Bovalino is a well-known seaside resort overlooking the Ionian Sea in the province of Reggio Calabria. In Bovalino, the sea is clearly the star; here its deep blue hues and wonderful pristine waters wash the white sandy beaches framed by delicate colours and fragrant citrus groves. Bovalino's coast is ideal for those who love a place with many options for entertainment but also the possibility of finding a quiet corner.
Bovalino's coast is ideal for those who love a place with many options for entertainment but also the possibility of finding a quiet corner. The beach of Bovalino Marina and all its seafront consist mainly rocks and coarse gravel.
In Bovalino, the sea is clearly the star; here its deep blue hues and wonderful pristine waters wash the white sandy beaches framed by fragrant citrus groves.
Based on evidence of the portal of an ancient church now in disuse dating back to the Norman period and to the presence of ruins of an ancient castle, there is reason to believe that a small medieval hamlet was the first inhabited town centre of what today is known as Bovalino Superiore (Bovalino Upper), located at the back of a long and low-lying hill, last offshoot of the Calabrese Apennines alabrese sloping down towards the sea. Guarnaccia was a village that existed in Bovalino Superiore (Upper Bovalino), not very far from the village where a majestic castle was built which was destroyed by the earthquake of 1908. Today, the town centre is formed by homes built over the ruins of this castle. At the end of the nineteenth century an escape toward the marina began, where the railway line had already been built. Migration gradually increased until almost the whole population of Bovalino Superiore (Upper Bovalino) had moved to the marina, which today has become the town centre for the entire area. Today, Bovalino is a young town, modern, with discrete resources that offers activities ranging from small industry trade as well as tourism in line with leading towns of the province.
The miracle of the Immaculate
On 8 September 1494 Bovalino was burned down by the adventurer Scipione Cicala, who set started the fire at four points so that once the flames rose, the town remained closed-off in the midst of the fire. Men remained barricaded in the village while women went to church, to pray to the current statue of the Immaculate Conception. The sky, which was clear and full of stars, all of a sudden became filled with clouds that soon erupted with rain in order to save the town. Men fought against the invader with renewed strength, managing to make it retreat and freeing the village. Today, in Borgata, the greatest feast is celebrated on 8 September and is called the feast of the miracle, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. By means of a derogation requested and obtained from Pope Sixtus V, the town has the privilege of celebrating the feast on 8 September instead of on the eight December as is required by Canon law.
The inland village of Bovalino Superiore (Bovalino Upper) rises on one of the many hills, naturally fortified, of southern Calabria’s coastal area. The Land on which lies the village is surrounded by high walls, with two city access gates and its town centre within the castle and the chiesa Matrice dedicated to Maria SS. della Neve and S. Nicola di Bari. The castle, which dates back to medieval times, was damaged during the second half of the twentieth century. Its remains are of great interest as it bears witness to the evolution of fortified architecture in the 1400s and 1500s. It has a quadrangular floorplan with moat, drawbridge and triangular bastions at the corners, covered areas which at times were arranged over several levels around a central courtyard and a tank along the curtain walls. The Castle was built at the beginning of the Norman period, within a defensive system of 17 royal castles. On the Tower overlooking the square drawings have been discovered, until now never notice, as they were hidden by dense creepers. The drawings showed various boats of the type of those built during the 500s and it is assumed they represent the story of the departure of the Galea, when Bovalino Superiore armed itself in order to take part in the battle of Lepanto. The castle is now in an advanced stage of restructuring and works should be completed shortly.
Bovalino's cuisine, while reflecting considerable influences of Neapolitan as well as Sicilian cuisine, still retains its originality, linked to products of the land and the sea. Another typical dish is “maccaruni i casa” (a home-made maccheroni dish with hand-made pasta), generally served with legumes, vegetables and pork-based meat sauce and “frittole” or crispy fried lard or pork fat. Fish is the star of local dishes which feature swordfish with vegetables and salmoriglio sauce, marinated piscistoccu – stoccafisso (cod and stockfish), nannata (whitebait), bianchetto (anchovy and sardine spawn) and fravagghia fittura (small fried anchovies and sardines).
Piazza Camillo Costanzo, Bovalino