Kaulonia is an archaeological site of evocative
beauty, facing the Southern Ionic Coasts
near to Monasterace.
Legend says it was founded by Kaulon, a Trojan war hero and
son of the Amazon Clete. History instead, claims it only during
the VII century BC, stating its foundation by the Achei guided
by Tifone of Egio.
It became allied to neighbouring Crotone, who supported expansionistic
aims, and with which it sided in the Battle of the Sagra (midway
through the VI century BC). The clash, fought in Kaulonian
territory against Locri Epizephyrii and Reggio, was lost by
Crotone, who shortly afterwards, turned against Sibari and
destroyed it (510 BC).
Defeat didn't stop Kaulonia from developing and assuming enough
economic importance to mint its own coinage. Kaulonian coins
were thought to be the most beautiful in all of Magna Greece.
During the IV century BC it merged into the Lega Italiota
(Crotone, Thurri, Heraclea, Metaponto, Caulonia and Reggio),
rising up against the Lucani in the North, and from Sicily;
the aims of the expansionistic ideas of Dionigi of Siracusa.
For this reason, it was besieged and taken by Dionigi (389
BC), who deported the inhabitants to Siracusa and annexed
the City to the Locri ally.
The City was reconstructed under Dionysus II and saw a new
period of peace up until breakout of a conflict with the Lucani,
who destroyed it during 277 BC.
After the war with Pirro, it entered as part of the orbit
of Rome, by the name of Stilida.
In the successive conflict between the Roman and Carthaginians,
it supported Hannibal, but had to succumb to the troops of
Consul Quinto Fabio Massimo (205 BC) and from that moment
on hit a period of decadence.
The Greek geographer Strabone at the end of the 1 century
BC, states that at that time, Kaulonia was in a state of abandonment.
In reality, it survived only as a staging post along the Via
Aquilia which joined Reggio to Taranto.
A visit to the Archaeological site
It was Paolo Orsi who identified the site with Kaulonia during
the 19th century. There are still ongoing dig campaigns being
carried out which have uncovered development of the City,
under sea level.
Kaulonia was encircled by walls between 2-5 metres in height
and reinforced by the presence of defence towers. Nothing
remains apart from the foundations of the buildings, due to
the fact that the material was used in the construction of
The finds from the digs can be found exhibited in the National
Museum of Reggio Calabria.
Place of interest
- Sito Archeologico di Kaulon
- Visita di Monasterace
- Visita di Stilo
- Visita di Guardavalle
- Sito Archeologico di Kaulonia
- Festival della Danza e della Musica Tradizionale Calabrese