Travel and Culture in Calabria

Nicotera: history

The Nicotera history



A little town with a history that is "fascinating as its unchangeable beauty".
It is in front of the Piana and it dominates it
"as an eagle that is ready to take flight".

Nicotera is placed in a panoramic position, at the Tyrrhenian border with the province of Reggio Calabria. The origins of Nicotera date back to the decay of the Greek Medama, when its inhabitants abandoned their ancient seat and escaped on the hills, in a higher and healthier place, that was sheltered from the Saracen raids. It seems that its present name derives from a surname that means " the miracle of victory".

In the 11th century Roberto il Guiscardo fortified it and built a mighty castle. Later the town belonged to Ruggiero Di Lauria, then it passed under the rule of the Angevins, and then under the dominion of the Ruffo and of the Marzano families.

In 1638 and in 1760 it underwent the attack and the pillage of the Turkish pirates. Under the Swabian-Angevins’ rule a mighty castle was built, that had been completely rebuilt for Count Ruffo in 1763. The typical built-up area of the old Nicotera is on a slight slope, from where you can enjoy a wide view of Gioia Tauro.

In the old town centre you can see houses and wonderful noble palaces which overlook on an undamaged network of streets. Nicotera is also a touristic centre of remarkable importance.

By Scuola di italiano per stranieri, Nicotera

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