Cariati is a historical and cultural town located on a hill that faces the Ionian Sea, along the coastal stretch called “Costa dei Saraceni” (Saracen coast): it is a wild coastal area rich in Mediterranean scrub and thick pine woods, where promontories and gulfs alternate. Magna Graecia remains as well as Medieval and Byzantine evidences are visible all along the coast. The picturesque old town, characterized by windy narrow streets, has the structure of a Medieval fortified city: the undamaged town walls include eight towers that face the sea, which render Cariati a unique place in Calabria and Southern Italy. The origins of Cariati are very ancient. The antiquity of the settlement was evidenced by archaeological rests of Pre-protohistoric Age, found near the town at the beginning of the century. Close to the town walls, clay fragments, dwelling remains, unrefined big amphorae, coins from Metapontum, Kroton and of Roman age were discovered. Cariati became an episcopal center in 1437, under Pope Eugene IV, after the formal request by the princess Covella Ruffo who was the feudatory of the time. Cariati Diocese first included the towns of Scala Coeli, San Morello and Terravecchia. In 1575, Pope Gregory XIII, after a long dispute between the Dioceses of Santa Severina and Rossano, entrusted the Church of Cariati to Santa Severina. After a time, the Dioceses of Cariati and Cerenzia, that was already a part of Santa Severina diocese, were united. In 1818, Pope Pius VII and King Ferdinand of the two Sicilies signed an agreement to create the new diocese of Cariati, after the suppression of Cerenzia, Strongoli and Umbriatico. The new dioceses included 20 towns, most of which belonging to today’s Province of Crotone. On April 4th 1979, Pope John Paul II, by the decree “Quo Aptius”, suppressed the Diocese of Cariati and united the towns of the former Province of Catanzaro (today’s Province of Crotone) to the Diocese of Crotone, and the centers in the Province of Cosenza (Terravecchia, Cariati, Scala Coeli) to the Diocese of Rossano. The union was officialized in 1986.