The hilltop village of Bova at dusk, Calabria

Bova, “Greece” in Southern Italy

Bova  is an ancient town in Calabria, on the far southern tip of the Italian peninsula. Besides being a very scenic place, Bova is also the cultural center of the Calabrian Greek linguistic minority. Located on the top of a hill, from Bova the view extends over a vast stretch of the Ionian Coast and eastern Sicily.

Each year, Bova and the rest of the area hosts the Paleariza Festival. Paleariza, ancient roots, aims to raise awareness for the greek-Calabrian culture.



Bova occupies the top of a hill at 820 m above sea Level.


The hilltop village of Bova at dusk, Calabria

Bova at dusk.


Bova, steamlocomotive.

Bova, steamlocomotive.


Bova, alleyway.



Bova, road signs.

Bilingual road signs in Italian and Greek-Calabrian.


Bova, Camel Dance.

Camel Dance.


14 Responses to “Bova, “Greece” in Southern Italy”

  1. George christakis

    I have done some research about your town and I a very impressed.

  2. frankspinelli

    my name is frank spinelli. my grandfather, filippo spinella, was born in bova marina (family members always chided him for being half “greek”). i’m going to be there in less than one month to look for any relatives. sadly, i do not have much in documentation, but what i do have, thanks to your site here, and the demografica.bovamarina, link may help. meanwhile, i am a professional photographer and enjoyed your photographs of the region. thank you for being there! frank

    • Antonio Violi

      Hi Frank, you picked a good season to go to Calabria. Not too hot yet and the scenery is still quite green. Too bad I’m in Switzerland otherwise we could do a photo tour together. I wish you a good stay. Regards.

      • frankspinelli

        Ciao Antonio,
        Thank you for your response, I am looking forward to trooping the hills of southern Calabria. I am hoping to stay in Bova. Can you recommend a place to stay?
        Regards, Frank

  3. Assias Petros

    I am impressed with the similarity of dialect Grico in Calabria with the Cypriot dialect. I’m sure if Cypriots visit the area, they can easily communicate with the locals.

  4. Anthony Viola


    My name is Anthony Viola. I have been tracing family roots lately, and I found my grandfather’s arrival at Ellis Island with the place of birth listed as Bova Marina. I wonder if you could direct me to any resources that could help me trace his ancestry. I have run into a brick wall at

    PS: I love your work and pictures.

  5. Domenico Russumanno

    Hello Antonio , lascio da parte i commenti riguardo le foto ( bellissime sarebbe troppo modesto)
    volevo sapere se potrei usarne qualcuna nel mio sito, naturalmente ci sara’ un link per il tuo blog. Ciao a presto

    • Domenico Russumanno

      Ciao Nto’ , thank you kindly , by the way I am too a calabrese living in Canada, in case you might be wondering about the site and you wish to take a peek the domain name is Distinti saluti.

  6. Aldo Violi

    Both “Bova” and “Violi” don’t just bring memories, they are part of my genes. Bova by-the-sea (marina) is where I was born, and la Bova della storia, della cultura grecanica e’ da dove provengo. Antonio, e’ possibile che in qualche modo siamo imparentati. Mio nonno, Rocco, nato a Bova nel 1875 era figlio di Santo che a sua volta era figlio di (?).
    Bellissime le foto pubblicate che evocano tanta nostalgia per una cultura le cui tracce si affievoliscono col passar degli anni.
    Aldo Violi
    Toronto, Canada

  7. Michael Bova

    Beautiful photos. I am a Calabrese American whose family is from Roccella Ionica and I visited Bova in 2003. My friend and I took photos of the goats being herded through the area and now I can’t wait to see Le Quattro Volte, an Indie film of a Calabrese mountain goat herder that has gotten great reviews. It has a spiritual flavor to it, great photography. I wonder if it is from this part of Calabria or more north. Anyway, great shots!

    • Michael Bova

      Antonio, I would love to say that I’m related to Raoul Bova but if he’s from Roccella Ionica he’s related to one of the other Bova families. Once again, my compliments to your beautiful photographs.


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