On November 1st, a walk through the history and beauty of the Gulf of Squillace

No three-day weekend for “All Saints” this year!?  Well, if you don’t want to give up the idea of a trip out of town, why not take advantage of the mild weather to take a trip between the sea and the hills, immersing yourself in history and the Greco-Roman culture? The plan is to stay in Calabria and land just a few kilometers from Borgia, in the municipality of Catanzaro, to discover a treasure of incomparable value: the Scolacium Archaeological Park. This is how the ancient town of Squillace was known as: from its thousand-year old history, it saw the passage of the Greeks, Brettians, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens and Normans. The park represents and maintains different layers of civilization up to the Norman era on an uncontaminated strip of land, surrounded by centuries-old olive groves.

From the Greek Skylletion excavations have emerged several finds, but the settlements found refer in particular to the historical period of the Roman colony of Scolacium (between the second and first centuries BC). Remains of paved streets, aqueducts, mausoleums, two burial structures. Capturing our attention however is the Piazza del Foro – you can still see a glimpse of the tempietto, a fountain and the courthouse. The Basilica of Santa Maria della Roccella, located right at the entrance to the Park, contrasts with typical Roman construction. Among the largest churches built by the Normans in Calabria, the Basilica shows strong Arab and Byzantine influences. Once it was equipped with a large nave and covered with wooden trusses and 5 sided windows. It collapsed after the earthquake of 1783, today only the majestic walls remain visible.

You can not leave the archaeological area without having seen the Museum that stands in an ancient baronial palace. Opened in 1996 as Antiquarium, to contain the numerous finds from the excavation area of the archaeological park, today it exhibits finds from the Archaic, Hellenistic and Roman periods. Numerous finds from the Roman period, including the great statuary cycle coming from the area of the Roman forum and datable to the first century BC.

History and beauty intertwine in this magical place. Having bi our goodbyes to our ancestors, we descend towards the sea to enjoy the beauty of a landscape that manages to evoke even new emotions. On the Costa degli Aranci, in the middle of the Squillace Gulf, we stop at Copanello. We welcome the turquoise sea, lush hills of typical Mediterranean flora and fauna, promontories of white granite that slope gently on the coast, creating sandy beaches surrounded by granite cliffs and caves into which the sea creeps.

We are in Autumn, but just seeing the sea almost makes you want to take a dip. For the most determined, after enjoying the seaside landscape, we suggest heading towards the village of Squillace. Here too, history has left an indelible sign and it will not disappoint.  In addition to the Norman castle and the co-cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, you must see the Gothic church, now unconsecrated, of Santa Maria della Pietà and the ruins of the church and the convent of Santa Chiara. If you have time, slip into the alleys of the village and admire the wonderful artistic stone portals.

Happy November 1st to everyone!  For more information click here: http://www.terrediscolacium.com/