About the city of Italy Corigliano Calabro
Corigliano-Calabro is an ancient Italian city, known since the tenth century. It was a troubled time. When the Arabs, advancing on the flat lands, drove the locals to the tops of the mountains.
As befits a medieval town, the settlement has a castle built in the 11th century by the Norman Roberto Givisacre. During his reign, the building served to defend the inhabitants, maintaining a defensive role until the XIV century, after which it was rebuilt and played the role of the residence of Count Roberto Sanseverino. Later the castle passed from one hand to the other many times until in 1979 it was bought by the municipality of the city. It is now a museum.
Approaching the upper town, one can’t help but be taken aback by the quiet streets flowing down like a waterfall. Tiled roofs, old buildings alternately with new ones – all made in one harmonious style and create a single cocktail of antiquity, mixed with modernity.
The apex of this town is crowned by the already mentioned castle-museum.
Church of St. Anthony
The church of St. Anthony was built in the 15th century and was rebuilt in the 18th century, giving it a complete image that can still be seen today. The building is decorated with domes and majolica.
The simplicity of form, reliability and solidity of the walls testify to the simple and hard life of the inhabitants of the village in those ancient times when Italy was torn apart by more powerful neighbors.
Today’s population lives in low apartment buildings under tile roofs. Balconies are studded with floral foam, flowing down in fragrant lace. The buildings have a patina of graying and a tribute to fashionable trends in the form of sections of exposed walls peeking through under a layer of plaster. In this way the naturalness and antiquity of the buildings, which have survived to the present day, are demonstrated.
The narrow serpentine streets are paved with stone blocks. Here and there there is an expression of modern street art on the plaster of the city houses. The young generation of today is trying its hand at graffiti, and old plaster on the walls acts as a canvas.
The city has had an aqueduct since the Renaissance that raises its trough to a height of 20 meters. From it you can conveniently view the uncovered real life of the city’s inhabitants. From above you can see not only the beautiful facades, but also what lies behind them. In the distance you can see the sea, the lapping waves and the lacy edge of the shore.
The architecture is represented by different styles that have prevailed over the centuries. Here and good-quality thick impregnable walls of the Romanesque style and simplicity of the revolutionary XIX century.
The decoration of old churches gives a small number of parishioners. Inside, everything is simple and bright, without unnecessary decorations in the spirit of Franciscan tradition.
La Villa Only 50 m to the beach and sunny terraces. A shady court and a restaurant will help you while away the hot days. For fitness lovers, there’s a gym. Free Wi-Fi is available.
Rooms are comfortable, you can watch TV and escape the heat with air conditioning or a refreshing shower. The windows face the sea. Some rooms have balconies.
Traditionally, breakfast is served as a buffet. You can enjoy the traditional local cuisine. Lunch and dinner are served in the same way. The second floor contains a snack bar.
You can leave a request for free use of sun loungers and umbrellas at the check-in. For children there is a playground, tennis table and barbecue.
The hotel is located in the lower town by the beach on the shore of the Ionian Sea. Just 15 minutes by car and you are in the ancient city of Sybaris. The historic part of Corigliano Calabro is very close, 9 km.
Il Falco e Il Gabbiano Provides bed and breakfast services. The sea and mountains surround it, offering views of the National Parks of Pollino and Sila. Nearby, just 3.5 km away, is the train station of Corigliano Scalo. Rossano is 20 minutes away.
The rooms offer air conditioning and a minibar. A flat-screen TV will ensure evening entertainment. You can see the sea or the mountains from the windows. Some rooms have balconies. The bathrooms are private. A bathrobe and a hairdryer are provided.
In the morning, guests are offered snacks and sweets from local products. The lounge promotes socializing.
Here you can have conversations, watch TV together and read the local press. Free parking is available. The staff can communicate in Italian and English.
Relais Il Mulino This is a former mill from the century before last. It is surrounded by an estate of 100 hectares. Here you can enjoy a swim in the outdoor pool, visit the fitness center and use the free bicycle rental for walks.
Elegantly decorated rooms are combined with modern appliances and free Wi-Fi. The beach is a 10-minute drive away. In this regard, the hotel’s services include a free shuttle to and from the beach. Umbrellas and sun loungers will require an additional charge.
You will find toiletries in the private bathroom. In addition, your apartment has a complete kitchen with a balcony.
Breakfast is freshly baked bread, assorted cheeses and meats. Gourmets will appreciate the Calabrian cuisine. And the products for cooking take the freshest from their own farm.
Train station is 2 km from Relais Il Mulino. The city center is a 10-minute drive away. Parking is free.
Corigliano Calabro, Rossano
It so happens that the object of our travels were the cities that are located on the eastern part of Calabria. Here again today we plan to look at places that are quite close to our hotel.
The first destination planned is a visit to a fairly large town by Calabrian standards, called Corigliano Calabro. This photo is from Wikipedia.
