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In many respects, Sellia had a shared history with Taverna and Catanzaro. The origins of the town are very controversial and scarcely supported by historical evidences. According to official historiographers, Sellia was founded between the 9th and 10th century by a group of refugees from the ancient coastal town of Trischene, who took shelter in mountain areas following the Saracen raids. Trischene had increased the number of its inhabitants because of Greek and Roman settlements in the area, and therefore the town included three settlements. The name, in fact, derives from the Greek Treis Schenè. Saracen invasions depopulated the town and the population scattered and went in search for safer places to live in. The Greek group separated, some of them settled in the middle Simeri Valley and founded an outpost to bar the road to the mountains, others went further into the mountains and founded a stronghold that they called Taverna. The Romans, led by Julo Catimero, settled on Mt Sellion and founded Asilia, present day Sellia, that soon became a defense outpost along the access road to the newly built Taverna. Catanzaro too was founded in the same period.

However, archaeological evidences were found in the surrounding area, suggesting that the town existed much earlier than the arrival of the refugees, that is much earlier than the 9th-10th century. The assumption that Sellia has very ancient origins is also supported by Giovanni Balletta in his book La Calabria nel suo periodo eccelso. The scholar noted that the town of Sellia was present on a map reporting the ancient settlements of Crete island. The number of Sellia inhabitants has greatly decreased so that the mayor of the town decreed that dying was not allowed: the ban was meant to encourage people to take care of their health to control depopulation.


Address Via G. Marconi 4
  88050 Sellia (CZ)
Phone number 0961 483049
Fax 0961 483900
Website www.comune.sellia.cz.it


The charming old town is historically and architecturally remarkable, and it still keeps the unique charm of an ancient Medieval hamlet with a maze of enchanting alleyways  and marvelous views.

The Churches of San Nicola di Bari, SS. Rosario and Madonna della Neve are the main religious buildings in the town, and the ruined Medieval castle, the Porta Bella and a picturesque stairway with 130 steps connecting the upper and lower areas of the village are worth to be mentioned.

Various olive mills were located in the town. A 19th century oil mill, standing in S. Angelo, an area in the old town, was integrally restored. It bears witness to farmer culture. Inside, the equipment used to obtain the olive oil is still displayed. Another remarkable ancient building is the noble dwelling of the Placida family, probably dating back to the 18th century.    

The structure of the ancient hamlet, with clustered houses perched on the hill, is very peculiar and it resembles the rural villages depicted around the nativity scene in the typical Italian “presepe”.