In the name of the mother Village of Santa Severina, Altilia rests on the side of the river Savuto, located at an altitude of 650 meters above sea level. Founded before the eleventh century by Eustacchio Greco, Exarch of Emperor Basilio II, who baptized it with the name Alimena, his mother’s name. It was the scene of fighting in the battles between Saracens and Normans, so Giovan Corrado and Altilio dell’Alimena left it and built a new village in a higher and therefore more defensible place. Flourishing trade It was also a colony of Jews and because of this had a remarkable business, Altilia was important in the whole of Calabria for the production of the sieves (tools to separate the flour from the bran). In the area, the presence of a good marble stone and clay allowed the formation of a school of stonemasons very popular and active in the Valley of Crati. The traces of Hannibal The Roman Bridge, said ‘of Hannibal’, was built by the Romans in the service of Via Popilia in 203 BC and destroyed by the same Romans at the time of Hannibal’s defeat, to avoid his escape and prevent him from reaching the sea, it was then rebuilt by engineers of the Carthaginian general for the transit of his army.
The general come from across the Alps Administrative arrangements order prepared in 1799 by General Championnet included it in the canton of Belmonte, later in 1806 it was recognized as a “Place” into the French arrangements order, and then as District in that of 1811 been given also Maione as a fraction, where it is still possible to admire beautiful portals of 700 and 800. It first belonged to the Government and then to the district of Carpanzano, aggregated to Malito in 1928, regained its independence in 1937. The monasteries In ancient times in Altilia there were two important monasteries, one kept by the Augustinians in San Lorenzo, near the cemetery that went unfortunately destroyed by an earthquake in 1148, and the other dedicated to St. Maria delle Grazie run by the Conventual Franciscans. Of this last one, located near the Town Hall, you can still admire the elegant portal and the beautiful triumphal arch, carved in the tufa. The Carbonari’s pride Altilia in 1811 hosted the first sale of Carbonari in Calabria. Vincenzo Federici said Capobianco was the first martyr of the Carbonari, in the events of the Risorgimento participated: Michele Marsico, Vincenzo Marsico, Francesco Federici, Gaspare Marsino and Luigi Caruso.