The Tauriani Archaeological Park is located in Taureana di Palmi. An Italic population lived here who, while keeping close contact with the Greeks, remained independent and maintained their own characteristics. The very name Taureani derives from their totem animal, the bull.
A Strategic Location
Taureana stood on the northern border of the area under Reggio Calabria’s rule. Its elevated position afforded the city control over the entrance to the Strait of Messina from the north and, at the same time, provided an opportunity for trade relations with the Aeolian islands, whose inhabitants would follow the currents to reach the mainland. Their contact with the local population is proved by abundant finds of obsidian, the typical vitreous material of volcanic origin found on the Aeolian islands.
The city was inhabited from the Pre-Greek period until the 10th century AD, when it was destroyed by Arab raids and moved to the present site of Palmi, where many local artefacts are kept in the Antiquarium. The site offers a splendid view of the entrance to the Strait, allowing tourists to experience the same feelings of ancient inhabitants.
Tauriani Archaeological Park: The Mosaic of Casa del Mosaico
Extending over three hectares, the site features the Casa del Mosaico, a building containing a mosaic composed of small polychrome tiles, an urban shrine, a Roman road, a circular theatre which used to seat up to 3,000 people. Inside the park, there is also a Spanish watchtower dating back to the 16th century. It belonged to the defence infrastructure protecting the Calabrian coast from the raids of Turkish pirates.
The Crypt of San Fantino, the Gem of Tauriani Archaeological Park
However, the Crypt of San Fantino, the oldest Christian place of worship in Calabria, is the Park’s most precious gem.This underground building, discovered by accident in the 1970s, is quite unique: while originally a building of ancient Roman worship, Saint Fantinus the Wonderworker was later buried here.