|The medieval town of Santa Caterina is official recognized as one of Italy's most beautiful hamlets. Known in ancient times as " Siberene".
Today, thanks to its remarkable artistic heritage, is one of the most attractive tourist centers of Calabria. A visit to Santa Severina is accompanied by the incredible panoramic views overlooking the Neto Valley.
The charming little town is located in the province of Crotone, laying on a plateau overlooking the Neto valley not too distant from the Ionian cost known as the Saracen's Coast.
It was probably founded by the Oenotrians, ("tribe led by Oenotrus" or "people from the land of vines - Οἰνωτρία") ancient people (Italiotes) of unknown origin who inhabited a territory from Paestum (Campania) to southern Calabria before the colonization of the Greeks. By the sixth century BC, the Oenotrians had been absorbed with other Italiotes tribes.
We do not have reliable information or monument remains from the Greek-Roman period, however, the name change from "Siberene" to Santa Severina has been attributed to the Romans.
Except for a brief occupation by the Arabs in 840-886, the Byzantine domination lasted up to 1073 - 1074.
Around 1075 - 1076, Robert Guiscard, led the Norman to the conquest of the city.
Even in the Norman period notable is the importance of Santa Severina as a cultural and religious center. Under the Norman, construction of the new Castle began and the changeover from Greek to Latin rituals was also introduced.
The town was later ruled by the Swabians, the Angevins, who started construction of the cathedral, and the Aragonese under which domination we see an increasing influx of Albanian communities escaping from Turkish persecution.
It then passed into the hands of powerful feudal lords such as the Carafa, Ruffo and Grutter .
The village is accessed by a single road....
...leading to the square dominated by the cathedral and castle.
Restored in the 16 century it houses the local tourist board office, art gallery and archaeological finds from the area.
What to see : The tour requires attention and at least half a day in order to see every nook and cranny of this great building.
In some rooms, organized historically, are displays of archeological finds that have been found during excavations, while in the great halls of the castle beside some frescoes it is possible to admire some art exhibits all year round.
Its Carafa castle is certainly the most important historical evidence. It is composed of a 15th-century square surrounded by a moat and encircling walls, with a section that offers examples of different types of crenellation (Byzantine, Norman and Svevian ).
The elegant salons are ornate with stuccoes and paintings by Francesco Giordano .
The first impact the visitor will have with history is the Byzantine Baptistery . It can be entered through a door located in the left nave of the church and it features frescoes from the 10th and 11th centuries, characteristics includes a small dome supported by 8 columns.
Also of interest are the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art with its display of ancient documents, sacred vestments and works of art.
The church of Santa Filomena and the annexed church of Santa Maria del Pozzo (Pozzolio) with its dome encircled by columns and two arched portals.
Festivity for the patron saint Santa Anastasia , takes place during the last week of may.
Nearby sites & towns
Belvedere di Spinello
Caccuri - Castelsilano
Rocca di Neto
San Mauro Marchesato,
Roccabernarda - Scandale
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