Amantea
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AMANTEA

Amantea is a seaside locality along the Tyrrhenian coast which also preserves a noteworthy architectonic patrimony.

History

The territory of Amantea was inhabited by man since ancient times as attested by archaeological finds.

A sanctuary in the Imbelli area (VI century BC), testifies to the existence of Greek colonies who must have definitely considered the strategic value of the place.
Over the past few years tests have been carried out which try to show that here is where the ancient and powerful City of Temesa once stood, as cited by Homer (Odyssey, Canto I vers. 243-250).

Another voice from the past claims that the City of Clampetia, which was overpowered by the Romans during 202 BC, should have lay on the Amantea plain.

Once outside Roman domination, without much fuss, the present village saw the light during the Byzantine era (VI century AD) and appeared for the first time on the Tavole of the Anonimo Ravennate during the VI century. Due to the strategic importance, the Byzantines erected a fortress to hinder the Longobard descent towards the south and named it Nepetia.

The following century, it was conquered by the Saracens (839) who named it Al Mantiah, or more precisely, The Fortress, and occupied it until '885 when it was reconquered by the Byzantines led by Niceforo Foca.
It then gained major importance by also becoming an Episcopal seat of Greek rites.

Amantea passed hands to the Normans during 1065 and lost its Episcopal seat title in favour of Tropea (1094).

During 1269 it participated in the Ghibelline revolts against the Angioinians, suffering siege and defeat.

Throughout the difficult years during French domination and clashes with the Aragonese, Amantea however flourished in commerce and became a maritime port of major importance in southern Italy. To demonstrate this, in its maritime tradition, it also participated in the Battle of Lepanto with thirty men and a ship: La Luna (1571).

Amantea became an impregnable stronghold which even resisted siege from French troops (1495) commanded by Carlo VIII, and those of Luigi XII and the Prince of Belmonte, Orazio G. Battista Ravaschieri (1630), who then bought Amantea for 60.000 ducats. Three years later, its inhabitants, proud of their secular freedom, redeemed Amantea, which then returned as part of the Regio Demanio (Royal Estate - 1633).
In the '700s, as with other centres in southern Italy, Amantea saw the birth of numerous religious orders which in turn founded many convents and churches.

The centre was the pivot of the Bourbonic movement which aimed at counteracting the ascent of Giuseppe Bonaparte to the throne of Naples (1806). The French troops returned and besieged Amantea, which only surrendered due to hunger. It was the last city in Calabria to relinquish the fight (6th February 1807).

During the Second World War, the City was bombed by alliance forces (1943).

In the period following the war, and after a slow reconstruction, Amantea became the seaside touristic centre it is today, developing seawards.

The musician Alessandro Longo (1864-1945) was born in Amantea.

A visit to the City

The Castle and the ancient walls of Amantea were sadly destroyed by the French after their siege on the City and today there are only a few ruins to mark this era.

The main monument of Amantea therefore became S. Bernardino of Siena, a church with adjacent convent dating back to 1436. It preserves precious statues from the '400s and '500s in its interior. There are numerous churches to visit, among which we'd like to mention the Church of the Jesuits and the remains of the Medieval S. Francesco of Assisi, which enjoys remarkable panoramic views.

Place of interest

- Resti del Castello
- Resti della cinta muraria
- Chiesa e Convento San Bernardino da Siena (1436)
- Chiesa di S. Biagio (1677)
- Chiesa del Carmine (1652)
- Chiesa di S. Maria La Pinta
- Ex Monastero delle Clarisse (1603)
- Ex Colleggio dei Gesuiti
- Chiesa di San Giuseppe (1728)
- Chiesa di S. Elia Profeta (1609)
- Ruderi di S. Francesco d'Assisi
- Palazzo delle Clarisse
- Palazzo Mirabelli (XVII sec.)
- Palazzo Cavallo Marincola (XVII sec.).
- Palazzo Florio
- Palazzo De Martino ('700)
- Casa Rurale
- La Torre
- Torre di Coreca
- Torre di Campora
- Torre della Principessa
- Oasi Blu dell'Isca

Museums

- Biblioteca-Museo Alessandro Longo

Events

– The Amantea Carnival;
- Feast of San Giuseppe on 18th and 19th March;
- Feast of Sant'Antonio on 12th and 13th June;
- Feast of S. Antonio of Padua on 12th and 13th June; Festival of the Monacelle in Summer.

AMANTEA
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Calabria region of Italy

 

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