Strongoli is the heir of ancient Petelia.
It overlooks the Valle del Neto, not too far from Crotone
and the Jonic coasts of Calabria.
Legend has its foundation by Filottete (XII century BC),
a mythical Greek warrior who besieged Troy and was a comrade-in-arms
What is certain, as mentioned by the Roman historian Strabone
(I century AD), is that Petelia was a Lucani centre and part
of the orbit of the powerful Crotone (IV century BC) which
was taken by the Bretti (III century BC) who fortified it;
they were shepherds who were once slaves of the Lucani.
Following the Pirro Wars (280-275 BC), which saw the Bretti
as allies, it entered into the orbit of Rome and became a
confederate city. It later demonstrated its loyalty by resisting
a long besiegement by the Carthaginians (208 BC) with the
help of the Bretti who after storming it, governed once more.
Petelia then returned under Rome after the end of the conflict
with the Carthaginians (Battle of Zama, 18th October 202 BC)
and was awarded for its loyalty to Republic by receiving the
title of City and the possibility of minting its own coins.
During the Imperial era, the centre lost importance. It was
only following the Greek-Gothic War (535-553 AD) when it fought
against the Ostrogoths and Byzantines, that it once again
acquired prestige as Emperor Giustiniano (VI century) decided
to construct a circular Castle (Strongylos) on top of the
During the High Medieval period (X century), the centre was
besieged and taken by the Saracens, who governed for some
years until it was reconquered by the Byzantines.
The new centre experienced Norman domination (1080-1194) and
Swabian (1194-1269) before passing hands to the Angioinians
(1269), under whom it was entrusted to the Sanseverino family
(1349) who governed under 1390, when it passed to Marquis
Nicolò Ruffo of Crotone.
In the XV century, Strongoli returned under Sanseverino (1349)
administration until it was acquired by Giovan Battista Campitello
for 70.000 ducats (1605).
The Pignatelli (1767) succeeded the Campitelli family and
ruled until the end of feudalism (1806). During the French-Bourbon
clash, Strongoli remained loyal to the first and for this
reason, was besieged and plundered by the French (1806).
A visit to the City
The Castle dominates the suburb. It was founded in 550 and
destroyed during the era of Saracen incursions (IX century).
It was reconstructed by the Normans (XI century) and also
has Swedish (XI century) additions. From here, one can admire
a beautiful panorama overlooking the Valle del Neto.
In the ancient and elevated part of Strongoli, one can visit
the San Pietro and Paolo Cathedral (XVI century), which preserves
its Romanesque planning and canvases from the '700s in its
The nearby S. Maria delle Grazie Church (1496-98), was recently
restored (2004) and presents a Neo-Classic façade encompassing
the clock tower to the left.
The S. Maria della Sanità Church, a 17th century construction
built on a pre-existing hospital, completes the visit to cult
Place of interest
- Cattedrale dei Santi Pietro e Paolo (XVI sec.)
- Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie
- Chiesa S. Maria della Sanità detta dell’Ospedale
- Chiesa del già convento dei Francescani
- Resti del Convento dei Capuccini
- Sepolcri di età imperiale (I e II sec. d.C.)
- Pietra del Tesauro o sepolcro di Marcello
- Pietra della battaglia
- Torre dell'orologio
- Palazzo Giunti
- Santuario della Beata Vergine Maria di Vergadoro
- Vallata del Fiume Neto
- Nessun Museo segnalato
- Sagra delle Frittule
- Sagra della capra bollita