Not too far from Amantea and the Tyrrhenian coasts is where
one will come across Belmonte Calabro, on
top of a hill and still surrounded by its Medieval walls.
On seeing Belmonte as one ascends from the coast, already
suggests its defensive needs, which were satisfied by the
founders of the village.
It was in fact during the Medieval
period, during the time of continuous Saracen raids (IX century),
that the inhabitants of some of the already existing country
houses, united on the hills and erected a round tower, to
which a further two towers (XII century) were added adjacent
to it, and defensive town-walls.
The Castle was erected during 1270 following the revolt against
the Angioinians of Amantea. After calming the revolt, Carlo
I of Angiò ordered his Marshall, Drogone of Beaumont,
to build a fortress in the hills, which assumed its founders
After ten years, a small village already existed, which took
on the name of its Patron Saint; San Bonaventura.
The King entrusted the county to Pietro Salvacossa (1338),
already noble of Ischia, and who in a few years also tried
to put his hands on the country houses of Santa Barbara and
Tarifi. He was however stopped by Queen Giovanna I of Naples.
The same queen ceded the fief of Belmonte to Guglielmo Sacchi
(1367), whose family administered it until the Aragonese ascension
to the throne of Naples. The latter gave Belmonte in fief
to Galeazzo Di Tarsia (1443).
The Tarsia family governed until 1573, when they sold Belmonte
to Torino Ravaschieri, whose family were succeeded by the
Pinelli family and finally the Pignatelli family. All these
families left an architectonic imprint on the fief by erecting
splendid nobiliary buildings.
After the proclamation of the Republic of Naples (1799), a
freedom tree was planted in the square of Belmonte, igniting
an unavoidable clash with the troops of Cardinal Ruffo. After
the bloody rebellion calmed down, power returned to the Bourbons,
who in only a few years had to face a French descent in Calabria
Belmonte, under these conditions, was under siege for a long
time and only on 17th February 1807, was conquered by the
The Council of Vienna then restored the rule of Southern Italy
to the Bourbons (1816), who stayed in power until the date
of Unification into the Reign of Italy (1861).
An earthquake gravely damaged the village in 1905.
A visit to the City
Belmonte is proud of its Medieval imprint in the form of
its defensive town-walls which surround the lower edges of
Among the churches, the following are noteworthy: Collegiate
dell'Assunta with canvases from the '700s, the Medieval Purgatorio
Church (1270) and the Annunciazione Church with its beautiful
The nobiliary buildings of the lineages who governed Belmonte,
are also important: Ravaschieri, Del Giudice and Pignatelli.
Not much remains of the Castle after the earthquake of 28th
March 1783, the French siege (1806-7) and the various plundering
One must not forget to taste the famous and delicious Belmonte
tomato, culinary flag of the village.
Place of interest
- Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo (1586)
- Chiesa del Purgatorio (1270)
- Chiesa dell'Immacolata Concezione (1622)
- Convento e Chiesa del Carmine (1562)
- Convento e Chiesa dei Cappuccini
- Chiesa dell'Annunciazione
- Chiesa S.Pasquale Bylon
- Chiesa dei Vadi
- Palazzo del Rivellino (1579)
- Palazzo Barone-Del Giudice (XVIII sec.)
- Palazzo Pignatelli (XVIII sec.)
- Palazzo Ravaschieri della Torre (1640)
- Monumento a Michele Bianchi
- Monumento ai Caduti in Guerra
- Torri costiere
- Museo della civiltà contadina, Palazzo Baronale
- The Carnival;
- Patron Feast of San Bonaventura on 14th April;
- Feast of the Madonna del Carmine on 16th July;
- Festival of Pasta with the “ i ziti de' piecoru”
on 16th August.