Visitors to Hipponion Archaeological Area and its Archaeological Museum will enjoy a full immersion into 8000 years of history!
Veipuna, Hipponion, Vibona, Monteleone: these are all the names of this place that has enjoyed equal strategic importance over the centuries.
This can be easily realized by walking through the Archaeological Park just above the modern city: a wall of no less than 7 kilometres used to encircle an area stretching from the hill to the sea, where the port was located. A mighty wall, interspersed with cylindrical towers, a segment of which can still be seen today, testifies to the lengthy disputes Vibo was involved in throughout its long history.
Being reconstructed every time on exactly the same site, the area still provides valuable evidence from all different ages, collected in the new museum inside the Norman-Swabian castle.
Pyrrhus, Julius Caesar, Cicero came here; Octavian lived here for a year.
The Foundation of Hipponion
Hipponion was founded by the Locrians from Locri Epizephirii probably next to a much older Italic site. Hipponion suffered numerous attacks, evidence of which can be seen in the Hellenistic-era walls built to defend the city. The huge amount of money committed to this endeavor testifies to the wealth of its citizens, linked to its role as a trade and military hub.
A visit to the Archaeological Museum, with plenty of artefacts retrieved during the numerous excavation campaigns or even on more fortuitous occasions, is a must.
The Museum exhibition begins with protohistoric finds, followed by a rich amount of artefacts from the Greek age, featuring grave goods found in the necropolises, as well as items that were uncovered by chance over time and originally kept in private collections, including architectural terracotta and vases. Of interest is an Orphic tablet with instructions to the deceased on how to navigate the afterlife. Other artefacts testify to the presence in this area of the Brettians.
Their relationship with Locri is evidenced by the presence of pinakes, small terracotta paintings with cult images. There are also finds from Sant’Aloe, from the Roman period: vases, grave goods, and marble statues, including an awesome Agrippa bust.
The Monetiere Capialbi is of particular interest, featuring 10,000 coins, including some very rare ones, testifying to the wealth of Vibo in ancient times.