Cirò Marina (KR)

Where the wine of the gods comes from

Cirò Marina lies along the Ionian coast of the upper Crotone area and that of the old Krimisa, a colony of Magna Graecia, in a region surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and cultivated fields between Punta Alice and the River Lipuda.
 
The Cirò area is also known for the excellent vineyards at Gaglioppo which the Cirò DOC wine, one of the best-known and most requested in Calabria, is made from.
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The viticulture of Cirò has very ancient roots.
In fact, the prized local wine production was talked about in the Roman period.
 
There are plenty of traces of pre-Hellenic peoples in the region and the area around Cirò is full of architectural and archaeological treasures of rare beauty. Cirò Marina is an old land, inhabited in the distant past by Greek settlers who probably arrived there between the 7th and 6th centuries BC and founded the town of Krimisa on the Ionian coast near the mouth of the River Lipuda. The colony was also known because of the Temple of Apollo Aleus on the promontory of Punta Alice.
It was part of the Municipality of Cirò until 1952 so the urbanised part of the village doesn’t have a true historic nucleus but there are significant architectural remains there such as the ruins of the Torre Nuova on the Lipuda, Casa Taverna, Palazzo Porti, Casa Sculco, Casa Saverona and other rural residences that, surrounded by vineyards, and orange and olive groves formed the original, characteristic landscape of the Mediterranean garden.
 
Cirò Marina
 

Today, Cirò Marina has become a well-known coastal centre which, over the years, has gained the Blue Flag for the quality of the sea and the Green Flag for the wellbeing of children. People go to Cirò to enjoy the sea and take part in various water sports but also to find out about the history of the area which has its archaeological finds providing evidence of its importance at the time of Magna Graecia.

The area is nurtured by its two treasures - the sea and the land, which gives products of great quality that are recognised everywhere such as wine and citrus fruit. Fishing and agriculture, with the production of DOC wines and mandarin oranges and also companies processing and preserving vegetables and fish are the main activities in Cirò Marina, and tourism is now becoming more important as well. The coat of arms of the town bears the profile of Bacchus, the god of wine and, playing on its strong points, wine (vino) and sea (mare), it calls itself the ‘territorio di Vino d’Amare’. 
The events that take place in Cirò Marina include the Focareddi di San Giuseppe, the lighting of the traditional fires in the districts in March. In April, there are several religious ceremonies and markets for the Fiera di San Francesco (St Francis’s Fair). The Festa di San Cataldo, patron saint of the town, is celebrated early in May with four days of dates, including the evocative procession in the sea and the pilgrimage to the church of the Madonna di Mare, where the saint’s statue is kept for a time. 
In August, there are the Calici di Vino event and the Sagra del pesce azzurro (Oily fish festival).

 
Cirò Marina
 
Cirò DOC

No other Italian region boasts the number and biodiversity, including inter-variety, of native Calabrian vines. The viticulture of Cirò, renowned for the undisputed quality and also the varieties that still survive in its vineyards, has exceptional valency because of the extraordinary age; in fact, the prized local wine production was talked about in the Roman period. Looking at the distant past in the Cirò vineyards, a return can be made there without forgetting the importance of experimentation and research.
The first Greek settlers arrived on the coast and were impressed by the fertility of the land; they brought new vineyards to plant. The wine produced, called Cremissa, became the official wine of the Olympics and was probably the first example of a sponsor using the current definition. The tradition was brought back to life, particularly to relaunch the image of Cirò wine, at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 where all the athletes taking part were given the chance to taste Cirò as the official wine. In recent years, Cirò, particularly the red wine, is reacquiring its former grandeur, also because of the number of companies which have been able to modernise, without denying tradition, both the vines and the wine-making techniques.
So the wines of Cirò Marina, to all intents and purposes the wine town, are well-liked. The wine comes mainly from the Gaglioppo wine used for the production of three types of Cirò DOC - red, rosé and white. The fruity, enveloping scent and the intense yet balanced flavour are ideal for drinking with traditional recipes that are a harmony of land and sea.

 
Cirò Marina
 
Archaeological museum

The building hosting the museum was refurbished in the early 20th century and then later acquired by the Municipality of Cirò, which restored it and adapted it to house the museum. The top floor is set out as a conference room. The entrance doorway is arched; the building has several entrances and characteristic balustrade balconies overlooking the main square of the town.
The exhibition hall of the Cirò Marina Civic Archaeological Museum houses articles, particularly from the Bruttian period, found in the many necropoleis scattered throughout the area, and finds from the Temple of Apollo area. The high spot is the cast of the acrolith statue of the god Apollo, exhibited at Princeton Museum in the US for 4 years.
The rich collections of grave goods, consisting of symposium and military articles found in the tombs of males, confirm that the Bruttians were specialised in the equestrian arts. The tombs of females have revealed coins, domestic and cosmetic items. The upper floor of the museum has a permanent exhibition on underwater archaeology.

