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Stilo

~ One of Italy's most beautiful hamlets ~
 
 

 



 
Stilo (Greek: Stylos, column) is a town and (comune) in the province of Reggio Calabria, 151 kilometres (94 mi) from Reggio Calabria (the city), the province's capital. Built on the slopes of Mount Consolino in a beautiful scenic position overlooking the ionian sea, you find Stilo, located in the province of Reggio di Calabria at about 115 km from the capital. 
A center of history and culture and one of  Calabria's most evocative places. Stilo was founded in Greek times and became an important Basilian center during the Byzantine era.

 

 
The  hamlet is dominated by the ruins of what was once a great and mighty Norman castle, and is famous not only for being the birthplace of the famous philosopher Tommaso Campanella, but also for the famous 9 century "Cattolica" church, a  jewel of Byzantine art and architecture...
 


Rear view


 
The interior


Selected for you : Simply  & Beautifully .
 
The interior is small and bare with four elegant classical columns in the centre, framing a square each one different from the other.
 
 
...nestled into the rock looking over one of the town's most beautiful scenic views from where who can admire  the houses with their roofs covered with characteristics "keramides"...(clay roofs)...


 
 ...the fantastic  Stilaro valley below and the blue Ionian sea on the horizon.
Places worth visiting:
 
 
The Cathedral: i​nside the main cathedral there are a number of paintings (including one attributed to St. Francesco) and the church of St. Giovanni with its grand facade with two bell towers..

 
The Norman Castle of Roger II  occupying a dominant position on mount Consolino.



The Fountain of the Dolphins or "Gebbia di Stilo " .
 
Gebbia means "pond", with reference to the fact that the fountain was near a water pound, outside the city walls. The fountain is evocative of the time when Emperor Otto II of Germany was expelled from these lands, (13 July of the year 982).
The core central sculptural stone, which represents two intertwined dolphins is pure Arabic. The rest of the architectural complex consisting of three arches, crowned in turn by a well-shaped cornice, is an eighteenth century work. On one of the tables arched you notice obvious traces of frescoes.



Church of San Nicola da Tolentino


 
Not far from here, in the municipality of Bivongi we find the  "Katholikon" of San Giovanni Theristis, another fine example of Byzantine architecture.


Also worthy of attention is the 18 century church of San Francesco and the church of San Giovanni.
 
Tommaso Campanella   (Stilo, 1568 – Paris, 1639) was one of the most important philosophers of the late Renaissance. His best-known work is the utopian treatise La città del Sole (The City of the Sun); but, in reality, his thought was extremely complex and engaged with all fields of learning.


He was the son of a poor and illiterate cobbler, he entered the Dominican Order before the age of fifteen, taking the name of fra' Tommaso in honour of Thomas Aquinas. He studied theology and philosophy with several masters.
 

The fundamental core of his thinking was concerned with the philosophy of nature (what would nowadays be called science), magic, political theory and natural religion. One aspect of Campanella's keen interest in natural philosophy was natural magic, described with particular effectiveness in the fourth book of his Del senso delle cose e della magia naturale (On the Sense of Things and On Natural Magic).

 
 
Mario Fiorenza​

The Byzantine influence

 
The Basilian-Byzantine complexes in Calabria constitute a group of religious buildings that not only testify to the "Byzantisation" of the Italian peninsula, through the military campaigns of reconquest conducted by Constantinople, but also to the spread of Eastern monasticism.
 
San Pietro Basilica in Otranto 
Lecce - Apulia

 
Its interior


 
At the time of its construction, Stilo was the leading Byzantine centre of the region and a magnet for hermits and Basilian monks, who found shelter in its caves, creating an extremely important rock settlement in the area. 
Square in plan and topped by small cylindrical barrel-shaped domes, it has an elegant external appearance in red brick with two-light mullioned windows.
 
 
The Cattolica monastery in Stilo is the most representative of the Byzantine Basilian monuments. The church is a smaller scale reproduction of the typical design of Byzantine religious edifices in the Eastern Mediterranean. 
 
About & around








 


 



 
 
Getting there
 
 
 ~Palio  di Ribusa ~ The event takes place the first week of august.


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