Bova, Province of Reggio Calabria, Calabria

Located about 25 kilometres southeast of the province capital, Reggio Calabria, Bova is one of the Greek-speaking villages of Bovesia, one of the two Griko-speaking areas of southern Italy, the other being the "Grecia Salentina" in Apulia.


  • Altitude: 915 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 450 inhabitants in 2017
  • Zip/postal code: 89033
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0965
  • Patron Saint: San Leo, celebrated on 5 May.

History - Antiquity

Bova has very ancient origins as evidenced by findings of Neolithic weapons in the area. Among the prehistoric peoples who lived in the strongholds and caves of Bova there were the Ausoni, mainly shepherds. Inside the village, in the area of the castle, shards of obsidian were found, which indicates that the area was home to a prehistoric human settlement. In addition, several pottery fragments were found with meander patterns on shiny black background, dating certainly to the first period of Greek colonization (8th-6th centuries BC) when the colony of Delia (or Deri) was founded in the present "San Pasquale" district, near the sea.

History - Roman Times

In Roman times Delia could enjoy Roman citizenship; in the fifth century AD the area began to undergo frequent barbarian raids from the sea. In 440 the Vandals landed on the shores of Calabria and Basilicata ravaging the maritime towns; to escape the devastation, the inhabitants of the coast took refuge into the mountains, safer and easier to defend. That's how the inhabitants of Delia founded the town of Bova.

History - the Middle Ages and Modern Times

From the 9th century Bova was often besieged by Saracen pirates from Sicily, who landed at Cape Spartivento and ravaged the territory. One of the most disastrous Saracen assault was in 953, when many inhabitants were slaughtered and others were sent as slaves to Africa.

Later on, Bova passed under the rule of the Normans and the Swabians, then became a fiefdom of the Archbishop of Reggio, who held the title of Count until 1806, the year of the abolition of feudalism. In addition to numerous natural disasters, in 1943 Bova suffered a severe bombing by the Allies, which greatly damaged the village and made many victims.

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Provinces of Calabria
Calabria region
Surnames in the Provinces of Calabria