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Sightseeing in Pizzo - what to see. Complete travel guide

The province of Vibo Valentia in Italy has many hidden gems that are incredibly exciting to explore. This is the location of Pizzo, a small town that has a scenic location on the cliff overlooking the Gulf of Saint Euphemia. Orange and olive groves surround this tranquil area. Pizzo is also famous for its large vineyards. Absolutely all open town areas offer an unforgettable view of the sea. The picturesque surrounding nature only emphasizes the harmonious atmosphere of Pizzo. The town center is a true labyrinth of narrow winding streets, so prepare for a true adventure. The streets can go up or rapidly go down to the sea.
The history of Pizzo is rich and it has brought many interesting traditions to the lives of local people. Initially, the Italian town had another name – Napitia. The first settlers were a tribe that had to participate in the Trojan War, after which they had to search for a new home for many years, moving from one area of the Mediterranean to another. When they reached Calabria, the nomadic tribe decided to stop. The Saracens played an important role in the destiny of Napitia. The settlement was suffering from their invasions for many years. In the end, these constant attacks completely ruined Napitia. Its citizens moved to the mountains, and ruins of the former town disappeared with time.
In 1070, Roger, the famous Norman king, ordered to build a hunting castle on the ancient ruins of Napitia. Two centuries later, this castle sheltered Saint Antonius. In 1363, the first monastery and church appeared on the ruins of the old town. These buildings became the heart of a new town called Pizzo. The population of the settlement was growing steadily, turning a small village into an attractive town. To protect the region from the pirates, it was decided to build a durable protective wall. The fortress wall had donjons at the edges, a bridge, and a watchtower near the entrance. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Castle Murat is the main attraction of Pizzo and the first landmark that tourists usually visit in this town. The castle was built in 1492 during the reign of Ferdinand I of Aragon. The central tower, which is called La Torre Maestra, is much older. It was built in 1380. The initial purpose of the stronghold was to protect the town from the attacks of Saracens. Later, the building was transformed into a prison. The biggest part of the castle has survived until modern days without any alterations but some elements of the building are lost.
For example, there was a big tunnel below the castle. The length of this tunnel was twelve kilometers. This underground passage led to two old castles, namely, Rocca Angitola and Vibo Valentia. The tunnel was in use until the 18th century and then it was lost. Archaeologists still search for this famous underground passage. Nowadays, there is a museum open in Castle Murat. This venue is dedicated to Joachim Murat, Napoleon’s marshal. Thousands of tourists visit this place to see old documents, walk in the castle’s halls, and take a look at the old collection of coins with one hundred and thirty exhibits.
Would you like to see one of the most unusual churches? There is a unique shrine not far from Pizzo that was carved directly in the rock. This church was built during the Middle Ages. Besides the unusual location, the sacred place amazes its guests with numerous halls and several symbols of the religion. According to a local legend, sailors hid in this cave after the shipwreck. They forgot the image of Madonna in the cave. Local people wanted to take the icon to another place, but the icon mysteriously returned to the cave after another storm. After that, local fishermen made an altar in the grotto and decorated it with a bell from a sunken ship.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Italian master Angelo Barone started expanding the sacred cave and making it deeper. When he died, his son Alfonso Barone continued his father’s work. It took him forty years to finish the job. The church was finally ready in the 60s of the 20th century. Starting from that time and to our day, the church has been active and has been welcoming locals and guests of the town every day. People come to see the unusual shrine and to attend the public service. The church is free to enter for citizens of Pizzo but tourists need to buy a ticket. Children and elderly people can also visit the church any time free of charge.
Lamezia Terme International Airport is the closest airport to Pizza. The distance to this Calabrian town is only sixty-five kilometers. This airport receives multiple flights from many European countries. Upon arrival at Lamezia Terme, tourists can reach Pizzo by bus. There are direct buses at the airport. It is also possible to reach Pizzo by train from Rome. The journey time is seven hours in this case, and passengers need to make a change in Lamezia Terme Centrale Station.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Pizzo and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Pizzo
♥   Castle 'Castello di Squillace' Squillace, 27.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Castello di Stilo' Stilo, 38.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Castello Normanno-Svevo' Cosenza, 59.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Ruffo Castle of Scilla' Scilla, 69.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Altafiumara Fort' Villa San Giovanni, 73 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all parks
National and city parks around Pizzo
♥   National Park 'Parco nazionale dell’Aspromonte' , 72.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'Parco nazionale della Sila' , 75.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'Parco nazionale del Pollino' , 131.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sightseeing in Italy: things to see

The magnificent Coliseum was built almost 2 thousand years ago. Before that, the site of the Coliseum was the location of Nero’s Palace and a big artificial lake. The building of the Coliseum was joyful for inhabitants of Rome because it was much more pleasant to see a beautiful forum rather than a tyrant’s palace. Circus Maximus is another large and unusual landmark. According to some experts, Circus could provide seats for 200 thousand visitors. The venue was used to host competitions of carts and other important public events. Mons Palatinus is an interesting place from the historic point of view. According to scientists, homes of first settlers of Rome were located there. Later, noble Romans built their houses on Mons Palatinus. There were many temples in that area and many important celebrations took place there. … Open
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Sightseeing in regions nearby Pizzo

All about Pizzo, Italy - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the 'must see' things in Pizzo, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Pizzo in few days.
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