The remains of ancient Sybaris are situated to the east of the Calabria-Basilicata region and north of Rossano - hence at the top of the 'toe' of Italy. The locations of the excavations are easily accessible by car along the main road 106 - Ionica, which connects Reggio Calabria to Taranto.
The archaeological site of Sybaris is part of the town of 'Cassano Ionico', which itself has an interesting medieval atmosphere and natural and cultural attractions as worthy of attention as the ruins of Sybaris.
An overview of structures and artifacts of ancient Sybaris is possible thanks to excavations undertaken in the mid-20th century. The archaeological finds are quite exceptional and of great cultural interest.
The region of historic interest at Sybaris is divided into three key areas. First you will see some Roman ruins - in fact, the most ancient artefacts on the site have been destroyed by these buildings from the Roman period, which include a theatre, some shops and an important home of the first half of the 1st century A.D.
The ruins of the large Roman theatre and baths that date from the age of Trajan (53-117 A.D.) and which contain some well preserved floor mosaics are very beautiful and interesting.
The 'Parco del Cavallo' is the key site to visit at Sybaris because it is here that the layers of the ancient cities have been identified.
The oldest neighbourhoods of the city, founded in the 8th century B.C., were probably situated in the zone of Stombi. Several buildings have been brought to light here that are not at all luxurious and are made from materials taken from sources nearby such as river pebbles, bricks and wooden beams.
The more recent areas of Sybaris from when it was later rebuilt as Thurii (see history of Sybaris), which is closer to the sea, are found in the ruins of the Casa Bianca ('white house'). Diodorus Syculus tells us that the street names of ancient Thurii included Eraclea, Aphrodisias, Dionisia and Olympics.
Enthusiasts of this cultural area should note that many objects found in the excavations can now be seen in the Archaeological Museum. Of particular interest was the discovery of sacred furnishings from the Temple of Athena - as seen on the reverse of the coins, wearing a helmet.
The figure of the goddess Athena was very important in Sybaris but the patron saint of the city was actually Hera, whose cult was widespread in the Dorians communities - you can see an exceptional temple of Hera in Posidonia (Paestum), one time colony of Sybaris.
(Coin picture courtesy CNG coins)
A visit to Sybaris allows a pleasant exploration of Cassano Ionico, the medieval centre of which has artifacts of historical interest, such as the Cathedral and the Diocesan Museum, in which the collection of artifacts includes paintings and antique books.
Also not far away and easily visited are the Church and the convent of the Capuchin Friars and the Ducal castle.
To visit near Sybaris and Cassano Ionico
Just outside Cassano Ionico, one interesting visit is to the so-called 'Caves of San Angelo', which was a refuge for men of the Neolithic period.
In the pleasant countryside around Sybaris it is possible to taste some wines from region. With the wines of Calabria, we are stepping back in history - the Romans claimed the wine of Cosenza in 'tribute' and Pliny the Elder, in addition to the wine of Cosenza, greatly admired the so-called Cirò wine. Also to enjoy are the famous Pollino, the red and white wines of Calabria and the Stragolia red.
Photos taken within 10 km
Map of Sybaris & places nearby
Cassano allo Ionio 13 km
Castrovillari 24 km
Castiglione Cosentino 47 km
Rende 52 km