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Reggio Calabria: the Riace Bronzes and much more!

Reggio Calabria, located at the tip of the Italian boot, is a city rich in history, culture and natural beauty. Founded by the ancient Greeks in the 8th century BC, the city has gone through millennia of conquests, dominations and rebirths, leaving an indelible mark on its architectural and cultural heritage. Today, Reggio Calabria is a fascinating destination that welcomes visitors with its crystal clear sea and rich artistic heritage.

The history of Reggio Calabria has its roots in the ancient city of Rhegion, founded by Greek colonists from Sicily in 743 BC. Over the centuries, the city was involved in conflicts with neighboring cities and underwent various dominations, including those of the Romans, the Byzantines, the Normans and the Aragonese. During the Roman period, Rhegion achieved considerable economic prosperity and became an important cultural center.

What to see in Reggio Calabria?

The National Museum and the Riace Bronzes

Reggio Calabria is renowned for its National Museum of Magna Graecia, which houses an extraordinary collection of archaeological finds from the Magna Graecia region. Among the most famous treasures of the museum are the famous “Riace Bronzes”, two majestic statues of Greek warriors dating back to the 5th century BC. which are considered among the most important sculptural masterpieces in the entire history of humanity. Discovered by chance in 1972 off the coast of Calabria, the Riace Bronzes have fascinated and enchanted the world with their beauty, their mystery and their mysterious history.

The two standing male figures, over two meters tall, are portrayed with great realism and detail, displaying astonishing artistic mastery. The warriors are completely naked, except for the weapons and shields they hold in their hands. These sculptures are characterized by enormous attention to detail, such as well-defined muscles, prominent veins and expressions of strength and determination on the faces. The use of bronze allowed Greek master sculptors to create a three-dimensional work that conveys a sense of vitality and realism.

Despite their extraordinary artistic value, the Riace Bronzes are shrouded in a veil of mystery. The identity of the artists who created them remains unknown, as does the exact origin of the statues and why they were at the bottom of the sea. Some theories suggest that the statues were intended to decorate a temple or public building, while other hypotheses suggest that they may have been created as a commemoration of warriors who fell in battle.

The Riace Bronzes are considered among the most important artistic treasures of ancient Greece and have become a symbol of the world’s cultural heritage.

Riace's bronzes

Falcomatà seafront

Known as the “most beautiful kilometer in Italy”, the Falcomatà seafront offers breathtaking views of the sea and the Strait of Messina. It is the ideal place for a romantic walk or to enjoy a spectacular sunset.

Lungomare Falcomatà was carefully designed to integrate perfectly with the surrounding environment. Along the promenade, you can admire the combination of modern architecture and natural landscape, which creates an unparalleled visual harmony. The large pedestrian areas, manicured gardens and welcoming squares offer an ideal space to stroll, relax and enjoy the unique atmosphere of the city.

The seafront is often the stage for cultural events, concerts and events that enliven the city. At the Strait Arena, during the summer, visitors can enjoy open-air concerts, theater performances and art exhibitions. Furthermore, numerous restaurants, cafes and ice cream parlors overlook the seafront, offering the opportunity to enjoy local delicacies while admiring the panoramic view.

Strait Arena on the Falcomatà seafront in Reggio Calabria

The Cathedral and the Church of the Optimates

Located in the historic center, the cathedral of Reggio Calabria is an important place of worship. Built in the 9th century, it features a Romanesque architectural style and a beautiful bell tower. Inside, you can admire frescoes and works of sacred art.

The Church of the Optimates is considered one of the architectural jewels of the city. Its elaborate facade and richly decorated interiors are a testimony to the glorious past.

Villa Genoese Zerbi

Immersed in an enchanting garden, Villa Genoese Zerbi is a noble residence that stands out among the other buildings on Corso Vittorio Emanuele III for its unique style. With contrasts of bright colors and a mix of shapes that recall Gothic architecture and Venetian style, the villa is considered the jewel of the city.

Reggio Calabria is therefore a true treasure to discover, with its museums rich in history, the panoramic seafront and the testimonies of an ancient past.