The town's name derives from the modern disposal of the main centre, that rises up like a "staircase" along the side of a hill, that overlooks the Tyrrhenian sea and the plain of the river Lao. It is a town in the province of Cosenza, of very ancient origins, as revealed by archaeological evidence dating back to prehistoric period, recently unearthed in the area. It was inhabited by Byzantines and by the Lombards until the conquest of the Normans. The town submitted the raids of the Saracens and was completely destroyed, until it was completely rebuilt at the foot of its castle.
Sites of Interest:
- The Castle, built on the ruins of a Lombard fortress and enlarged in 1060 by Ruggero d'Altavilla and subsequently restored by the Swabians, the Anjou and the Aragon. From the castle it is possible to admire the ruins of the Grancia, of the XII century Franciscan monastery and the ruins of churches of Saint Lucia, San Marco, San Cataldo and Santa Caterina, built before the year 1000 by the Basilian monks;
- the Church of St. Nicholas in Plateis, built in 1355 on a pre-existing Byzantine chapel;
- the Cathedral Church of St. Mary of Bishop's, founded in the XII century, but rebuilt in the XVII and XVIII centuries;
- the Church of the Spedale of the Byzantine era, as witnessed by the frescoes of the apse;
- the Tower of Guida, called so because, according to tradition, the guard on duty did not warn the local inhabitants of the impending Saracen attack, helping the enemy;
- the Tower Talao, built on an island in the XVI century, now stranded;
- the Tower Cimalonga, of the Aragon period, today seat of the Antiquarium;
- Palazzo of the Princes of the Spinelli Family, which dates back to the XIII century;
- Palazzo Pallamolla (XIV century).