Historical outlines From the past to the present
The arab and angevin influence
In the IX and XI centuries, Castella was occupied by Arabs who created a small emirate in the neighbouring Squillace and were strongly interested in checking the whole Gulf.
When the Arab threat was partially stopped, Castella became, little by little, a populous village where two churches were built: Santa Maria and San Nicola, both under the authority of the "Abbey of Santa Maria della Matina" in San Marco.
Furthermore, we know that about in 1251 at Castella, there were public officials such as: judges, notaries, a clear sign of an active, social and commercial life.
But the serenity and the industriousness of its inhabitants came upsotten in a serious way during the bloody war between Angevins and Aragoneses.
Consequently, Castella was besieged and pillaged by Admiral Ruggiero di Loria one of King Giacomo of Aragona’s soldiers (1290).
The resistence of inhabitants was useless. They could held out only for 8 days before yielding to the violent attack.
Some years later, Castella was a theatre of an other sensational encounter between the troops of Guglielmo Estendard (an Angevin captain who decided to reconqueror all the lands lost by his souvereign) and Ruggiero Loria, who hastly arrived from Messina, in order to defend the territories which were being threatened.
As soon as Gugliemo saw the ships call at the Gulf, immediately decided to set them a trap.
Then he laid in wait close to the shore, but he was so inexpert that instead of catching the enemy in the very act, it was the enemy who overhelmed him.
In fact, Ruggiero having discovered the plan in advantage, decided to attack Estendard, who couldn't tackle the enemy in spite of the long defence and he was taken prisoner.