Ruins of Rome

10 Ruins of Rome: Why is Ancient Rome in Ruins? Cirella Ruin

Ruins of Rome: Cirella’s Ruins

Cirella’s Ruins : Rome in ruins

Cirella is an hamlet of Diamante(CS) in Calabria.

Today the city center extendes on the coast as it was for the first roman settlement (Cerillae), but from the 9th century to the beginning of the 19th century, the village stood on the Carpinoso mountain, naturally defended and outstretched towards sea. Ruins of Rome

When the Roman Empire falls, Cirella, under the Lombard dominion,  became a medieval village. The countinuous saracene raids, occurred about the 9th century, backed away the villagers from the coast to a position more perched and easly defensible.  Ruins of Rome

The reasons that led to the ruin of the fief, were first the pestilence (1656) and after earthquakes that struck Calabria and lasted for about a decade (1638/1738); the settlement will be permanently destroyed and abbandoned about 1808, when British navy bombed the French outpost, that was installed there two years before. Ruins of Rome

The structures, after the abadonment, were spoliated and used as stone quarry, today we can see the remains of :

  • The Castle tower (photo 1), probably built from the prince Fabrizio Carafa in the 18th century. Ruins of Rome
  • The church of San Nicola Great (photos 2-3), built between the 14-15th centuries which frescoes are today  partly guarded in the church of Santa Maria de’ Flores, in the current city center
  • The church of Annunziata (photo 4), of an uncertain historical period and of which remains only a little altar and pews for faithful. Ruins of Rome, Rome in ruins.
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Cirella’s ruins
Cirella’s ruins

On the March of 2014, was firmed a decree from Dario Franceschini, the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Turism, that foresaw a intervention from about two milion euros, to recover the area of Cirella’s ruins, infact we can read:“[..]For Calabria are in program interventions for a total value of 26,8 milion euros. The interventions programmed in the Calabrian territory are 14 and concern.. the recovery of Cirella’s ruins and interventions for the Gerace’s village and for the historical center of Catanzaro and Cosenza[1][…]”; this decree authorized, moreover, 46 new restoration interventions, for regions of Campania, Calabria, Puglia and Sicily, for a total vew of over 135 milions euros.

Actually between 2015 and 2016, was carried out a project for the recovery and enhancement of Cirella’s ruins, were installed illustrative panels to inform visitors about the history and structure of the ancient medieval village and in 2017, thanks to memorandum protocol between Green Calabria (regional agency for the forestation and mountain policies) and the regional secretary of MiBACT of Calabria, the regional agency engage to create fences, inclosure and a path to reach ruins, as well as benches and maintenance of green areas.


Today the ruins are completly abandoned to themselves, the access is free, there isn’t track of infopoint, grass is uncultivated and from the summer of 2019, when I visited ruins for the first time, welcomed me a scenario that I would define rather martian, because part of vegetation, previously burned,left out of sight a dry and bare soil (photos 5-6). Ruins of Rome.

The thing that is more horrofying is the presence of electricity pylons, (photos 7-8) which suspended wires quietly pass on the turist’s head; the way to get to the top of the castle, is practicable only in part, because the ground is steep. Ruins of Rome.

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Only the breathtaking panorama, as we can see in photos 9-10, can make you forgot for a moment the neglect that pervades an archaeological complex of great potential, currently to “guard it”, remains as ghosts the illustrated panels and the hum of the trellis. Read More History of Spain. Ruins of Rome.


Chiara Madalese 

Archeologa presso Acea ATO 2, esperta in archeologia giudiziaria.
Articolista per Archeomedia

Naples, Campania, Italy 

Chiara Madalese
Chiara Madalese


[1] I Cantieri del POIn MiBACT Programma Operativo Interregionale Attrattori culturali, naturali e turismo FESR 20017-2013, Asse 1, Vol.2 (pp.78-79) 2017. Ruins of Rome.

[2] Protocollo d’intesa Firma del decreto. Ruins in Rome.


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