Le Castella Castle (Italy)
Calabria See list of castles in Italia
Among the most impressive castles of Calabria, the Aragonese castle of Le Castella it has over time become a symbol of cultural tourism in the region. Located on a small strip of land overlooking the beautiful Costa dei Saraceni in the hamlet of Le Castella town of Isola Capo Rizzuto, the beautiful fortress of Le Castella it is what remains of a large area which was to constitute a real village with walls . The latest archaeological surveys have consistently revealed the presence in the adjacent waters of the Aragonese castle architectural blocks from the Hellenistic period, suggesting that the whole area of Le Castella had to be once more extended towards the sea.
The fort never hosted the nobility of the place, but always served as a shelter for the soldiers committed against attacks from the sea by the shift invaders. The cylindrical tower that stands centrally within the fort is clear Angevin branch and bears testimony to the original plan that should go back to the fourteenth century. The Angevin tower is characterized by a beautiful spiral stone staircase that connects the three floors. Towards the end of the fifteenth century the fortress of Le Castella went in Aragonese hand. In 1496 King Frederick of Aragon delivery to Count Andrea Carafa that between 1510 and 1526 is to build mighty quadrangular bastions rammed in order to increase the defensive capacity of the castle. Those of angioni and Aragon are the most important changes of the castle, visible today thanks to the patient work of restoration. Archaeological excavations in the fortress of Le Castella, showed different historical and architectural layers with overlapping of several building phases. On the east side of the fortress it showed a forty meters long wall made of limestone blocks and small stone squares arranged in checkerboard, similar in construction to the wall Hellenistic technique of Velia. From the castle you have a beautiful view of the Ionian Sea and the waters of Capo Rizzuto Marine Reserve.
The fortress of Le Castella now ranks in an environment of high natural value, surrounded by the Capo Rizzuto Marine Reserve, established in 1991. In one of the rooms of the fortress you can observe the protected marine seabed in real time thanks to of underwater cameras positioned to 10 meters deep. The entire area of Capo Rizzuto is positioned at the center of the beautiful Costa dei Saraceni, affected by a tourist attendance among the highest of Calabria, both the landscape and environmental value of the coast, both for the richness of cultural and archaeological resources.