Tectonic and thermal perturbations, related to emplacement of granodiorite in the upper continental crust, have been investigated in the late-Hercynian basement exposed in southern Calabria (Italy). Here, the structural aureole is marked by the presence of a major rim fold adjacent to the intrusive contact for a length of at least 20 km. Geometrical analysis of the structural aureole and related foliations, lineations and crenulations reveals that the perturbed zone is at least 3000 m wide and characterized by an open synform trending nearly parallel to the intrusive contact. This pattern is compatible with a laccolith-like mode of magma emplacement, related to the accretion of the pluton that shouldered weak phyllitic and slaty wall rocks. The metamorphic aureole, about 1800 m wide, is characterized by biotite, cordierite and andalusite that appear sequentially in spotted schists and hornfelses approaching the intrusive contact. The peak assemblage equilibrated between 535 and 590°C at pressures between 175 and 200 MPa, confirmed by Al-in-hornblende barometry on granodiorite. Microstructural analysis allowed the inference of a time lag between the thermal and tectonic perturbations. With the aid of thermal modelling it was possible to quantify the time required to reach the peak temperature at a distance from the intrusive contact where cordierite spots and andalusite porphyroblasts clearly overprint crenulations. This estimate represents the time limit to accomplish deformation in the inner portion of the aureole and thus indicates a minimum strain rate of 4 × 10−14 s−1 within the country rocks during granodiorite intrusion.