Santa Severina (IPA: [santaseverina]) is an Italian town of 2,196 inhabitants in the province of Crotone, in Calabria. The Castle The Castle of Santa Severina is one of the oldest best-preserved military fortresses in southern Italy. Its construction dates back to the era of Norman domination (XIth century) on a pre-existing fortification of the
History & CutlureHistory
The territory of Santa Severina (in particular the sites of Serre d'Altilia, Monte Fuscaldo, along with many others), during the Bronze and Iron Ages, was inhabited by indigenous peoples belonging perhaps to the stock of Enotri, as also supposed in based on research (end of the 70s of the 20th century) of the Krotoniate Archaeological Group and P. Attianese. The autochthonous name of the ancient inhabitants of Calabria remains, however, unknown. In fact, the term "Enotri" is a toponymic name given by the Greeks to the natives in the same way that the name "Galli" was assigned by the Romans to those who in their language were called Celts. Also the term Brettioi that the Romans transformed into Bruttii refers to the same toponomastic context. The Brettion inscription that appears on the coins appears impressed with the Greek characters. The news coming from the so-called tradition lends itself to an incalculable number of versions and manipulations and, therefore, on this topic it is quite difficult to add more. On the Serre hill of the Altilia hamlet, already at the beginning of the 80s, some flaps of a settlement of Italic origin and traces of an Iron Age necropolis were identified. In the mid-90s, the discovery of a settlement dating back to the Bronze Age was due to the vast program of archaeological research developed in the territory of Crotone. This research has allowed us to recognize a vast "warehouse" of pithoi of the final bronze age: remains of over 60 enormous containers have been cataloged which the most recent studies show contain wine, indisputable proof of vine cultivation by wine communities. More recently, the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Calabria, between 2006 and 2008, has carried out three excavation essays, under the direction of Gregorio Aversa, current Director of the National Archaeological Museum of Crotone. The activities have confirmed the existence of numerous housing structures (at least 14) that date back to the late 4th-3rd century BC. Some traces refer to the protohistoric period. From 2008 to 2014 there were no more archaeological excavation activities on Serre di Altilia.
Currently, in the whole area, in-depth archaeological topographic surveys are being carried out, aimed at the realization of the "archaeological map" of the entire municipal territory.
In ancient times, perhaps known as Siberene, after having been presumably a Greek-Italic and then Roman, until 1076 it belonged to the Byzantines. It was subsequently governed by the Normans and then by the Swabians. In fact, according to the Statutum de reparatione castrorum, Frederick II led an inquiry in 1228 to identify institutions, bodies or people who were obliged to contribute to the repair of the castle of Santa Severina. The German historian E. Sthamer traces the fundamental lines of the Statutum also noting those authorities who, at the time, were responsible in making him observe. At the time of the investigation conducted in Santa Severina, the provisor castrorum replied to the name of Johannes Vulcanus. After the defeat of the Swabians, the castle passed under the administration of the Angevins. During the Angevin period (1265-1442) the city of Santa Severina always enjoyed the state property, had control over the marquisate that was divided into farmhouses. Although the Spaniards were committed to ensuring the demaniality to the city of Santa Severina and its farmhouses, we know that this partly happened for the city not for its houses. The Spanish Antonio Centelles tried in 1459 to get hold of the Marquisate, but was defeated by the army of Ferdinando D'Aragona. However, shortly after it was part of the feuds and in 1464 also Santa Severina with the title of prince. Two years later the Marquis was betrayed and killed. The city of Santa Severina and its houses returned free. But while the city of Santa Severina retained its freedom and was administered by governors or royal captains, most of its houses were soon subdued.  Subsequently the Aragonese took over until finally falling under the dominion of the Bourbons.
Monuments and places of interest
The same topic in detail: Castello di Santa Severina.
Its construction dates back to the era of Norman domination (eleventh century) on a pre-existing fortification of the Byzantine era. The Byzantine construction is known as oppidum and is attested by Erchemperto di Benevento as "oppidum beatae Severinae". After 1076, on his ruins, Roberto il Guiscardo built a dungeon whose traces were highlighted during the restoration works. A direct historical evidence can be found in the chronicle of Amato di Montecassino while, in the same context, an indirect proof consists of a chart dated 1130, published by Trinchera, in which the military building is defined as "Rocca" which, as is known, is a term of Scandinavian origin. In the period following the construction of the castle, the presence of Roger II is attested, in Santa Severina, as Ughelli makes it known and as can also be seen in the Urkunden und Kanzlei König Rogers II von Sizilien which are also included in the "Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen ". In the Swabian period, the castellan of Santa Severina was called Johannes de Ladda. This information can be found in a document published by Walter Holtzmann in "Quellen und Forschungen aus Italienischen Archiven ud Bibliotheken". Over the centuries and passages by the various ruling families, it has undergone various changes. It is hypothesized that the area where the castle was built was already occupied in the Greek age, as supposed by some excavations conducted during the restoration. Of notable interest are the remains of a Byzantine church (with frescoed walls) and a necropolis of the same historical period.
Of interest are the excavations conducted in 2008-2009 by the Archaeological Superintendence in the so-called "outpost C" and in the "rabbit cave". Other archaeological research, in 2011, have highlighted the habitative or funerary use of numerous ravines of the cliff, now difficult to reach and at risk of landslide. In the Castle there is the Archaeological Museum, where exhibits are exhibited - owned by the State - from the territory or found during excavations in the fortification. Some archaeological sites can be visited (caves, necropolis, Byzantine church, Norman tower foundation etc.) brought to light during the excavations conducted by the Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of Calabria.
It is the only Byzantine baptistery that has survived in our days still substantially intact. The architecture of this jewel derives from the buildings with a central plan that are found in the mausoleum of Santa Costanza in Rome. The Byzantine baptistery has, in fact, a circular shape with four appendices, with frescoes dating back to the X-XII century
Magnifying glass icon mgx2.svg The same topic in detail: Concattedrale di Sant'Anastasia (Santa Severina).
The cathedral (Concattedrale of the Archdiocese of Crotone-Santa Severina) has a Latin cross plan with three naves. Dating back to the thirteenth century, it too has undergone various changes throughout its history, so much so that only the portal remained of the ancient structure, but the most substantial was that of the seventeenth century.
San Nicola and Santo Ponte
In 2010, the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Calabria has brought to light a large area of rupestrian houses, with numerous dwellings in artificial grotto, and a church (with underlying hypogeal compartment) already reported by Paolo Orsi.
The Monastery of the Madonna della Calabria
The village of Altilia within the municipality of Santa Severina.
Magnifying glass icon mgx2.svg The same topic in detail: Altilia (Santa Severina).
Other important buildings
The church of Santa Filomena (11th century), an interesting example of Byzantine-Norman architecture;
The Church of the Addolorata (pre-Norman period), with its beautiful 17th-century Baroque altar;
Piazza Campo (also called Piazza della chiesa)