo d’Argona family and then, in 1580 to that of the Roman Messinas. It was Giacomo Colonna Romano who had the coat of arms added to the castle entrance, probably as part of further restoration to the building. Owned by the Messina Arduinos since 1666, in 1751 the Palizzi estate was sold to the De Blasios who retained it until 1806 and carried out significant renovation of the castle that characterises, to a certain extent, the building’s present aspect. The imposing building overlooks the village which is medieval in atmosphere and full of narrow lanes and endless stairways leading to the main square and Saint Anne’s Church.

EXPLORING THE HISTORIC CENTRE AND THE TOWN ITSELF

Set against a superb natural backdrop, the village seems to cling to the sandstone outcrop at the foot of the imposing castle. Visitors are immediately spellbound by the village’s unique medieval centre: “palazziate and solarate“[buildings and roofing], the result of imaginative architectural solutions. Its cellars, subways, stairways and roofs (in curved tiling) all depict an untouched natural scene.

The itinerary walk begins at the Schiccio Bridge which straddles the Palizzi river and provides a glimpse of an ancient mill.

Arriving at the centre of the village, it is possible to visit the parish church of Sant’Anna, which houses an interesting corpus of statues of saints and madonnas, including a wooden sculpture by an unknown artist, commissioned in 1827 by Palizzi’s last baron, Tiberio De Blasio.

At the back of the apse stands the marble statue of Sant’Anna e la Madonna [Saint Anne and the Madonna] one of the first sculptures in the round ever seen in the Bova diocese and dating from the second half of the sixteenth century. Of the same period, but of a different artistic mould, is the dome above the left aisle, testifying to the persistence of Byzantine architecture, also evident on the outside of the building where tiling was used to lighten the construction. In this parish, in 1574, the Stavriano established the diocese’s first Latin comunia, to which he donated all of Palizzi’s church property. As only Latin clerics could belong to this community, the Greeks were excluded, impoverished, and managed to survive only by devoting themselves to agriculture and sheep herding. They died leaving heirs who did not even dream of continuing the ministry of parents who had been inexorably defeated by the events.

Passing through the laneways, characterised by particular anti-seismic architectural solutions, the visitor reaches the Mediaeval Castle, a national monument recognised by Italy’s Cultural Heritage Ministry.

The town’s recently-built seaside village stretches along the magnificent coast, the nesting place of the famous Tartarughe Marine Caretta Caretta [Loggerhead Sea Turtles]. Palizzi is, in fact, the chief municipality responsible for the Progetto Life Caretta Calabria [The Calabria Loggerhead Life Project] which, since 2013, is a part of the European Commission’s Environmental DG’s Life Programme.

PALIZZI IGT (typical local product)

The Palizzi area is renowned for the abundance of its vineyards which produce an excellent red wine bearing the IGT label, and which can be tasted in the town’s many characteristic cellars (catoi). For this reason Palizzi is known as the “town of wine”.

Well-known and appreciated throughout the Palizzi area, this is a strong red wine, excellent with roasts, elaborate traditional dishes featuring goat’s meat and pork ragout, stews, game and mature well-seasoned cheeses.

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Comune Palizzi
Area (km2)52,62
maps
longitudine37.9667745
longitudine15.9843874,
Peoples2.266
Palizzi - Foto Enzo Galluccio

Borgo di Palizzi Superiore

The Palizzi Superiore Castle (fourteenth-nineteenth centuries) which towers on top of an enormous sheer rock, 300 metres above sea level dominates the town’s Mediaeval historic centre. Although the original fortress was probably built in the thirteenth century the present building was begun a century later by the Ruffo family. The original defensive structure restyled by […]

Palizzi - Pietrapennata - Resti Santuario della Madonna dell'Alica - Foto Enzo Galluccio

Borgo di Pietrapennata

The tiny hamlet di Pietrapennata stands a few kilometres to the north of Palizzi Superiore, and owes its name to the rocks that tower above it. According to the local oral tradition, the Knights of Malta founded it before it was destroyed in 1696, as a document in the Reggio-Calabrian archives recalls. The presence of […]

EXCURSION from Pietrapennata to Madonna dell’Alica

EXCURSION from Pietrapennata to Madonna dell’Alica

Palizzi
Technical data Municipality: Palizzi Difficulty: T Elevation difference: irrelevant Altitude: Pietra
ROCK CLIMBING at Carmine