 
Cirò Marina
 
Wine and food

Spiciness predominates in the local cuisine, loyal to the Mediterranean diet. Sardella, prepared with anchovy whitebait, spicy red pepper and wild fennel seeds, well-known and sought after. Oily fish are prepared in many different ways - fried ‘surici’ (pearly razorfish) alternate with ‘pruppi e pipi’ (octopus and chilli pepper), stuffed anchovies or ‘arriganate’ (tossed in the frying pan with a little vinegar and oregano), roasted sardines and swordfish. Another dish featuring this type of fish is the anchovy salad where the anchovies are cleaned, covered in lemon juice, left to rest for an hour and then presented with a slice of fresh spring onion, fennel, oranges and olives, all seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. 
Peasant food has left a legacy of many dishes for the preparation of preserves. The olives ‘alla calce’ and ‘schiacciate’, aubergines in oil or vinegar, and sun-dried tomatoes and peppers, which become ‘i pipi ‘e filari’, are tasty. Homemade pasta is a favourite, for serving with sauces of pork, kid, or lamb, and with legumes.

 
Cirò Marina
 


 


Address Piazza Kennedy, 1
  88811 Cirò Marina (KR)
Phone number 0962 375111 - 0962 367111
Fax 0962 31266
Website www.comune.ciromarina.kr.it
 

 

During the 1924 excavation campaign, Paolo Orsi found an archaic temple dedicated to Apollo Aleus. In the archaic phase, at the end of the 6th century B.C., the temple consisted in an elongated cella (naos) divided into two naves by a colonnade whose stone bases are still visible. It is supposed that both internal and external columns were made of wood. The cella contained a quadrangular area (adyton) closed by a partition and had four pilasters. The worship statue of Apollo was housed in the area. The Punta Alice temple was used till the 4th century B.C.. The new stone building included the archaic cella, while the colonnade was doubled only on the Eastern side. The second phase of the Temple of Apollo Aleus evidences the late developments of Doric temple architecture in the Western world, being the only known post-Classical peripteros. The head, both feet and remains of the hand of the ancient statue were found during excavations in the area of the Temple of Apollo Aleus, and they are now exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum in Reggio Calabria. On April 1, 2015, after 91 years, the head, the feet and the hand were temporarily brought back to Cirò Marina for the opening of the new City Musuem. 

Cirò Marina is one of the 233 Italian  Blue Flag Beaches granted by the FEE for high quality standards concerning bathing water, beach areas and services provided.

The Shrine of Maria Ss.ma d’Itria stands in the area where the castrum of Licia, Alice or Alichia once stood. It housed a crowded fair until the end of the 18th century. The sanctuary keeps an iconographic-Byzantine style canvas portraying the Virgin and Child.

The Church of San Cataldo, the patron saint, stands in the main town square. The building was erected in 1903 and enlarged in 1950. The central nave, decorated with religious scenes, has a wooden truss ceiling. The bronze portal, carved with local history scenes by Elio Malena, is remarkable. The Church of san Nicodemo, the Shrine of Madonna di Mare and the Church of San Francesco di Paola also deserve a visit. 

Cirò Marina municipality was established in recent years, nevertheless the historical and cultural heritage of the area is remarkable and offers visitors: the remains of the Sanctuary dedicated to Apollo in Punta Alice (the most jutting promontory in the Gulf of Taranto), the Saracen markets, a 16th-century tower and many artifacts kept in the Civic Museum that stands in the main square of the town. The building was expressly bought for the purpose by the Municipality in 1981 and restored in 1985. It has hosted the Office for the Archaeological Heritage since 1996 and in 1998 the Museum opened. The two-floor building houses artifacts collected since early 1970s, and relics found during systematic excavations by the Office for the Archaeological Heritage.

The display stands at the ground floor exhibit artifacts from the two most important historical periods of the Cirò area: the foundation of the ancient Krimisa, possibly by the Homeric hero Philoctetes, and the Bruttian period that left a great number of evidences. Relics found in the Sanctuary of Apollo Aleo (ex-votos, architectural features and objects of the everyday life in the Sanctuary) date back to the colonization period. Different groups of objects of the Bruttian period include rests of grave goods found in the necropoles (tableware, objects related to the oikos, personal objects, arms, jewels, etc). Finally, a small collection of coins shows how they circulate in the area, from the 4th century B.C. to Roman domination.

A rich exhibition of photographs and maps reporting the results of long underwater researches along Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts of Calabria demonstrate that the Italic people had relationships with the Eastern Mediterranean and Greek populations since the Mycenaean period.



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