THE TOWN OF PYTHAGORAS
In front of the castle of Carlo V, built in 1541, among the towers that mark the old town centre, there is a relatively large quarter with an old courtyard where children play. Next to them some women do crochet work, testimony to an ancient tradition. It gets dark late here but under the clear sky and bright sunlight it is possible to savour a distinct sense of history. This is Crotone, gateway to Magna Graecia .
Founded in 709 BC by Miscello di Ripe, it reached its highpoint in the 6th century B.C., when the town became a reference point for culture, philosophy, mathematics, medicine and athletics, thanks to mythical characters like Pythagoras, Alcmene and Milo. Evidence of its illustrious past continue to emerge. One such example is the precious golden diadem of Hera, now preserved in the National Archaeological Museum. However, the ancient city, which in the classical age stretched a further 18 kilometres, according to Tito Livio, is now buried, the site of the castle of Carlo V represented the acropolis.
A town suspended between the ancient and modern, on one side the industrial and commercial area and on the other evidence of another history, one to be discovered: baronial palazzi and churches, relics from different ages to be found in the museum, Greek and Roman remains and the sacred atmosphere of Capo Colonna, where once stood one of the most ancient temples of Hera, mother of the Gods. A mythical, timeless place, in which Christianity replaced paganism, symbolised by the Byzantine icon of the Madonna, venerated by the people of Crotone, which in the month of May heads a procession.
With its own special identity, Crotone is certainly worth exploring. It is a town to live, wandering through its narrow streets, breathing in its aromas, watching its people, as great travellers have done in the past, such as François Lenormant, George Gissing, Norman Douglas, all leaving profound portraits of a people, friendly towards outsiders with a natural hospitality and good-natured disposition.
Praia Longa — Crotone 30 km — 18 miles
journey 60 km – 36 miles
N 39° 4’ 50.856’’ – E 17° 07’ 37.596’’
Exit in a northerly direction on the SS106 road, proceed towards Crotone to destination
Average travel time 25’