Only a few kilometres away from the Ionian Sea, Strongoli is situated on the top of a hill in the Crotonian area, while its Marina which stretches out along its coast for about seven kilometres, appeal to the many tourists who come from all over the world and especially during the summer period.
Strongoli is positioned in a very productive area at an agricultural level and equipped with typical Mediterranean vegetation, with a prevalence of grapevines and olive trees as well as many lands for producing cereal. South, Neto separates its area from that of Crotone and the mouth of the river was declared Regional Park as a safe haven for the protection of fauna and game, being an important stopover habitat for migratory species.
It seems that the village has had as a forerunner, Petelia; a town that was founded even before the mythical Troy.
Strongoli is situated on the top of a hill in the Crotonian area, which offers breathtaking views over the entire Crotonian Ionian coast landscape.
In this area the influences of Byzantium, the Normans, the raids of the Saracens and the events directly related to the High Middle Ages in southern Italy, made their course leaving behind numerous documents and relevant archaeological findings. The current name, however, comes from Stringylos due to the round shaped castle built on a cliff (in fact, "strongilos" is a Byzantine term that means round). Strongoli and its surroundings boast several areas of interest. The Castle dating back to the Justinian period, is a beautiful building of quadrilateral shape, with four angular towers. Built on the ancient necropolis of Petelia, it was used as a prison during the eighteenth century and was restored by order of Joachim Murat, to repair the damage caused by the 1783 earthquake. The Cathedral probably dates back to before the 900s and has a Romanesque floor-plan and renaissance appearance, due to various renovations that took place over the years. It contains numerous paintings, frescoes, furnishings and tombstones of great value. The Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie dates back to the XIV century and houses paintings on canvas dating between the 1500s and 1600s. Architecturally, the church has a sloping façade and a bell tower, while the convent on the left today is used as barracks. The Santuario della Madonna di Vegadoro (Shrine of the Madonna di Vegadoro) stands on a small hill with the sea as a backdrop. According to legend some sailors surprised by a storm found in a net a canvas depicting the Madonna and Child that calmed the sea. After they were saved, they built the shrine and they placed the canvas.
The historic town centre
Strongoli's current appearance is very close to its medieval past, which visitors can still admire thought its sixteenth century bastions which constituted, together with the walls, the defence against Saracen raids. The Torre Limena (Tower Limena) is positioned on the coast and has a parallelepiped shape over a truncated pyramid-type base, with a sloped lower part that prevented potential attackers from climbing the walls. The system of fortifications served to prevent access by any invaders to a town centre rich in ruins and monuments, as well as to its vast architectural heritage. La Collegiata dei Santi Pietro e Paolo (the Collegiate Church of Saints Peter and Paul) has the structure of a cathedral with basilica-type floor-plan, with three naves which feature symmetrical sequence quadrangular pillars and domed side chapels based on the Byzantine style. The three naves allow access to other altars that rival in beauty with the two-marble eighteenth-century holy water fonts. Conventual Franciscans founded the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie, a church with a neoclassical façade that, unlike the Collegiate Church, has a single nave enhanced by the high altar which features a painted tablet of the Madonna delle Grazie. The Chiesa di Santa Maria della Sanità (Church of Santa Maria della Sanità) is the only place of worship in Strongoli to be equipped with true dome on the presbytery. Inside the building there is a painting depicting the Madonna della Sanità con il Bambino (Madonna of Health with Child), angels and the sick, Santa Lucia (Saint Lucy) and finally a wooden crucifix sculpted in a workman-like manner in more recent times. Not far from Strongoli's Marina is the Chiesa di Vergadoro (Church of Vergadoro), whose name derives from a legend of a mysterious effigy of the Virgin Mary rediscovered entangled between fishing nets, that portrayed a Lady with a child in her arms holding a golden rod. The worship of the Madonna of Vergadoro takes place every year in May, on the Sunday that celebrates the Ascension of the Lord.
Via Vigna del Principe, Strongoli