Stilo is a charming old town located in the Calabria region of Southern Italy. Founded by the Greeks, it later on became a bastion of the Basilian monks, and is presently becoming one of the new tourist havens in Italy.
With its rich history, this town is dotted with ancient buildings and sites. The most famous of these structures is the La Cattolica di Stilo. This church was built in the 9th century. At that time, Calabria was part of the Byzantine Empire. Its name was derived from katholiki, a Greek word used to refer to churches with a baptistery. The La Cattolica is actually smaller than most old churches but its Greek cross shape is of perfect proportions, which makes it one of the most important examples of Byzantine architecture still remaining today. Other historical attractions worth a visit in Stilo are the Church of San Domenico, the Church of San Nicola da Tolentino, the Norman Castle of Roger II, and the Fountain of the Dolphins.
Stilo also has significance in more recent history as it was the site of the Battle of Calabria in 1940. Also known as the Battle of Punta Stilo, this event is one of the most massive naval battles of World War II. Both sides involved (the Italian navy versus the British and Australian navies) claim victory. However, the outcome was more like a draw.
It is best to stay in Stilo for a few days in order to fully appreciate its sights. Hotels and bed and breakfasts in Stilo are known for being clean, comfortable, and with excellent food.