Alarms! Arrivano li turchi

«Arrivano li turchi» was a cry mixed with fear, alarm courage that all the coastal populations of Calabria periodically launched at the sight of the unmistakable ships of pirates coming from Turkey and the North African Arab countries. The inhabitants of Bagnara, like almost all those in the villages of southern Italy, were forced to defend themselves above all by moving away from the shores on which the pirates always managed to descend to plunder the people who resided there. They were long periods of nightmare and terror.

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The pirates were preparing their raids, helped by the speed of their light ships, which departed from Tunis, Algiers, Tripoli and from the Turkish coasts.

In reality they began to infest the seas in search of the great galleons to be plundered of everything they transported (gold, spices, fine fabrics) for the ruling class of the time.

It is said that the Ottoman corsair Khair el Din, better known as Barbarossa, returning from one of his raids in Liguria, had decided to assault Reggio Calabria. It was the year 1513. The pirate fleet approached the Calabrian coasts just near Bagnara.

Khair el Din, in fact, had decided to coast from there on up to Reggio to exploit the strong currents of the Strait so as to get his ships very fast in the roadstead and do not give the population to save themselves.

The crew was tired. Hungry. They had heard of beautiful women who lived in those places and wanted to see with their own eyes if all this was true. The ships began their own cabotage from Bagnara. But Khair el Din was struck by the crags Cher plunged into the sea. He had never seen such things. He wanted to get even closer and was stunned when he saw the valley of the stream Sfalasà. He wanted to stop and get off the ground despite his officers strongly discouraged him. “We can not stop. The currents are favorable, we will arrive in Reggio Calabria in a short time and we will surprise them ». Khair el Din did not want to hear reasons. And so he went ashore with a lifeboat. He ordered his men not to touch either the women or the houses of that population.

He was so attracted to those places that he could not help but move on. It was a world he did not know. A nature that dominated him. And that perhaps for this bothered him. He who felt himself the most powerful and the most terrible man in the seas. A nature that, however, also gave him a feeling of peace and well-being. He was fascinated by those places. And it is said that his men had to work hard to bring him back to the ship to carry out the mission to plunder Reggio. Bagnara was thus spared from Khair el Din.

Even today this corner of paradise preserves intact all its charm of 6 centuries ago.


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