The village of the almond trees A legend narrates that Epeo, the famous builder of the Trojan Horse, caught in a storm near the coast of Calabria, promised the goddess Athena to build a city devoted to her in the place where he would land safely. The request was granted so he built it, calling it Lagaria. The city of Magna Graecia later became Amendolara, a name probably deriving from the Latin amygdalaria (almond trees), with reference to the high production of almonds. The mythical island of OgygiaEpeo has probably not been the only Greek who arrived accidentally on the beach of the Calabrian town. Another great traveler handed down by Hellenic tradition stayed for about eight years on the so-called Shallows of Amendolara, a strip of land flooded by the sea, 10 miles off the coast of the ancient Lagaria; following the route described by Homer in the Odyssey you might come to the conclusion that the submerged island is the mythical island of Ogygia, where Odysseus would have stayed as a guest of the nymph Calypso.
Warships on the seabed
Some historians tell us, however, that in 377 BC, the fleet of Dionysius the Elder, consisting of 300 warships, would have sunk in these waters. What is certain is that the area was already inhabited during the Bronze Age: in the oldest and most characteristic part of the country, the Rione Vecchio, stood the village inhabited by Protohistoric Enotri.
Religious life in the early Middle Ages
After undergoing the Roman domination, Amendolara had a flourishing religious life first with the Byzantine activity, then the Cistercian one, as evidenced by the numerous churches and hermit caves scattered over most of the territory. With the construction of the castle, around the year one thousand, began to appear Swabian dynasties, Angevins and the various Seigniories.