The Greeks were fascinated by the area of Capo Rizzuto and set up some colonies which became gateways for trade and cultural exchange. The closeness to Crotone stimulated both the increase in local agriculture and trade interchanges with the Greek poleis. Churches, monasteries, houses and cultural centres were built during this period but, unfortunately, only the Juno Lacinia column, on the promontory known as Capo Colonna, is left as a splendid, unique testimonial.
Isola Capo Rizzuto’s old vocation for exchange is still very evident in cultural events, and the Festival of Peoples, an initiative centred on multi-culturalism, is a dazzling example. In the middle of summer, a great deal of attention is paid to local products with the Sagra del gusto, Saperi e Sapori del Mediterraneo (The Celebration of Taste, Mediterranean Knowledge and Flavours). The event aims to valorise traditional local products with tastings of the best delicacies from the Crotone area.
The local economy has always been connected to fishing, and Capo Rizzuto still has an important role. The preferred agricultural product is fennel, which has earned the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) label; fennel from the area has an appreciative international market.
In recent years, tourism has become more and more important, mainly due to the hamlet Le Castella which has become one of the most visited and best-known places internationally. In addition, the archaeological sites and imposing Aragonese castle, which rises from the sea, bring added value to an area of great natural unpolluted beauty.
One of the symbols of Isola di Capo Rizzuto is the Aragonese castle at Le Castella. It was built on a small island just off the coast in an extremely evocative position. The castle can be reached on foot at low tide by crossing a narrow spit of land, which disappears completely at high tide. The area is very attractive and the castle has been restored several times to enable visits from the many tourists. The castle has such a beautiful structure that it is often chosen as the set for film and advertising shoots.
One of the best-loved religious festivals is certainly the Festival of the Madonna Greca, celebrated in May and August. According to legend, a Calabrian fisherman found a sacred icon depicting the Madonna with Child on a beach. The painting became the source of various miracles and a sanctuary was built in its honour. The icon of the Madonna is carried in procession around the town during the traditional ceremony before being lifted onto a boat that crosses the sea to the neighbouring villages. The enormous number of flowers brought by visitors to the procession make it even more evocative, and these accompany the return of the icon to the sanctuary while the whole town celebrates.
Visitors to Isola di Capo Rizzuto are spoilt for choice with delicious dishes, like the sardeddra, Calabrian caviar consisting of whitebait blended with chilli pepper, or rice and fennel, with wild fennel chopped into pieces, covateddri, small, durum wheat flour gnocchetti (small dumplings) made by hand with the aid of a special wicker basket, seasoned with a pork sauce. There are plenty of desserts, too - pitta cc'u l'ojjhu, many layers made with wine and olive oil, filled with almonds, raisins, honey and cinnamon, and tardiddri, gnocchetti coated in and mixed with honey, vino cotto and sugar and then fried.
|P.zza Falcone e Borsellino|
|88841 Isola di Capo Rizzuto (KR)|
|Phone number||+39 0962 797911|
|Fax||+39 0962 797956|