This ancient village perched on a hilltop overlooking the entire coastline is one of the most important ancient Greek centers in the province of Reggio Calabria. It is also one of the few places where a unique Greek-Calabrian dialect is still spoken.
This dialect was spoken throughout all of southern Calabria until around the 15th or 16th century. Today, Bova is one of nine towns that still speak this ancient dialect, which according to the cultural organization, UNESCO, is listed as an endangered language! Thankfully, many cultural associations and organizations are working hard to preserve and revive this language, some have even offered courses for those interested in learning!
The language isn’t the only part of this town that beautifully showcases its ancient history. As you wander this small but romantic village, you will find many noble residences with embellished exteriors and enchanting entrance portals scattered among the old narrow alleys and streets.
The Palazzo dei Nesci Sant’Agata, located in the center of the town, was built in 1822. Its round-arched portal has interesting ironwork and the Nesci family coat of arms. The Palazzo Mesiani-Mazzavcuva dates back to the 18th century and was actually built on the remains of an ancient 15th-century tower.
You can also check out the ruins of the Norman Castle and Norman Tower located at the very top of the village. The castle partially dug into the rock, dates back to the 11th century. A small hike up the hillside and you’ll get a great view of the valley below!
And you don’t can’t miss the train on Via IV Novembre – this authentic old steam locomotive was brought up into the town and put on display in a small square located in the town’s center.
You have to watch this amazing drone video of Bova taken from the castle!
Bova makes a great day trip when visiting Reggio Calabria. If you’d like more information on this charming hamlet or find out how we can customize your next trip to Calabria, contact us today!
Image credits: Carmen Guarascio