Bova rises up a little mountain of the Eastern Aspromonte massif and it is considered the capital of Hellenism in Calabria, the most important center of the Greek or Bovesia communities. It is a language island that includes Bova, Condofuri, Gallicianò, Roccaforte del Greco, Roghudi where they still speak a dialect of Greek origin and preserve the traditions of the Ancient East. Grecanic influence is still visible in textile production of brightly colored blankets and carpets in the oriental taste. Bova was probably founded in the Neolithic Age (7th-8th century B.C.), and it was a Magna Graecia settlement since the 6th century. It suffered frequent raids by people from Albania and other Ionian areas and adopted their customs, traditions and languages. Bova developed after building strong fortifications around the castle that was besieged by the Saracens (1000) and resisted them. In 1099 it was the fief of Guglielmo di Framundino and, later in time, of the Bishops of Reggio that dominated the town till 1806 (abolition of feudalism). In 1807 the French and Bourbon armies ravaged the town. In time, Bova population suffered the plague, Saracen raids and famine. The most disastrous event, however, was the 1783 earthquake. After reconstruction Bova has maintained the original architectural characteristics whose charm end beauty have certified it as one of the Borghi più belli d’Italia (the most beautiful towns in Italy.


Address Piazza Roma 2
  89033 Bova (RC)
Phone number 0965 762013
Fax 0965 762010


Norman castle ruins overlook the village. The cathedral has the same ancient origins, but it was restyled in the following centuries. The 17th century church of S. Leo, the Church of S. Caterina and the 15th century church of San Rocco are worth a visit. Several noble buildings are also remarkable, such as Palazzo Nesci and Palazzo Mesiano. The terraced old town offers fascinating and suggestive views. Other buildings of artistic and cultural interest include Palazzo Nesci di Sant'Agata built at the beginning of the 18th century and completely restored after the 1783 earthquake. The building consists of two L-shaped bodies with two storeys, a square layout and a central courtyard. The façade has a Neoclassical shape, with windows and balconies alternating one to the other. Fountains also deserve a mention. The ancient springs are three: Petrafilippo, Sifoni and Clistì (hairy place).

The Norman Cathedral, that was re-built and re-shaped in later years, is dedicated to the Madonna della Presentazione or Isodia. The Church dominates the town and it was constructed on a loggia with arches bricked-up by rests of two windows belonging to the ancient Church of Odigidria. The Church of San Leo was re-built in the 17th century on a pre-existing place of worship. This interesting monument houses art treasures of different ages. The main door is the only decorative element of the external façade; on top of the main door the coat of arms of the town and, below, the date 1606 are carved. In the nearby, visitors can stop at the remains of the ancient Basilian monastery of Santa Maria di Tridetti (11th -12th century) and admire the spolia Ionian capitals, probably taken from Locris.

The ruined castle of Norman origins overlooks Bova; the Cathedral dates back to same period, though it was re-built after the 1783 earthquake. The remains of the castle stand on a rocky hill and the village rises up its southern slope.