Bagnara Calabra, also called the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian sea and The land of everlasting spring, is an amphitheater-shaped village located at the center of the Costa Viola (the Violet Coast), between the Aspromonte hills and the Tyrrhenian sea. The built-up area stands on the sea and rises by terraces from the lower Bagnara Marina to the hilly districts up to 600 m above the sea level, in a fan arrangement magically facing the glittering sea. Charmingly surrounded by sea and mountains, Bagnara is divided in two areas: the old center that develops from Marturano promontory to the hilly district of Solano Inferiore, and the modern part, lying along the 4 km narrow coastal strip that stretches from the Rustico stream to Cala Ianculla. Vague and fragmentary information and no documentary evidence exist about the origins of Bagnara. It is certain that Roger I, the Norman Count of Calabria and Sicily, in 1085 issued the foundation document of the Abbey of Santa Maria e dei XII Apostoli and gave custody of it to a group of religious fellow countrymen. The place was a very important reference point for the surrounding villages, and a defense stronghold on the coast too: for these reasons, Roger had a castle built and fortified the cliff by erecting strong surrounding walls and defense works. In a few decades, the village became the political administrative and commercial center of a large feud that included 33 churches and their jurisdictions: 11 in Calabria and 22 in Sicily. Bagnara was under Norman, Angevin and Aragonese dominations and finally became the land of the Ruffo noble family.