whereas others believe it comes from the Italian word for "pike” (luzzi) which inhabit the river flowing at the foot of the settlement and still to this day are depicted on the city’s colourful coat of arms.
The town is brimming with religious buildings such as the ancient Church of Sant'Angelo where a painting of Santa Maria delle Grazie, a work of the school of Leonardo da Vinci, was discovered.
The Abbey of Santa Maria della Sambucina, a Cistercian monastery of great historical and artistic im-portance, is well worth a visit, as are the Church of the Immacolata, the Church of San Giuseppe and the Church of Sant'Angelo.
Surrounded by a stunning landscape, the town of Luzzi is perched on a hill along the strip of the presila on the eastern side of the Crati Valley.
Built in the 18th century, the town hall has witnessed an important historical tradition over the ages and is the most notable architectural structure of the old town.
The building which, after the 1940s was used as a manor house, was in an advanced state of deterioration both in terms of its structure and its distin-guishing features. A number of interventions over the years have restored it to its former glory. From a static structural point of view the building has un-dergone a complete restoration and the various floors and areas of the building have been reorganised into management, political and administra-tive departments of the municipal headquarters.
In typical Renaissance style, the building's exterior has a square layout. It features solid facades and is composed of two levels in addition to the basement and attic. The entrance is framed by a stone structure that ex-tends out from the building.
An architecturally impressive staircase dominates the atrium of the building and is directly connected to the garden and other residential structures which are now used as municipal offices.
The ecclesiastical riches of Luzzi include the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie which is a treasure trove of artworks ranging from the baptismal font in tufa to paintings such as the Baptism of Christ and the Portrait of Cardinal Giuseppe Firrao. The church also displays two captivating canvases of Our Lady of the Rosary and Saints, and a series of effigies of the Saints.
The spectacular churches of the Immaculate Conception, St. Michael the Archangel, la Madonna della Sanità o della Cava (Madonna of Health or of the Quarry), and that of Saint Francis of Paola are equally worth a visit.
The church of Sant'Angelo, most likely built in 1300, houses the painting of Santa Maria delle Grazie by the school of Leonardo da Vinci. Its particularly beautiful polychromatic wooden altar of 1600 is considered a national mon-ument. A baptismal font in tufa stone with Romanesque style sculptural mo-tifs can also be admired.
The 16th-century church of the Immacolata houses two exceptional paint-ings: the Assunta in Gloria con Angioletti, which is a classic work by Luca Giordano, and the canvas of the Annunciation, painted in the style of Italian baroque artist Francesco Solimena. The statue of the Patron Saint of the Immaculate Conception is also displayed in the church, which is the main church in the parish of Luzzi (San Biagio V.E.M.).
The church of San Giuseppe was once a chapel belonging to the Firrao family and houses the remains of Saint Aurelia Marcia. It is now a pilgrim-age destination for many towns in Calabria. The body of the Martyred Saint is housed behind a catacombal slab of early Christian art.
The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Mary has an Arabic dome be-cause it was probably a Muslim temple before becoming a church. Inside, the 18th-century Neapolitan painting known as "Madonna del Rosario” is on display.
For many years, the small hamlet of San Vito has been producing a young wine which, in 1997, became an EU Designation of Origin product.
The vines grown in this area have to withstand a humid and relatively ex-treme climate which is mainly characterised by frequent temperature changes both at night and with the changing seasons.
San Vito di Luzzi Doc (Denominazione di origine controllata) wine is pro-duced in red, rosé, and white varieties using grapes from local vines accord-ing to a blend established by the 1994 production regulations. Its composi-tion makes San Vito di Luzzi one of the most heterogeneous wines of Ca-labria. It is obtained by blending numerous grape varieties of which some, such as Sangiovese (a grape used in the famous Brunello di Montalcino), are not native to the area.