The Chiesa degli Ottimati is located in the immediate vicinity of the Aragonese Castle and from the square of the same name, can be reached from Corso Garibaldi by foot in a matter of minutes. The Byzantine red dome is striking and is visible from many points in the city, rendering it unmistakable. The plan has three aisles divided by a colonnade, of which four of the columns are made from precious Greek marble.
A Byzantine church
The Chiesa degli Ottimati is from the Byzantine period and owes its name to the ancient crypt of the Ottimati. It has been governed by the adjacent Jesuit college since 1964, after the reconstruction of the church that took place in 1931. The reconstruction took place under the supervision of the Beato Angelico of Milan school, under the direction of the architect Pompilio Seno of 1927, who adopted the pre-existing Byzantine type of the Cappella degli Ottimati, maintaining some of its original features, such as the precious and beautiful Romanesque-Norman floor.
DID YOU KNOW THAT …?
Who are the Ottimati? The name Ottimati refers to a congregation of nobles founded by the Normans and it is for this reason that in the temple’s interior the marble coats of arts belonging to some noble Reggio families are still preserved: Filocamo, Altavilla, Griso, and Borboni.
Born over 1000 years ago
The Chiesa degli Ottimati has strong similarities with the other Byzantine churches of Calabria. For this reason, it can be assumed that it was constructed during the Byzantine period and can be dated to the 10th century. It preserved the ancient framework of the Annunciation which, after the destruction of the Saracens, was reproduced in a new project commissioned by Agostino Ciampelio and strongly desired by the Ottimati congregation
Opening days and hours
Festive days: 10:00-11:30 / 18:30-21:30