Comune di Bova
Listed among the quaintest villages in Italy, Bova is known as the capital city of Calabrian Greeks. Many findings dating back to the neolithic era and the strongholds of the Norman castle, which was built on a prehistoric settlement area, bear testimony to its rather ancient origins. A legend identifies a footprint dug into the rock on which the castle is perched as belonging to the Greek queen who ordered its construction. Bova is rich in history and architectural beauties, such as many aristocratic palaces from the 18th century, a few monumental churches, and the 17th-century Cathedral of Saint Mary from Isodia, which was built on the pre-existing structure of a Byzantine church and presents a marble portal in the late-baroque fashion surmounted by the blazon of Bova’s last bishop.
The narrow streets of the village are a real treat for walkers at any time of day, particularly at dusk, when they become all the more atmospheric. The church steeple offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape, whose stunning beauty has always managed to leave visitors wordless, as is the case of old-time traveler Edward Lear.
A good number of religious festivals and events that take in place in Bova work as an attraction for both tourists and believers: one of them that should not be missed is the one dedicated to the Pupazze on Palm Sunday. In this ancient rite the pupazze – giant women puppets built by the local country people by skillfully spinning olive leaves around a reed, and later adorned with fresh fruits and other local crops – are brought in procession to the Sanctuary of Saint Leo, the main church of Bova. Among the most important events to take place in Bova, there also is the Paleariza Festival, whose yearly editions unfailingly have one or more legs in this village.