Squillace is a small seaside town in the province of Catanzaro with ties to many important periods in history including links to the ancient Greek colony of Skyllètion (or Scolacium). In the early Middle Ages, raids forced citizens of Scolacium to flee their village. They retreated seven miles south and settled in modern-day Squillace.
Squillace is a great place to visit, for its Norman castle, 18th Century Duomo and an ancient Templar church. Not to mention, its graffiti, going back to ancient times.
No, not that type of graffiti…
I’m talking about these.
This beautiful and unique artistic technique used on terracotta products has been an important part of the local economy for centuries, dating back to the 16th century.
The Italian word “graffiti” (or “graffito” in singular form) originates from the world “graffiato” which means “scratched”. And that’s exactly what this technique entails. The terracotta products are covered with a thin layer of white clay and then, using a sharp tool, an intricate design is scratched into the surface revealing the natural warm reddish color of the terracotta beneath it.
The people of Squillace have been long known as masters of pottery and clay traditions because of their fine workmanship and artistry which is still very much alive and present in the town today. You can find many fantastic wonderful artisan shops in the historic center.
Want to see beautiful Squillace and its graffiti up close and personal? We are spending a day in Squillace as part of our Small Group Heritage Tour this fall. We’d love for you to join us!