ROCK CLIMBING at Carmine

Palizzi
Technical data Difficulty: easy Period: all year round Municipality: Palizzi Location: Carmine Contr
ROCK CLIMBING at Rocca di Sant’ Ippolito

ROCK CLIMBING at Rocca di Sant’ Ippolito

Palizzi
Technical data Difficulty: medium Period: from September to May Municipality: Palizzi Locality: S. I
TREKKING from Bova to Palizzi Superiore

TREKKING from Bova to Palizzi Superiore

Borgo di Palizzi Superiore
From Bova to Palizzi Superiore  Itinerary “No wilder, nor more extraordinary place than Palizzi
TREKKING from Pietrapennata to Staiti

TREKKING from Pietrapennata to Staiti

Borgo di Pietrapennata
From Pietrapennata to Staiti Itinerary From the small main square of the hamlet of Pietrapennata (
Carcare nel Borgo di Palizzi Superiore

Carcare nel Borgo di Palizzi Superiore

Location Palizzi
TipoMulini Frantoi e Palmenti


...

Castle of Palizzi

Castle of Palizzi

Location Borgo di Palizzi Superiore
Tipocastelli


The fourteenth-nineteenth century Castle of Palizzi Superiore, which stands on top of an enormous sheer-faced rock formation, 300 metres above sea lev...

Church of Carmine

Church of Carmine

Location Borgo di Palizzi Superiore
Tipochiese


MADONNA DEL CARMINE [OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL] The Church of the Madonna del Carmine in Palizzi was built in 1573. To the name of the church are often...

Church of S. Anna

Church of S. Anna

Location Borgo di Palizzi Superiore
Tipochiese


Palizzi has retained the charm of the old, medieval village, comprising narrow streets, lanes and flights of steps connecting the village’s houses. ...

Church of S. Maria dell'Alìca

Church of S. Maria dell'Alìca

Location Borgo di Pietrapennata
Tipochiese


The tiny hamlet of Pietrapennata stands in the Alìca Valley, where the evocative remnants of what was once a church, maybe a monastery, still stand, ...

Frantoio nel Borgo di Pietrapennata

Frantoio nel Borgo di Pietrapennata

Location Borgo di Pietrapennata
TipoMulini Frantoi e Palmenti


...

Mulino Schicciu di Palizzi Superiore

Mulino Schicciu di Palizzi Superiore

Location Borgo di Palizzi Superiore
TipoMulini Frantoi e Palmenti


nessuna descrizione ...

Palmenti nel Borgo di  Palizzi Superiore

Palmenti nel Borgo di Palizzi Superiore

Location Borgo di Palizzi Superiore
TipoMulini Frantoi e Palmenti


...

Carcare nel Borgo di Palizzi Superiore

Carcare nel Borgo di Palizzi Superiore

Location Palizzi
TipoMulini Frantoi e Palmenti


...

Castle of Palizzi

Castle of Palizzi

Location Borgo di Palizzi Superiore
Tipocastelli


The fourteenth-nineteenth century Castle of Palizzi Superiore, which stands on top of an enormous sheer-faced rock formation, 300 metres above sea lev...

Church of Carmine

Church of Carmine

Location Borgo di Palizzi Superiore
Tipochiese


MADONNA DEL CARMINE [OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL] The Church of the Madonna del Carmine in Palizzi was built in 1573. To the name of the church are often...

Church of S. Anna

Church of S. Anna

Location Borgo di Palizzi Superiore
Tipochiese


Palizzi has retained the charm of the old, medieval village, comprising narrow streets, lanes and flights of steps connecting the village’s houses. ...

Church of S. Maria dell'Alìca

Church of S. Maria dell'Alìca

Location Borgo di Pietrapennata
Tipochiese


The tiny hamlet of Pietrapennata stands in the Alìca Valley, where the evocative remnants of what was once a church, maybe a monastery, still stand, ...

Frantoio nel Borgo di Pietrapennata

Frantoio nel Borgo di Pietrapennata

Location Borgo di Pietrapennata
TipoMulini Frantoi e Palmenti


...

Mulino Schicciu di Palizzi Superiore

Mulino Schicciu di Palizzi Superiore

Location Borgo di Palizzi Superiore
TipoMulini Frantoi e Palmenti


nessuna descrizione ...

Palmenti nel Borgo di  Palizzi Superiore

Palmenti nel Borgo di Palizzi Superiore

Location Borgo di Palizzi Superiore
TipoMulini Frantoi e Palmenti


...