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Routes > area grecanica > Route 1

- Motta San Giovanni
- Lazzaro
- Capo d’Armi
- Saline Joniche
- Montebello

Motta San Giovanni, situated around 24 km from Reggio Calabria, is a populated centre which rests upon a hill at about 513 metres over the level of the sea. Interesting sites are the Alecce Fountain, in the omonimous square, an imposing masonry composed by a big basin; the War Memorial in war and on work, in via Garibaldi, a marble slab over which rests a statue representing a mother that cries her dead son, and at which feet there is a cannon; the Monument to the miner in the omonimous square; San Giovanni Evangelista’s church with its front presenting a modern entrance made with polychrome glass; San Rocco’s church, now closed to functions, built in 1578; the remains of Santa Maria delle Grazie’s church, built around the XII century; San Nicola’s church ancient building (X century)of which today only remain the surrounding walls and some stains of colour on the walls that make believe to the existence of frescoes; Madonna of Leandro’s Sanctuary, of ancient origin, that is believed was built together with a convent or a basilean hospice, and where inside on an altar, was placed a statue of the Madonna with the Baby (second half of XVI century) and where was also kept a holy water stoup from 1667.

Around 3 km from the centre of Motta there is the Castle of Sant’Aniceto, built by the Byzantines and that represents one of the few examples of early Middle Ages calabrian architecture. Restructured and enlarged by the Normans was then destroyed in 1459 by the duke Alfonso of Calabria and was never used again.

Following the main road towards the coast, after turning back onto the S.S. 106, towards Taranto, there is Lazzaro, an important and touristic sea centre. This resort is also known for its great archeological importance because it was here that the rests of ancient settlements that go back to the roman time (late empire, III century A.C.) were found. Among the remains there are some fragments of mosaics, the rests of an ancient mausoleum and a necropolis.

Continuing to follow the main road there is Capo d’Armi, a beautiful rocky promontory that falls straight on the sea an from which it is possible to enjoy a glorious view. Another interesting village is Saline Joniche that used to be called “quagmire” because, due to the characteristics of its coasts was often flooded by the sea. In Norman times the area had an important role in the production of salt.

Still continuing on the S.S.106 there is Sant’Elia where it is possible to go from the coast to the hill, following the road that run along the Fiumara of Sant’Elia, to reach Montebello Jonico. Montebello was a military area for a long time. This is why the name comes from the latin “mons bellum” (hill of war). With the destruction of Motta Sant’Aniceto, in the XC century, Montebello started to assume its own urban physiognomy.
Interesting to look at is the War Memorial; Edward Lear’s pillar, erected at the end of the nineties in front of Pentidattilo, and that remembers that passage through the calabrian lands of the XIX century’s english writer and painter; St. Maria Assunta’s church, of very ancient origins; Buon Consiglio’s church, that goes back to the end of the XVIII century.

Change area in ROUTES
Area Grecanica
> Motta San Giovanni ―> Montebello
> Melito P.S. ―> Bagaladi
> San Lorenzo ―> Gallicianò
> Spropoli ―> Pietrapennata
> Brancaleone Marina ―> Ferruzzano Superiore


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