Santa Caterina dello Ionio is a village that overlooks the Ionian Sea south of Catanzaro in Calabria.
The origins of St. Catherine can be traced back to the year 1000 when, due to the attacks of the Saracens, the inhabitants of the various villages took refuge in isolated places in the area, finally choosing the hill on which now stands St. Catherine. They gave rise to a small village surrounded by defensive walls, which opened in four doors, only one of which – the “Gate of the water” – it is still possible to admire. From there you can reach the beautiful Church of Santa Maria Assunta ( Mother Church ), built in the seventeenth and rebuilt after the terrible fire that affected the village in 1983.
Although the fire has dealt a mortal blow to the life of the village, it has not dampened its historical and architectural richness; in fact, it is still possible to admire several monuments, churches and palaces with beautiful granite portals.
Nowadays, Santa Caterina dello Ionio looks like a maze of alleys, climbs and descents of streets where the houses are built close to each other, offering hidden glimpses of the sea and the wonderful nature that surrounds the village.