The Madonna of Capo Colonna
The Festival of the Madonna of Capo Colonna is a catholic festival in honour of the Byzantine painting depicting the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus.
Legend has it that, around the year 1500, the painting was thrown into the sea by the Turks, during one of their raids, after they had been unsuccessful in their attempts to set it ablaze.
The painting, darkened by the attempts of the Turkish raiders, was later found by a fisherman near the promontory of Capo Colonna. It was then honoured with the title of the Madonna of Capo Colonna, recalling the place in which it was recovered.
According to the tradition, on the third weekend in May, her effigy is carried in a nocturnal procession from the Cathedral of Crotone to the sanctuary of Capo Colonna (a distance of nearly 12 km), followed by a large crowd of worshippers.
The following day, the image is brought back to its original location in Crotone, by sea, where it is welcomed in a festive atmosphere of applause and fireworks.
Throughout the week, the city is invaded by thousands of visitors, creating a wonderful atmosphere; there’s even a large fair set up along Viale Regina Margherita and near the municipal stadium.
The church on the promontory of Capo Colonna