Nicotera is a small comune and town located in the Calabria region of Italy in the province of Vibo Valentia. The town is spread over an area of 32 sq km and has a population of close to 6700. The origins of the town are connected to the ancient city of Medma which was made by Locresis of Locri epizephiri.
During the rule of the Romans in the regions the port was the only place that survived. It was then conquered by the Normans and it was only in the 13th century that the town progressed economically. The Jewish settlement of Nicotera, Giudecca, was promoted during the ancient times to encourage the economy of the town.
Attractions in Nicotera
Castel Ruffo is located at a panoramic location in the town. Perched on top of a high cliff, it dominates the surrounding landscapes. The castle was built in Nicotera in 1764 and has a typical Norman architecture. Over the years the castle has been renovated and rebuilt several times. Today there are three different museums located within the castle which can be visited by tourists.
The Assunta Cathedral
One of the most important religious places to visit in Nicotera is the Assunta cathedral or the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta. The cathedral had been built originally in 1785 at the location of an ancient Norman church. The cathedral has a beautiful baroque style of architecture. Inside the cathedral are several beautiful art works and ornamental decorations.
The Diocesano d’Arte Sacra Museum
The Diocesano d’Arte Sacra museum is located close to the cathedral and has a large and interesting collection of objects. The museum is spread out over 48 rooms and has various objects and archeological findings from different eras that were found in the region. There is a separate section within the museum that has been dedicated to the Norman age which is quite noteworthy.
The Episcopal Art Gallery
The Episcopal Art Gallery is a must visit for art lovers. The art gallery is located in the Seminary Building and has a large collection of beautiful canvases. Most paintings in the gallery date back to the 17th and the 18th century and have been made by several famous artists in the region.
The San Francesco Church
The San Francesco church in Nicotera is also worth a visit. The church had been built in the 15th century and has been renovated a few times. The Cappuccini convent is annexed to the church building. Inside the church are various beautiful decorations which are quite noteworthy. The main altar has been elegantly decorated.
Museo Civico Archeologico nel Castello Ruffo
The Museo Civico Archeologico nel Castello Ruffo is the civic museum of Nicotera. The museum is located within the Ruffo castle of the town. The museum has a large collection of several archeological findings, artifacts and objects which had been found in the region over the years during various excavations. The museum is definitely worth a visit since it gives insight on the background and the history of the town.
Getting to Nicotera
Nicotera is located quite close to the city of Vibo Valentia so it is quite easy to reach the town. Visitors can reach Vibo Valentia easily by train from cities in the region as well from other destinations in Italy. From Vibo Valentia visitors can reach Nicotera by buses or by car. The state buses that operate in the region connect the town to Vibo Valentia and several other towns in the region. Buses depart every few hours from these locations and tickets can be bought at the main bus stations. Those who have their own cars can also drive down to the town quite easily.
Moving Around the Town
Stay and Accommodation
Eating in Nicotera
There are several different restaurants, trattorias and pizzerias in Nicotera. Most of the restaurants in town are the places where the locals prefer to eat themselves. The cuisine available in most restaurants in the town is traditional Italian and regional dishes. Cuisine in Nicotera is based mainly on fresh locally grown products, traditionally made cheeses, home made pastas and sea food. Some of the most popular restaurants in Nicotera are Congiusti Gregorio ristorante bar, ristorante Orfano and Fiasche. There are also a few good cafes and bars in the town where good wine selections are available along with local appetizers and light snacks.
Shopping in Nicotera
There are many places in Nicotera where visitors can shop. The older section of the town has many small shops where the locals do all their local shopping. The best things to purchase from Nicotera are olive oil, cheese, traditional pastries and wine. There are many food shops in town where visitors can purchase good quality extra virgin olive oil and a variety of local cheeses that have been locally made.