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Belvedere Marattimo, Calabria
by Jesse Andrews

Norman Castle, Belvedere, Calabria
by Jesse Andrews

View from Belvedere Paese, Calabria
by Jesse Andrews

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

Welcome to Belvedere Marattimo
and Belvedere Paese
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 8,816 (2003)
Official site:

Belvedere is a living testament to the numerous cultures and civilizations who have traversed the Calabrian coast line for centuries.  Embracing Greek, Roman, Arab, Medieval and Baroque architectural styles, the streets of Belvedere, speak to the wealthy patrons who controlled this town from its earliest days as a Sybarite colony, through Norman times to Roman Times.

Belvedere – literally translated from both the French and Italian means beautiful to see – and even with the weathering of the ages – this town still does its name justice. 

Visitors will first arrive by car, bus or boat, at Belvedere Marina, where modern hotels and restaurants have popped-up along the water front. Thousands of Northern Italians flock to Belvedere each year to enjoy the acres of its famous white sand beaches. 

Like many towns on the Tyrrhenian Coast, Belvedere has one eye to the future on its waterfront which brings in revenue from tourism, and one eye to its past, in the mountains behind, where the real history and intrigue of Belvedere can be found.  Known as  Belvedere Paese,  this part of the town is located two kilometres inland from the Autostrada (SS18). 

The highest part of the town, and that which it is built around, is a Norman castle (constructed by Ruggero il Normanno in the 1600's).  The castle is one of the largest footprints the Norman’s have left on the Cedri Riviera. The gates around the circumference of the castle are of particular interest and are indicative of the detail that went into all aspects of the construction.  (Look to the photograph to the right (upper hand) for an example). 

The castle, at the town's highest point, gives way to a labyrinth of streets, manifested in myriad colours, and plentiful art. Known for modern ceramic and sculpture works, the footways here expose those passing by to an outdoor Mediterranean art gallery.

Some of the most detailed works are found in the most unusual corners, and out of the way places, which makes exploring the alleyways and stairways of Belvedere a constant joy.  These byways are more refined and well-tended than those in other villages along the coast.

As you walk, take notice of the ornate baroque balconies, arches, doors and other man-made features.  And note too, the tall Palms (like those in Beverly Hills) surround the main piazza.

Region of Calabria
The Cedri Riviera

To arrive at  Belvedere,
follow the SS18 Coastal highway and exit at the indicated signs.  Make sure that for "Belvedere Paese", the historical centre, you are following the road into the mountains and not that down to the Marina. 


Gate, Belvedere Paese, Calabria
by Jesse Andrews