The town of Bova has ancient origins. It is situated on the left side of the Ammendola stream, high on the rocky eastern Aspromonte. According to the legend, an Armenian queen led her people to Mount Vua, whose name appears in a clear reference to the presence of the ox, in a land that is used for grazing cattle and sheep farming in general. Its location is very scenic of its 850 meters of altitude. From the highest point of its top you can see the entire coast. Let´s go? To know Bova in Calabria? Stay with us and make the best of boot country! Here at Your Travel to Calabria you make the trip of your dreams!!! Are you staying in Calabria? Looking for a hotel? Click here and discover best accommodation options in Calabria!
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A little more about Bova
The village of Bova is one of the most important Hellenistic villages of the Greek island and has long histories, which there are clear signs in its city. It is also the most indicative of Calabrian Greece and constitutes the ‘ellenophonic community of Calabria’. The town of Bova is the center of a linguistic island unique in the world, it is untouched part of the Ionic side of the Aspromonte, which speaks a Greek dialect.
1) To know Bova in Calabria. VISIT THE CASTLE
The town of Bova is dominated by the castle dating back to the Norman times, today it is reduced to ruins, stands on a rocky outcrop, which, although damaged, is situated in a strategic position that dominates the surrounding area, the coast and half a distance you can already see Etna.
The few vestiges that remain of the original structure are not enough to reconstruct the metric plan development of the plan and to date and recognize the successive phases of construction of the entire plan. The sources describe an imposing castle founded in Norman times that was reinforced in 1494 by the Aragonese.
2) To know Bova in Calabria. VISIT THE CATHEDRAL OF BOVA
Another important monument is the Cathedral of Bova, former bishopric, whose original construction dates back to the first centuries AD. It certainly existed in the fifth century, as documented by the signature of Lorenzo, Bishop of Bova. Dedicated to Our Lady of the Presentation or ‘Isodia’, is the result of successive reconstructions and renovations, the basilica has a central nave and two adjacent.
Chapel of the Sacrament
The most important works are the Chapel of the Sacrament, built by Sicilian craftsmen specialized in the processing of multi-colored marble inlays, and the Our Lady statue ‘Isodia’ with the child, attributed to Rinaldo Bonanno (1584), placed on a bench marble that reproduces the coat of arms of Bova. The excavations discovered several tombs and remnants of the old norman church.
3) To know Bova in Calabria. VISIT THE SANCTUARY OF ST. LEO AND THE CHAPEL OF THE RELICS
Not far from the Cathedral, you can visit the Sanctuary of St. Leo in which you can admire the main altar in red and white marble, which is placed in a niche of polychrome, the marble statue of Saint by the studio of Montorsoli. The saint holds, in his left hand, a broken ax and rests on an octagonal marble, on which the ox coat is shown. We will find other baroque splendors in the Chapel of the Relics.
4) To know Bova in Calabria. VISIT THE CHURCH OF CARMINE
The Church of Carmine (seventeenth century) is a rather beautiful chapel that belonged to the Mesiani family. The main perspective in the late renaissance style is defined by tall pilasters that support a structure with triangular pediments. The stone portal built by workers was placed on the axis of the frontage and is covered by the marble coat of the Mesiani family. Inside there is a fine marble altar.
5) To know Bova in Calabria. VISIT THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The main frontage of the Church of the Holy Spirit (17th century) has simple and austere forms and contains a portal of the late Renaissance architectural structures carved in stone by local masons. The church was severely damaged by the earthquakes of 1783, 1908 and 1928 and is now in a state of abandonment. Also damaged by earthquakes, but restored and reopened to worship, is the church of San Rocco (16th century), which is celebrated according to the Greek Byzantine rite.
6) To know Bova in Calabria. SEE THE NOBLE RESIDENCES
Among the alleys are many noble residences that testify to the importance of this village. They are usually made of stone and brick and embellished, outside, with pilasters, cornices, corbels and splendid entrance portals.
7) To know Bova in Calabria. VISIT THE MESIANI-MAZZACUVA PALACE
Notable is the Mesiani-Mazzacuva Palace, built at the end of the 18th century, located next to the structures of the old defenses of the city and designed by the city to become a cultural center in Magna Graecia; The Nesci Sant’Agata Palace is located in the main Square and is privately owned (sec XVIII.); finally Tuscano Palace (19th century) at the top of the village, which will house the Visitor Center of the Aspromonte National Park.
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8) To know Bova in Calabria. VISIT THE MUSEUM OF PALEONTOLOGY
The Bova also has an important museum, called the Museum of Paleontology. Installed in the old city hall, the Museum of Paleontology and Natural Sciences of Aspromonte has several exhibition halls and a large central section, where by passing from one to the other you will see an itinerary that will make you feel the magic and the flow of time. At the entrance we will find some imposing maps of the National Park, within is of the city of Bova, tracing the limits of the Park and highlighting the existing natural resources.
