Welcome to Belvedere Marattimo
and Belvedere Paese
Jesse's Journeys in Italy
Population: 8,816 (2003)
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
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
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
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
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.
The Cedri Riviera
To arrive at
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