Le Castella is a renowned tourist resort of the Costa dei Saraceni, (Saracens’ coast), and it is part of the Riserva Marina di Capo Rizzuto (Capo Rizzuto Marine Reserve), in the Province of Crotone. The symbol of the town is the 15th-century Aragon castle that is located on a small island joined to the shore by a strip of sand. La Castella is the modern name of the site, while in the past it was called Castra, Castra Hannibalis, Castellorum Maris.
The current name is probably due to the presence of many castles in the area. The origins of Le Castella are ancient and the site shared common historical events with the surrounding areas. Its landscape was greatly admired in ancient times, which originated many legends. It was assumed that Calypso’s island, described by Homer in his Odyssey, was located just nearby the present-day village.
Le Castella is one of the three legendary Japigi promontories identified with Capo Rizzuto, Capo Cimiti and Le Castella. The name derived from the mythical Japyx, son of Dedalus, who was one of the most gifted artists in the ancient Greece. Some ancient literary sources report that Japyx or Japige escaped from Crete to follow his father to Sicily. On his way back, there was an aggressive storm and he was shipwrecked on the coast of present-day Calabria, and the site was named Terra Japigia.
Isola di Capo Rizzuto