The museum is an interesting reference point for researchers and industry enthusiasts because it offers abundant material for the study of Calabria and Reggio in particular. The museum is unique in the South because of the importance of the works it keeps inside the exhibition halls, since the results show significant moments of the evolutionary history of Calabria.
Knowing Bova Map
Source: Google Maps
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The History about Bova
Its history probably begins with its foundation in the Neolithic period (7th or 8th century), with the famous defeat of Ancient Greece since the 6th century BC. It suffered several attacks from various peoples of Albania and other Ionian areas, who introduced their customs, traditions and languages.
The ancient origins of the village of Bova
The ancient origins of the village of Bova (vua) also recognized by the name Bova Superiore (Superior Bova, in English) are witnessed by numerous archaeological finds discovered near the norman castle dating back to the Neolithic period, although the first historically documented evidence of its existence dates back to the beginning of the years of the second millennium, when between 1040 and 1064 the normands settled in Arab and Byzantine domination in Sicily and Calabria.
In the VIII and VI centuries a.c it became a colony of Magna Graecia, whereas in the following centuries was besieged by the Saracens, Arabs and Normands, and the latter with its Bova domination entered the feudal period and became a county.
The city was a former bishopric and followed the Greek rite introduced into Calabria by Basilian monks until 1572, when the Stauriano Bishop imposed the Latin rite, made disappear all vestiges of the Byzantine rite and with it all the images and stems, replaced them by statues of century XVII adapted to the Roman rite.
A little more about Bova
- The artistic works of this period are represented by numerous churches throughout the area, with local stone portals and decorated marble statues attributed to the Messina School of Arts.
- Romanization led to the gradual disappearance of the Greek language, which was considered the language of the people or the poor people.
- From the mid-90s until the present day, there is a new interest in the city of Bova Superiore and are evaluated not only the cultural resources, but also the public and private architectural heritage recovered.
- In 2003, the first recognition at national level arrived with the confirmation that the efforts were not in vain, which led the city of Bova to be recognized as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
A Little more of the Beauties of Calabria
How to get there?
1) How to get there? BY PLANE
Airports: Reggio Calabria – Lamezia Terme.
2) How to get there? BY TRAIN
Bova Marina Station.
3) How to get there? BY BUS
Bus: from Bova Marina, Locri and from Reggio Calabria.
4) How to get there? BY CAR
A3 to Reggio Calabria – SS 106 to Bova Marina – Provincial until Bova.
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IMPORTANT TO KNOW!
Remember that to drive in Italy it is MANDATORY to have the International Driving License, the famous IDP (International Driving Permit). The certificate is not issued in Italian, but it is accepted in English! The IDP lasts 180 days (it depends where you live) and is issued by the Traffic Department of your country (if you have the European Driver License, you don’t need to worry about it!).
- Check with your country’s Traffic Department which documents are required and the rates for issuing the IDP. If you chose to travel by car, be sure to read our Post “Driving in Italy“. It is very important to avoid winning fines for lack of information.
Are you going to stay in Bova?
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Where to stay in Bova? Villa delle Rose
In the midst of a landscape full of nature and very well located, Villa delle Rose is our indication in Bova!
- Star Rating: 9,4 (Wonderful!)
- Average coast: US$ 65*
- Location: The hotel is 500 meters from the Mare Ionio and 7km from the Bova Mountain
- Address: CONTRADA MONOSCALCO snc, 89035 Bova Marina, Italy
- Services: Free WiFi, free parking, daily cleaning, outdoor garden and shared kitchen.
- Breakfast: Yes
- (*) the value is an average of the daily rate for two people; values may vary by season, without prior notice.
Where to eat in Bova? Al Borgo di Marcello Mafrica
If you’re looking for Italian food in Bova, we recommend Al Borgo di Marcello Mafrica.
- Address: Via Borgo, 23, 89033 Bova RC
- Site: –
- Opening hours: every day from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm and from 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm
- Telephone: +39 338 900 6739
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Bova: one of the most important Greek centers of the region, whose inhabitants promote initiatives to preserve their identity and rich cultural heritage. The old town, situated on a hillside, is full of narrow streets, small squares, palaces, galleries and fascinating views of the coast.
The flourishing local craftsmanship can be traced back to the agro-pastoral tradition and the ‘Hellenistic’ culture, that has a long tradition that survives until today in some sectors such as wooden sculpture spoons, cake and cheese trays decorated with floral and geometric motifs, collars for goats, bust sticks, glass (windows, tables, cups), weaving (blankets, tablecloths, rugs). The raw material for weaving is made from wool, linen and, above all, by the broom, which is collected on the slopes of the Aspromonte and naturally processed by the same weavers using manual labor. Walking through the narrow streets of Bova you can still hear the ticking of the old weaving machine.
To conclude: to know Bova is to know the past of a glorious population that was the Greeks!
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