Praia a Mare

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Praia a Mare
Comune
Comune di Praia a Mare
Coat of arms of Praia a Mare
Coat of arms
Praia a Mare is located in Italy
Praia a Mare
Praia a Mare
Location of Praia a Mare in Italy
Coordinates: 39°55′N 15°46′E / 39.917°N 15.767°E / 39.917; 15.767
Country Italy
Region Calabria
Province Cosenza (CS)
Frazioni Fiuzzi, Foresta, Laccata
Government
 • Mayor Carlo Lomonaco
Area
 • Total 22.91 km2 (8.85 sq mi)
Elevation 5 m (16 ft)
Population (31 May 2010[1])
 • Total 6,805
 • Density 300/km2 (770/sq mi)
Demonym Praiesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 87028
Dialing code 0985
Patron saint Madonna della Grotta
Saint day 15 August
Website Official website

Praia a Mare is a town and comune of the province of Cosenza in the Calabria region of Italy. It is a beach resort on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Geography[edit]

The 2 km long beach is the main attraction for tourists. It is sandy at its northern end but increasingly pebbly moving southwards. During the summer months, the beach is divided into about 50 lidos, although intermittently there are unprotected slivers of beach open to the public at no cost.

At the southern end of the town, about 100 m from shore sits a rock outcrop called Dino Island which features a number of large sea caves, accessible by small craft and paddle boats. At the most southerly extremity of the beach, a medieval tower, built by Byzantine forces to guard the coast, sits on an outcropping of volcanic rock with a commanding view of the sea approaches to Praia a Mare.

About 50 meters up the slopes of a mountain that rises precipitously above the town is another large cave complex, also carved by wave action several million years ago, inside of which is a completely built church of Madonna della Grotta, and an open air sanctuary. Both the church and sanctuary are both in use today. Other sights include the Rocca (14th century), built by the Normans, and the 16th century Fortino ("Small Fort").

Near the sanctuary is the site of an archaeological excavations: findings include bones of a prehistoric shark.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Data from Istat