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Cliffs by Amantea, Calabria
by Jesse Andrews

Main street, Amantea, Calabria
by Jesse Andrews

The Duomo, Amantea, Calabria
by Jesse Andrews

Most photos on VisitsItaly are by Jesse Andrews. Please Contact VisitsItaly.Com for reproduction of any kind at:

This is Amantea
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 13,257 (2003)
Official website:

As far as coastal towns go, on Calabria's Tyrrhenian coast, Amantea would rank high on a list of Calabria's prettiest towns.

Amantea is one of the Cosenza Province's most attractive, well-laid-out and picturesque centers.  It is also one of the province's most historically fascinating and most unique, in terms of its history, serving as one of Arabia's most important strong-holds on their quest to succeed the collapsing Roman-Empire. 

However, long before the Romans and even the Greeks, Amantea has served as an important ground, as far as human history is concerned.  Dozens of Bronze and Iron age artifacts have been located in and around the mouth of the River Savuto, which opens to the sea, nearby Amantea's port. 

The Bruzi, Calabria's native people, a tribe of warriors (still legendary throughout Calabria) are said to have kept out the Greek occupation for decades, hence the lack of Greek architecture in Amantea, unlike in almost every other Calabrese village.  However, the Bruzi, were unable to hold off the Romans, who are said to have wiped the group and any lasting legacy. 

The Romans used 300 KM of land surrounding Amantea as an "Ager" - for the specific purpose of sending produce to use Imperial Rome.  Not surprisingly, in order to transport the produce to its final destination, a large port was created, putting Amantea on the map in terms of important Roman ports of call. 

After the fall of the Roman Empire, present-day Calabria was divided into two parts: Longobardian and Byzantine. The border between these two new nations, became Amantea itself, controlled by the Byzantines, who built a strong castle to safeguard this border.  The castle is still prominent on the hills above the town, looking at the coast in either direction.  However, like the Roman's, Byzantium was unable to maintain power over all its colonies, and in 839 Amantea fell to the Arabs, who created an Emirato, a state around the city. 

The city's name "Amantea" is of Arabic origin, coming from "Al Mantiah", meaning "strong hold."  The Arabic presence here, has been strong and lasting (even if not constant).   

In modern day Amantea, the city is essentially divided into two sections.  The historical center, located on the hill above the "new" city, where shops, restaurants and piazzas line a main boulevard.  It's a friendly town and tourists should find no problem in finding their way around here.

Region of Calabria
The Cedri Riviera

By Car:
Follow the SS18 Coastal highway to arrive at Amantea. 

By train:
Roma Napoli Reggio Calabria railway line, Amantea railway station. Trains make frequent stops.  
By Air:
Lamezia Terme is the closest airport, only a half an hour drive from Amantea. 
By boat:
Amantea Port

Hotel Mediterraneo
Hotel La Tonnara
Hotel delle Canne
Hotel La Principessa

Temple Portico, Amantea, Calabria
by Jesse Andrews

Tell us about your trip to Amantea.  What were your favorite places to visit, stay, and dine.  Talk Italy Forum