Sea and mountain


Built on a pleasant system of terraces that gently descend from the slopes of Mount Sant’Elia to the Tyrrhenian Sea, Palmi is one of the most vibrant cities of the Costa Viola and the Tyrrhenian Reggio, rich in history, natural beauty, and breathtaking views. Inhabited since the Bronze Age, as evidenced by discoveries in the numerous caves surrounding the area, Palmi stands on the ruins of the mythical city of Taureana, destroyed by Saracen pirates in 951 AD. Periodically struck by earthquakes and natural disasters, yet always rebuilt by its industrious inhabitants, the city now features a unique structure of terraces offering exceptional views of the Strait of Messina, the Aeolian Islands, and Capo Vaticano, connected by cliffs, rocky shores, and small beaches. The coast stretches from Capo Barbi, the first bastion of the Costa Viola, and embraces Punta Motta, Marinella Bay, and Tonnara Bay, dotted with sea caves, coastal caves, beaches for all needs, and imposing rocks that rise above the crystal-clear waters.

The sea

From the Marina di Pietrenere to the Rada di Cavaianculla, the sea dominates the landscape like a leading actor can dominate a scene. It showcases a spectacle of colors that change with the depth and the course of the day, as well as with the varying angles of sunlight. In the play of shadows and light reflecting on the coast plunging into the waters, the colors range from innocent, inviting, and friendly crystalline transparencies of shallow waters, to light blue revealing silhouettes of fish like shining blades, and the dark blue of Motta or Punta Arcudaci, so dense, mysterious, and impenetrable that it can repel or frighten like a nightmare.
The beach, with its white sands, the promenade, the beach resorts, and restaurants, stretches for several kilometers from north to south between the marinas of Pietrenere and Tonnara, with the now-legendary Scoglio dell’Ulivo.
It is precisely from the Scoglio dell’Ulivo that a series of small and solitary coves alternate, creating one of the most evocative stretches of cliff known: The Costa Viola.

The mountain

Mount Sant’Elia, the last Aspromonte foothill extending into the Tyrrhenian Sea, is just over 500 meters above sea level and is about 9 km from Palmi.

At the top of the mountain, nature offers a unique spectacle. There is no other place where one can embrace such an extensive horizon, such a vast expanse, and feel an intense sense of awe and wonder. To the west, Mount Etna, Messina, the Strait, Ganzirri Lakes, and the Sicilian coast up to Punta Milazzo; the Aeolian Islands, Vulcano, and Stromboli; Scilla and Bagnara on the Costa Viola with Marinella di Palmi below; to the north, the Tonnara beach up to Mount Poro and Capo Vaticano. At the foot of Mount Sant’Elia, Palmi offers a separate spectacle, nestled like a lady among gardens, palm trees, and olive trees that reach down to the sea. To the west, the Piana opens up, a 1000-square-kilometer amphitheater with cities scattered among the olive groves extending to the slopes of Aspromonte; a green sea that serves as a centerpiece to the blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

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Photo credits

Thanks to:

Giancarlo Parisi
Eugenio Crea
Francesco Iannelli
Associazione Fotografica Imagorà
Giuseppina Arena
Giulia De Marco