The history of Roccella Ionica
Roccella Ionica is a small charming town on the Jasmine Coast famous for its blue flag beach. Besides its wonderful walks and beaches, it is full of history. Its origins date back to the Magna Grecia colonies. Actually, the original name was Amphissa, mentioned by Ovid in his Metamorphosis. According to legend, this town sits on top of the ancient site of Amphissa.
In the year 1000 it took the name of Rupella, which later changed to Arcella, meaning “small fortress”. In its present dialect, traces of Greek language is spoken. Its history followed the events of Locri, the powerful “polis” which extended from Capo Zeffirio to the present Allaro.
One of the walks in Roccella Ionica
There are some great walks in Roccella Ionica starting from the path leading down from the Carafa palace. You will see a wooden footpath taking you beneath the tower of Pizzofalcone, high up in the cliff and one of the defense watch towers during the Saracen invasions. Read more here.
The local people constructed 72 watch towers along this coast. Read here about the watch towers. There are walks all around this area.
Flowers and shrubs on these walks
There are many walks here. For instance you can walk along the footpath until you reach the sanctuary of the Madonna and from there, down to the amphitheatre where the path stops. You will see a map of all the different walks with various routes you can take. They also have many concerts and plays in the amphitheatre, especially during the summer months. The atmosphere is amazing as it is all open-air.
I have been to a few concerts and plays here. The tickets are never very expensive. In this area there are amazing flowers and shrubs with breathtaking views of the coast. Spring is a wonderful time to go walking here.
Actually, you will see many walkers here, especially the fit walking group. They meet near the main square of Roccella Ionica and all walk together. Sometimes there can be 10 walkers or as many as 50. They look so fit as they walk at such a speed. However, I prefer going at my own pace and enjoying the views and scenery.
I also recommend taking a picnic. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes as you may have to walk through long grass and some unpaved paths. You can get some really good photographs up near the palace. There are no picnic sites but you can easily sit on the grass.
Roccella jazz festival
The imposing ruins of the Carafa castle rise up on a hill above the town, recently restored and now open to the public for a small fee. The views from up there are spectacular. Some events are held in the castle, but there are many venues throughout the town where you can listen to jazz music.
The Jova party
The most popular annual International Jazz festival attracts Italian and foreign visitors from all over the world during the month of August. Roccella Ionica hosted the Italian famous singer Jovanotti in summer 2019. The name of his event was Jova party and over 25,000 fans came to see it.
Venues everywhere are filled with people as they listen to jazz music played by Italian and International musicians. Again the prices are incredible. You can pay as little as 5 euro to go in one of those venues.
Roccella Ionica and its blue flag beach
The beach of Roccella Ionica is one of the most beautiful beaches in Calabria. It’s famous for its blue flag beach and has a long magnificent promenade with blue turquoise sea. There is a pretty port and many elegant beach bars in the summer. It offers everything to the visitor as well as plenty of accommodation choice.