A short trip in Amantea
It is one of the most famous historical towns on the Tyrrhenian coast.
Sure, it has been a very dynamic protagonist since the early Middle Ages, when the Byzantines built the first fortifications, later completed by Normans and Swabians starting from the 11th century.
Wandering through the streets of Amantea you can learn many historic matters about Calabria.
The arab al Mantiah
The town was conquered by Arab armies, then Amantea fought memorable wars to eject the Islamic invaders from the city, such as in 885-86 when the Byzantine general Nikephoros Phokas attacked the stronghold to expel the Saracen enemy.
The French Siege in 1806-07
The similar and bloody military siege of the French Napoleonic soldiers, between 1806 and 1807 💣 , which ended with the surrender of the pro-Bourbon proud warriors, deserves an in-depth analysis.
We suggest a tour inside the old town to discover the places of this unforgettable struggle.
Noble dynasties, merchants and fishermen of Amantea
Amantea, over the centuries, has protected and kept its social condition: a community ruled by an oligarchy of the powerful local dynasties, however it was a land under the direct control of the Crown (Naples) 👑 .
A few times it had the misfortune of being ruled by a feudal lord. The most influential families managed the power and the wealth in a sort of club formed by landowners and merchants who had interests and business in Campania and Sicily.
The marginal bourgeoisie composed of merchants became rampant and ambitious during the nineteenth century.
The symbolic social class of this village is the seafaring people 🚣 🎣 : in Amantea you can visit the old fishermen’s quarter called Chianura and you will discover its secrets, popular rituals, religious devotion, fishing techniques and tools, food preservation methods.
Core Calabro’s Tour in Amantea
From downtown (we say “taverna”, pop idiom…), you can go up to the old town to visit the “roots” of the old Amantea. A whole morning is not enough to see all the monuments. You should explore:
📍 the church and the convent dedicated to San Bernardino da Siena, where you can meet the Franciscans, friars following St. Francis’ rule (Assisi) ⛪ , here you can see amazing pieces like the marble Nativity sculpted by Pietro Bernini 😲 ;
📍 the main church, whose title is Mother Church of San Biagio;
📍 the nice church built by the Jesuits in XVII century;
📍 the captivating ruins of the old Franciscans’ church erected on the hill in front of the sea;
📍 the former convent-house of the Poor Clares, an elegant palace hosting a rare Arab find – a fragment of an ancient stele;
📍 the Chianura (Pianura) beautiful small square, known as the “headquarter” of the fishermen leaders and their crews;
📍 Catocastro’s corners and the impressive natural cave, this is the original rock where Amantea was founded.
Lunch: you must taste Spaghetti con la Mollica e le Alici!! 🐟 .