Vibo Valentia is a city dominated by the imposing Norman-Swabian castle built between 1055 and 1057 by Roger the Norman, that today houses the Archaeological Museum named after Vito Capialbi, a famous scholar of Vibo Valentia. The city preserves an old town and important noble buildings, such as palaces of the Capialbi and the Marquis of France. Vibo is the heir of the ancient Hipponion, among the most important colonies of Magna Graecia, that in 182 BC became a Roman municipality with the name of Valentia. The first inhabitants of Vibo Valentia were the Italics Osci that called it Veip due to its position on the Gulf of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Only later, in the 7th century BC, Greek migratory flows on the Calabrian Ionian coast gave birth to other new and important cities such as Sibari, Crotone, Caulonia, Reggio and Locri. And it was Locri, that around 650 BC, founded Hipponion on the Tyrrhenian coast, where there is now Vibo Valentia. Under the rule of the Bruttians, the name was replaced with Hipponion Osco Veipunium that was subsequently changed again in 194 BC, when the Romans expelled the Bruttians, and founded a Latin colony called Valentia, they added the term Veip, which then was Latinized in Vibo Under the Roman rule, the city recovered its former glory and around 90 BC it became a Roman municipality with its present name. Being the only port between Naples and Sicily, it became one of the most important cities of Southern Italy, but with the Roman Empire, the city started to decline and the name was changed to Vibona. With the Swabian dynasty, Vibo was called Monteleone and enjoyed a further period of great development that continued under the Spanish and Napoleonic rule, when Monteleone received the title of chief town of Calabria. Vibo Valentia is currently one of the major industrial centres of the region, with firms operating in the following fields: food, chemical, textile, and construction materials. Of great importance is the activity of the port with its significant transfer of goods. Tourism is booming, thanks to a farsighted policy of coastal heritage revaluation. Land of ancient traditions, Vibo Valentia has a varied and extremely qualified food culture. Among the first courses visitors can opt for the "fileja" (fresh pasta topped with a variety of sauces), legane e ceci (homemade pasta with chickpeas) and the famous' Nduja, a typical pork sausage that has a pasty consistency and a spicy flavour, which can be spread on bread or used as an ingredient in various dishes. Among the cheeses fresh and seasoned pecorino cheese, and ricotta cheese must be mentioned: Among the desserts the following deserve to be tried: the ciciriati, biscuits stuffed with a mixture of coffee, chickpeas, cocoa and nuts, the pittapie, biscuits filled with a mixture of raisins, walnuts, pine nuts and chocolate and the sanguinaccio, pork’s blood boiled with sugar, nuts, dark chocolate and pine nuts. The large and varied territory of the Vibo Valentia province encloses an extraordinary wealth of natural and architectural beauty, history, culture and traditions, render it an important pole of attraction and interest for national and international tourism


Piazza Martiri D'Ungheria

89900 Vibo Valentia (VV)

Tel.: 0963 599111 - 599398



Vibo Valentia is located in the beautiful marine territory between Pizzo and Nicotera, and is characterized by a 75 km stretch of coast with wide beaches and well-known with the term The Coast of the Gods (La Costa degli Dei). Moving along the coastal road of the Tyrrhenian coast, several small important touristic centres are encountered. A series of bays, cliffs and beaches characterize the coastline. The fine, white beach of Pizzo, that starting from the Marinella arrives to Seggiola. Then there is Vibo Marina, that in spite of the presence of the port, offers clear waters and white beaches like Fortino, Gagliardi, Bivona, Trainiti, up to the Safo Bay. Soon after there is the Crocca cliff and the characteristic St. Irene, a mixture of sand and rocks. A true "paradise" for divers is the Marinella, located in the Zambrone area. Continuing visitors can admire Parghelia with its majestic reef "La Pizzuta", in front of a bay of pebbles. Soon after, Tropea stands, with its famous Caves of the Knight (Grotte del Cavaliere) small beaches interrupted by sheer cliffs of sandstone rock. Continuing north there is the coastal stretch of Formicoli, characterized by small reefs at a few hundred meters from the sandy shore, whose seabed is ideal for diving and snorkeling. The innermost part of the hinterland, known as the Serre reaches a peak of 1022 meters above sea level. This is a perfect area for excursions when arriving from the Tyrrhenian and Ionian coast due to the cultural interest of the Certosa di Serra, a monastery founded by St. Bruno. The richness of the scenery is conveyed through the characteristic hinterland with the Plateau of the Poro, the rustic landscape fit for the development of modern forms of rural tourism such as: agritourism, hiking as a sport, wine & food and cultural tourism.

