The village of Bova, small capital of Greek Calabria, is 915 meters above sea level, perched on the eastern slope of the Aspromonte. The town has very ancient origins and sees among the first populations the Ausons who were then subjected by Greek colonists. Bova, in fact, was one of the destinations of the migratory movement from Greece to the west to the point that a legend tells that the town was founded by a Greek queen who once landed decided to establish her home on the summit of the hill.
But today we'll talk about the strange story of the 740.054 steam locomotive located in the center of Piazza Ferrovieri d'italia.
But why there's a sixty tons and nearly twenty feet long locomotive in a small village where there is no railway station nor railway?
Bova is one of those Italian villages which, since the postwar period, have undergone a strong depopulation. At that time the population was more than 2000 inhabitants, today little more than 400. The nearest railway line is the Ionian Railroad that along the coast joins Taranto with Reggio Calabria and passes from the village of Bova Marina, founded at the end of the nineteenth century At the foot of the hill where Bova stands.
So what pushed mayor Pasquale Foti 1987 to bring the 740,054 in 1987 in one of the most beautiful villages in Italy?
It is said that the locomotive symbolizes the Bovesi who worked as railroads workers but it seems that the meaning is another.
Indeed, as we find in other villages of the South affected by a strong emigration, the Bova steam locomotive symbolizes the people who have left the town, most likely by train, even using the same Ionian Railroad.
The strangest thing about the story remains the epic enterprise by the Bovesi in bringing "up to the square" the metal giant with its steam carriage and a piece of rails. The road leading to Bova is steep and rich with bends, so the road had to be enmlarged in several places to allow the convoy to pass.
If you are in Bova, besides visiting the ruins of the Norman Castle with the seventeenth-century Cathedral, built on the remains of an ancient Byzantine church, and the famous "balcony of Bova", a beautiful viewpoint on the coast, you can not miss The opportunity to take a picture next to the impressive 740.054 locomotive.