Don’t miss a trip to the old centre to see the perfectly preserved Castello Ducale Ruffo, home to exhibitions and cultural events. The Carmine Church, one of the oldest buildings in Bagnara, is also noteworthy; its façade is covered in Syracuse stone modelled in a neoclassical style. Garibaldi’s Fountain is also worth a visit; it’s built at the spring where, according to legend, General Garibaldi quenched his thirst during his travels. Last, but by no means least, there’s the Torre Ruggiero, or Capo Rocchi, a 7-metre diameter tower which gives a marvellous view of the Strait of Messina.
The people of Bagnara have always been fishermen. You can see the Bagnarote, women who sell freshly caught fish, along the road running by the sea. There are now far fewer women selling fish in this way but the Bagnarota remains the symbol of the true Bagnara woman. The Bagnarote, attractive and strong, carried a large wicker basket full of fresh fish, ready for sale in the markets around Bagnara, on their heads. Every evening, the railway station was full of these women, who waited patiently for the trains that would take them home to the inland and coastal villages where they would then take care of their homes and children.
More than other sectors, the cakes and sweets of the local gastronomy reflect the Arab, Turkish and Oriental domination in general. Bagnara Calabra nougat is a very well-known typical speciality. It’s prepared in traditional small rectangular or round shapes and is white, chocolate or glacé covered. The ‘bacetto’ is a pyramid-shaped piece of nougat covered in dark chocolate and is really special.