The old urban center of Vibo Valentia, is situated at the foot of the castle, it includes noble buildings, some of which are inhabited and others are being renovated, and there are also several churches that are worth a visit. Among these, the Santa Maria Maggiore church. Towards the center of the town is Piazza Garibaldi, where the great Italian hero during the Expedition of the Thousand (Spedizione dei Mille) passed by. Of great interest are the two most ancient monuments of the city the Arch Marzano and the Gate Tower of the Count d'Apice (Porta Torre del Conte d'Apice), two doors belonging to the 12th century; worthy of notice are also the remains of "Hipponion" including the walls and some towers, the Cathedral of St. Leoluca, built on the ruins of an ancient Byzantine basilica, in typical Baroque style, decorated with stucco and rich marble statues that date back to the 16th century, its bronze doors were created by Giuseppe Niglia, and they narrate the vicissitudes of this land. Vibo Valentia is also the ideal place for shopping, it is a modern city where tourists can walk along the Corso Umberto I and appreciate the contemporary shops and stores. Proceeding down towards the sea and arriving in Vibo Marina, tourists can visit the castle of Bivona (1442), once a fortress against pirate raids, and the architectural complex of the "Tuna" (1885).

The city is full of monuments of great artistic and cultural value. The Cathedral was built in the early 18th century and consecrated to St. Leoluca, it stands proudly in front of the large square facing the Town Park and has a façade in Baroque style with vague Renaissance accents. The temple was built on the ruins of the Basilian church of Santa Maria Maggiore, to whom it was initially dedicated, between 1680 and 1723, and was consecrated in 1766. Of the ancient church, where the tomb of St. Leoluca was kept, some architectural treasures of great value are still evident: a column with capital, parts of small columns, 13th century capitals and some tombstones. Outstanding works of art are present: the marble statues of the Palermitan Antonello Gagini and the paintings that he attributed to Marco Pino and Fabrizio Santafede. The Madonna della Neve dominates the altar, it is a valuable round marble sculpture of the16th century; a wooden crucifix of the mid-sixteenth century and a silver-gilt bust of San Leoluca can also be admired. Annexed to the Cathedral is the elegant and imposing Valentianum, a former Dominican monastery rebuilt at the behest of Ettore Pignatelli in 1455 and completely restored in 1982. It houses the Sacred Art Museum, where tourists can appreciate the major sculptures from the Ciborio della Certosa di Serra San Bruno, the sarcophagus of the patrician Decio de Suriano (1488), copes and excellent Southern sacred furnishings. Noteworthy are also the Greek and Roman finds preserved, along with the remains of the ancient city, two temples and its walls. The following churches in the city deserve to be visited: St. Michael, built in Renaissance style in 1519, the Church of the Rosary, erected in 1280, the Capuchin Church and Santa Maria la Nova, in Piazza Diaz, along Corso Umberto.

The port of Vibo Valentia is characterized by a double function: business and tourism. It has discrete trade flows that are closely connected to the productive activities and the industrial estates in the Vibo Valentia province. The incoming commercial traffic consists mainly of fuel and gas for onshore deposits and establishments present in the Vibo Marina area, while the outgoing traffic is represented mainly by industrial products from the neighbouring industrial area (for example by the establishment of the Nuovo Pignone). In addition to commercial activities, within the port there is a significant flux of pleasure boats that may use the essential services, such as reception and refuelling. In summer, this flux reaches high levels of presences and represents an important aspect for the provincial tourism sector. An analysis of the infrastructural system has put in evidence the following critical aspects of the port: the shallow draft does not allow access to large tonnage boats and limits the expansion of commercial traffic volumes; the lack of adequate infrastructure connecting the port with road and railway networks; the only road connections is the S.P. 12, which lacks infrastructure and is always jammed with heavy vehicle traffic directed towards establishments and onshore fuel depots; the existing railway connection between the port area and Vibo Marina Station is no longer used. The port of Vibo Valentia Marina is located in the southern part of the Gulf of St. Euphemia, it is protected to the west by an elbow-shaped outer wharf and to the east by a jetty divided into two quay arms (banchina Generale Malta and Molo Cortese). Inside the harbour basin there are various platforms (Fiume,Tripoli, Benghazi, Papandrea and Buccarelli) for commercial, military and pleasure activities. Going from the root of the General Malta quay towards the Fiume quay there are several floating docks for pleasure boats.

Walking along the picturesque medieval area up to the highest part of the city, tourists can grasp the opportunity to visit the ancient Norman-Swabian castle built by Roger the Norman around 1070, which today houses the State Archaeological Museum Vito Capialbi, from which a unique panorama that embraces the sea and the Serre mountains can be appreciate. The Norman-Swabian Castle is located on the acropolis of the ancient Magna Graecia city and has elements from various eras, the result of different influences undergone over the centuries. The old town, situated at the foot of the castle, includes noble buildings, some of which are inhabited and others are being renovated, and there are also several churches. Of great interest are the two most ancient monuments of the city the Arch Marzano and the Gate Tower of the Count d'Apice (Porta Torre del Conte d'Apice), two doors belonging to the 12th century; furthermore, the remains of "Hipponion" including the walls and some towers are worth a visit. The Museum of Sacred Art also deserves to be visited, it houses paintings and statues from the 16th to the 19th century, including the painting of Pino da Siena (1504), and statues by Antonello Gaggini.