What to see in Sibari, the spectacle of Magna Graecia

Travel to Sibari, a small town in Calabria where a 3000-year-old history combines with a wonderful sea: what not to miss and what to do in the surroundings

Sybaris It is a small fraction of the municipality of Cassano allo Ionio, in the province of Cosenza. A place famous for its important archaeological sites and coastal tourism. Its plain was a center of great importance in the era of Magna Graecia, when the Achaean exiles founded the city of Sybari; In the following centuries, a turbulent history led to the construction and destruction of two more cities: Turios and Copia.

An ancient history that has left magnificent archaeological traces in an area that offers a wonderful sea that mixes with the virgin nature of the Pollino National Park. That is why today we take you to discover the main attractions and destinations that you should not miss during a trip to the Sibari area.

The attractions not to be missed in Sibari

The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about this Calabrian town are the remains of a glorious era that once was. The main attraction of the area, in fact, is the sibari archaeological park which collects the traces of the three cities that dominated the Sybarite plain in ancient times: Sibarys, Thurii and Copia.

Today this site occupies an area of ​​50.000 square meters in which to get lost among the ruins of the Hippodamian road network, with the streets intersecting at right angles, and the evocative remains of the Roman theater inserted in the foundations of the surrounding buildings. .

What to see in Sibari, the spectacle of Magna Graecia
A corner of the important Sibari archaeological park

A short distance from the archaeological zone it is possible to visit the National Archaeological Museum of Sibaritide which preserves all the artifacts and objects found during the excavations in Sibari and its surroundings. The collection covers a period of time that goes from the Bronze Age to the late Roman era and allows us to discover the history and daily life of the inhabitants of the cities that emerged in this region, thanks to a rich collection of finds from the Necropolis. from Sibari.

But not only. In these places there is also the slab of Kleombrotos, son of Dexilaos, which tells of the victory of a citizen of Sybaris in the Olympic Games of the 6th century BC. One of the most interesting sections of the museum is the room that houses a large collection of excellently made Magna Grecia ceramics.

The sea and beaches of Sibari.

Sibari certainly does not lack history, but this Calabrian city is also capable of offering unique landscape beauty. Among them is, without a doubt, the sea, where the first Achaean colonizers lived almost 2500 years ago.

the beaches of Sybaris Marina They are characterized by having golden sand of alluvial origin, they are large in size and overlook the waters of the Gulf of Taranto, in the heart of the Ionian Sea and today also known as the Gulf of the Dolphins (here we explain why) . A long strip of sand of almost 8 kilometers that is the perfect place to spend a quiet day at the beach, even with children, since the waters are always very calm and shallow.

This is also one of the favorite beaches of lovers of 'beach sports' such as beach volleyball, but in general it is especially popular for its crystalline sea, one of the most evocative in all of Calabria.

What to see in Sibari, the spectacle of Magna Graecia
The splendid sea and charming beaches of Sibari

The lakes of Sibari and the Aventura Sibari

The scenic beauties of this area certainly cannot be ignored as they are of immense value. Among these, for example, are the so-called lagos sibari, an area where large recovery lagoons were created in the 70s that today offer the possibility of a suggestive walk suspended between its waters and the Ionian Sea. The structure also includes an important port area.

But the truth is that whoever arrives in front of the Sibari Lakes will be able to enjoy a true spectacle, since it is an area completely surrounded by lush vegetation. You won't be surprised to learn that this area is even called "little Venice."

Currently the entire complex consists of four peninsulas, each of which includes between 30 and 50 villas. The area offers almost 3.000 moorings, although it is good to know that it is a private town and monitored by a security force that does not allow unauthorized access.

If, on the other hand, you want to spend an afternoon enjoying fun and adrenaline-filled experiences, you must necessarily take a trip Aventura Sibari, a large park that offers more than 2 kilometers of routes that include climbing, hanging bridges, climbs and pulleys in the spectacular naturalistic environment of the Sibari plain.

In this park you will find routes suitable for all ages: from simple suspended passages to authentic climbs on vertical walls in the shadow of the majestic eucalyptus trees that dominate the entire area. In addition to fun sports attractions, the park administration organizes guided tours of the archaeological zone of ancient Sibari and an adventurous expedition to the wonderful Raganello's Gargantas, a 13-kilometer canyon carved into living rock by water erosion that offers unforgettable views and the opportunity to immerse yourself in uncontaminated nature.

What to see in Sibari, the spectacle of Magna Graecia
The fascinating Raganello gorges

What to do around Sibari

Near this spectacular Calabrian town is the Sibari spa: it Sybaritic baths. More precisely, they are located a few steps from Cassano All'Ionio, also in the province of Cosenza. A sulfur spring flows here, known since the arrival of the first Greek settlers, and today it is possible to find all kinds of relaxing wellness services, from sulfur water pools to therapeutic mud, to refresh yourself from the fatigue of excursions.

The main characteristic of these waters is the concentration of hydrogen sulfide resulting from the biochemical activity of the bacteria present that transform oxidized sulfur compounds. They are located, among other things, nestled in the mountains of Mount Pollino and the clear sea with a thousand shades of blue, in an area that, therefore, offers an unusual mix of tourist attractions of rare variety.

Once you have visited the Sybaritic baths you certainly can't miss a stop at Cassano All'Ionio, the place that houses these wonders. It stands out for being a very particular urban reality that intertwines the ancient history of Magna Graecia with the medieval past of the historic center. In the old city it is worth visiting its Cathedral (which dates back to the 12th century in its first design) and its numerous noble palaces. Outside the walls, another stop to make is the sanctuary dedicated to Virgin of the Chain which with its imposing baroque style decorative system demonstrates the very high level of skill of local artisans during the 17th century in this area.

But not only. Absolutely worth seeing are the ruins of Milon Tower, dedicated to the Greek wrestler Milón of Crotona, which is located a few kilometers from the town. Perched and mysterious, he witnesses a story that, in many ways, is yet to be discovered.

Equally interesting are the spectacular ones. Sant'Angelo Caves that attest to the presence and activity of man in the area since the Lower Neolithic. They are made up of 16 cavities and extend over a few kilometers, offering the visitor a truly unique experience. In addition, there are numerous archaeological and geological finds, as well as evidence of the oldest form of writing in Italian prehistory.

In summary, the Plain of Sibari, Sandwiched between the wonders of the Ionian Sea and the enchanting colors of the Pollino, it is truly packed with history and nature that will take your breath away. An area that you absolutely must include in your next itinerary in Calabria.

What to see in Sibari, the spectacle of Magna Graecia
A corner of the extraordinary Sant'Angelo Caves
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