PIZZO CALABRO is a medieval town built on a sheer cliff overlooking the sea. It is very picturesque, with narrow streets and alleys that intersect to converge in the large square that on summer nights is full of life.
It is famous historically because here, on October 13, 1815, Napoleon’s brother-in-law, Joachim Murat, former King of Naples, was executed. The execution took place in the castle, built by Ferdinand of Aragon in 1486, part of a general military reorganization of the kingdom of Naples. The castle has a rectangular body with cylindrical towers (one with battlements), and has a drawbridge that kept it separated from the nearby houses.
Pizzo Calabro has many interesting places to visit: the Church of St. George the Martyr, 1587, that has a marble portal showing St. George slaying the dragon (the work of Fontana), the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie where you can see a wooden statue from the 1700’s, the Church of the Carmine, dating back to the 1400’s and part of the monastery of the Carmelite Father. There is also the Marine Museum. Admission is free. Here you can see 45,000 shells and marine life from around the world, antique tools for boat building and fishing, and 120 paintings depicting the life at sea and sailors.
Pizzo is also famous for its ice cream. Each bar makes its own, the “tartufo” being the most famous, and you can sit in the square, overlooking the sea, and enjoy one.
PIEDIGROTTA is a unique church, excavated and sculptured out of the cliff on the beach of Piedigrotta. It is full of scenes from the bible, sculptured, by A. Baron, directly out of the rock.
The church was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2005, and is one of the most visited religious sites in Calabria.
A play of light and colours, created by the various openings in the cave, gives the impression that the statues change expression.