Counted among the oldest cities in Europe, the ancient Rhegion preserves conspicuous traces of its Magno-Greek heritage in its urban circle. A walk through the city streets allows you to touch on some key moments in history, traces that have been well preserved, and become part of daily life in the city.
The Underground Piazza Italia - The Greek walls
The first stop is in the heart of the modern city, in the archaeological area of Piazza Italia, the commercial and historical heart of the city. The eleven layers of construction, highlighted by excavations, provide a real timeline with respect to the history of the Calabrian city. The oldest dates back to the Magna Greek period and is overlaid with Roman, Byzantine, Norman, and Angevin artefacts up to the base of the foundation of the statue of Ferdinando di Borbone, which dates back to 1823. Heading down south east for less than a kilometre, the Hellenistic walls that have protected the city up until modern times are found near Piazza Camagna.
Greek walls - Roman Baths
Continuing for 450 metres north-west towards the waterfront, the remains of the Roman Baths are found. Dating back to the second century BC, they were rediscovered in 1886 and are further evidence of the vitality of the city in different eras. Some floors are preserved with geometric-patterned mosaics composed of well-preserved white and black tiles belonging to a private imperial building. The baths also include a gymnasium that overlooks a porch with numerous columns.
Roman Baths - Odeon
A kilometre and a half north-west leads to the discovery of the Odeon or Bouleterion, there are the remains of the tiers of a large Greek-era theatre, which could accommodate about 1,600 spectators. Built between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, it might have been used for musical performances (Odeon) or for popular assemblies (Bouleterion).
Odeon - The Archaeological Museum
The walk through the distant past of the classical city ends after only 150 metres at the prestigious National Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria, the “home” of the Riace Bronzes and the place where ancient history is showcased through an extraordinary collection of findings organized in a contemporary and evocative setting.