Stilo is a town located in Calabria, a region of Italy in the province of Reggio Calabria and it has been elected one of the most beautiful hamlets of Italy. It is believed that the town was first inhabited after the destruction of Kaulon, which was an ancient Greek colony; Right now the town of Stilo is spread over an area of 78 sq km with a population of 2800 inhabitants and it is located 151 km away from the city of Reggio Calabria
At 10 kilometres (6 mi) from the city there is the promontory of Cape Stilo, where in 1940 the Battle of Punta Stilo was fought by the Italian and British Navies, but that’s not the only attraction of the Stilo.
Some of the most important attraction are:
The Cattolica in Stilo is a small temple which was first built in the 9th century. It is made in a true Byzantine style with a square design in the form of a Greek cross. There are three apses and five small domes. The natural light that floods in the building is quite fascinating; the four columns inside the building are believed to be taken from the Kaulon ruins. Inside the church there are several beautiful frescoes which were only discovered in 1927 and they date back to the 11th century and they are a good example of Norman painting style.
Church of Saint Nicola da Tolentino
The church of Saint Nicola da Tolentino is another beautiful church that is worth visiting. The church was built by the monks in Stilo even if now it is in a precarious condition. The size of the church is quite small, it has a beautiful trullo shaped dome which is covered by flat tiles and from the there, people can admire beautiful views of the sea and the surrounding hills.
Church of Saint Francesco
The church of Saint Francesco was built in 1450 in Stilo with a Renaissance style. During the 18th century the facade of the church had to be rebuilt and its most noticeable element is the large bell tower. Inside the church there are beautiful frescoes which were made by Francesco Cozza, a noted painter from Stilo.
Church of Saint Giovanni Theresti
Saint Giovanni Theresti church in Stilo was built in a Baroque style in 1625 and it is decorated with beautiful stuccos. Inside this church there are the remains of the Basilian monks who dedicated the church to their saint.
The Duomo of Stilo was made in the 14th century but it has been renovated extensively in the centuries after that and at one point of time the cathedral was even one of the oldest Episcopal sees in the region. There are several noteworthy factors in the cathedral, for exeple: the Gothic portal which is pointed and is surrounded by several small columns and even a stone sculpture close to the portal which has two birds facing each other that is in the Norman style of craftsmanship. There is also a beautiful canvas “Paradise” from 17th century which was made by Batistello, a famous Neapolitan painter.
The Norman Castle
The Norman Castle is definitely worth visiting since it is one of the most interesting monuments in Stilo. The castle was built on top of Mount Consolino by Roger II but unluckily there are only ruins of this castles today. Visitors can reach the castle on foot through a path that provides beautiful views along the way.