Praia a Mare is a small city located on the Tyrrhenian coast inbetween the borders of Calabria and Lucania, a popular destination for thousands of tourists that choose this vacation spot to spend their holidays. The coast has outstanding beaches, a mixture of sand and gravel, while the blue of the crystal-clear sea enchants the tourists who want to enjoy a relaxing holiday. A few km away off the coast the small Island of Dino stands out: it is a rocky mountain covered by a lush vegetation and surrounded by the blue water of the sea and it hides stunning sea caves. The best known that must be explored are The Grotta Azzurra, whose name recalls the blue of the sea that envelops the cave, the Grotta delle Cascate, which has on the inside rose-coloured rocks and stalagmites, and the Grotta del Leone, which takes its name from the shape of one of the cliffs which evokes the figure of a lion. One of the most popular places of worship is the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grotta, whose name stems from the fact that it is placed in a cavity inside a hill. Legend has it that in 1326 a Turkish ship suddenly stopped before the Island of Dino; the crew thought it was due to the statue of the Virgin they were carrying on board that belonged to the Christian captain of the ship. The captain, reluctant to throw it into the sea, decided to abandon the statue on a large boulder where it was found by a speech-impaired shepherd that lived in Aieta. The shepherd, once returned to the village, regained the power of speech and announced the statue discovery. The revelation of the miracle initiated the cult of the Madonna della Grotta, which became since then the saint patron of the town.
Praia a Mare presents several buildings constructed with the aim to defend the coast from the attacks of the enemies coming from the sea: some exemples are the so-called Rocca di Praia, built by the Normans in the 14th century and the Fortino, built by the lords of Aieta to defend the coast. Torre di Fiuzzi, built on the sea stack of the cliff of Fiuzzi with the aim of protecting the coast from the Saracen invasions. In more recent times another type of constructions were made, the so-called Casematte, a sort of war bunkers altough external, used during the Second World War as a defence post to protect the coast.