Palmi is one of the most populous municipalities in the province of Reggio Calabria, after the regional main city and faces onto the Tyrrhenian Sea. Local legends narrate that the bright violet waters of the sea in front of Palmi became so, when the beautiful Donna Canfora, dived into these waters, with her colorful tunic, to escape the kidnappers Saracens. The present appearance of this important commercial center is the result of an important reconstruction, after the earthquake of 1908, which follows closely the previous XIX century layout and in which survive traces of its ancient past.
Palmi was founded after the destruction, in the IV century, of the nearby Magna Graecia town of Taureana. The name is already present in a document dated 1310. Destroyed during the barbarian incursion of the XVI century, it was completely rebuilt by Charles Spinelli, Duke of Seminara, of which Palmi was a district. The new town was a surrounded by a series of fortified walls, whose ruins are still visible, and defended by a series of watchtowers built along the coast.
Sites of Interest:
- the Baroque Church of the Crucifix, a single nave plan building with side altars. Onside are preserved several gravestones of the XVII and XVIII centuries, which once covered the tombs beneath the floor of the nave, today covered with transparent crystal glass slates, that allow visitors to admire the remains of older church below. The main altar houses a beautiful XVIII century wooden crucifix;
- the Church del Carmine, which miraculously remained intact during the earthquake of 1908. The miracle is commemorated by a statue of the Virgin located near to the church. The interior features a longitudinal system with XIX century stucco decorations. The large marble altar with a XVIII century balustrade preserves a wooden statue of Our Lady del Carmine;
- the Mother Church, rebuilt after the earthquake of 1908 with forms inspired by the Romanesque art period. Inside are preserved three wooden statues depicting the Assumption, St. Joseph with Child and St. Elias, all dating from the XVIII century. Noteworthy is the sacred effigy of Our Lady of the Letter, with a cloak embroided with silver yarn dating from the XVIII century;
- the Tower of Pietre Nerek, a coastal watch tower that overlooks the Marina of Palmi, also known as the Tonnara;
- the monument of Francesco Cilea, the great composer and author of the Alsaziana and Adriana Lecouvreur, who was born here in Palmi;
- the Cultural Center Leonida Repaci, which features inside the Municipa Library, the Museum of Ethnography and Folklore, an Exhibition of plaster casts, the Antiquarium (with finds of the Neolithic, Medieval and Byzantine periods) and Art Gallery (with important masterpieces by Guercino, Manet, Corot, Guttuso, De Chirico and Manzù).