The history of the city goes back to the 10th century, when, during the Arab invasion, the inhabitants of the plains towns moved to higher altitude areas. There is speculation that the castle in this town was built as early as the 11th century by the Normans who ruled here at that time, namely Robert the Gwisakar. Originally this castle, as any other at that time, served purely defensive functions, but in the XIV century it was rebuilt as a residence of Corinthian Count Roberto Sanseverino. In subsequent centuries the castle had many changes of ownership. In 1979 the castle was sold to the municipality of Corigliano Calabro, now a museum in the castle.
We park in the lower town and explore the surrounding scenery.
Immediately adjacent to the parking lot is the Church of St. Anthony, originally built in the fifteenth century, but in the eighteenth century it was rebuilt and acquired its present appearance. The church is given additional appeal by the domes, decorated with majolica.
We begin the ascent to the top, on the way getting acquainted with the life of modern Corigliano.
The ascent to the upper part of town is not very steep. Fortunately, there is a small shady strip outside where you can take shelter from the heat.
Also an extraordinary attraction is the bridge, built at the end of the XV century as an aqueduct. Its height is about 20 meters. On the way back, we will climb this aqueduct.
As we approach the destination, the steepness of the streets increases.
And also the width of the streets decreases.
And finally, we are at the goal.
The museum staff has already gathered for a siesta, but still lingers for us so that we can tour their museum.
I will assume that we are their only visitors for the day.
We try not to keep the gracious museum staff too long, so we take a fairly cursory look around the museum. We take a few pictures from the walls of the fortress and begin to go down.
Particularly inquisitive travelers can explore a few more churches that are available in this city.
We climb up to the aqueduct.
From the aqueduct it is quite convenient to get acquainted with the modern life of the city.
The new and old houses of Corigliano.
View from the bridge to the street on which we ascended and will descend from the town.
We begin to descend, and continue to get acquainted with the architecture.
Another view of the aqueduct.
Back to our parking lot and drive on.
We move to Rossano, one of the centers of Byzantine culture in this part of Calabria, but traces were found of a settlement in this area dating back to the 11th century B.C. Scientists think that there were settlements in this area in the early Middle Ages. Scientists believe that the area was inhabited by the ancient Italian tribe Enotra. Then, the Oenotry almost disappeared, because colonists from Greece came here, and the territory became part of Greater Greece, then the Romans, after them the Byzantine Empire.
It was during the Byzantine Empire that the city of Rossano made the most significant progress, both economically and in the development of various arts.
Before visiting Rossano, we visit the church of S. Maria del Patire, built in the XII century. The road from Corigliano Calabro first goes almost flat, and then begins to gradually climb the serpentine and together the location of the temple reaches a point 600 meters above sea level. The road is very scenic and first runs alongside olive groves, and then, as it climbs, it winds its way through an oak forest. At the same time there are periodic views of the sea, the valley of Sibari, the surrounding hills.
We arrive at the goal and stop at a picturesque parking lot. Needless to say, we are alone again.
The Church of Santa Maria del Patire is all that remains of the huge monastery of the Byzantine monks.
Historians believe there were many such monasteries in these parts. The church was periodically subjected to various kinds of reconstructions during its existence, both in Norman times and in later times. Of the remaining buildings of the monastery almost nothing remains.
This time we were lucky and the temple was open. Moreover, there were two weddings that day. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. We caught the master of ceremonies removing the decorations from one wedding and setting them up for the other. I don’t know what their differences were, but for some reason he rolled up the rug that had been laid out on the floor for the first wedding, and rolled out another one instead.
Inside the church, the 12th century mosaic floor with images of real and mythological animals has been partially preserved.
This is the view of the temple from the front.
The territory of the monastery is in the woods, nearby there are tables and benches where you can have a rest and a snack if necessary and if you have something to eat. There are also views of the Ionian Sea and the Sibari Valley from the hill where the monastery is located. Unfortunately, from the point where we watched, the views are blocked a bit by trees, but perhaps there are other points to watch.
There is a placard that announces that restoration work is underway in the area, but in reality there is no work. Judging by the fact that the work was supposed to end in 2011, it has not started, or it began and ended quickly.
After seeing the remains of the monastery, we go to Rossano for further inspection of the Byzantine period monuments of Calabrian history.
We leave the car in front of the entrance to the old town, and go on through a tunnel like this.
We enter the town and start looking for the main attraction of Rossano, the Oratory of St. Mark.
On the way we look at the other sights of Rossano.
We make the small mistake of assuming by default that the oratory is at the highest point in town. We are used to the fact that in such cities all the most interesting things are at the top.
Fortunately, we realize just in time, and begin to go down.
The Oratory of St. Mark is considered one of the best-preserved Byzantine architectural structures in Italy. The church dates from around the 10th century. It is quite difficult to choose a convenient point to photograph the temple.
The room inside is small and the decoration of the temple is quite modest.
Very close to the oratory of St. Marko is another oratory of the Madonna del Pilerio, but it is very difficult to get to it because the road is littered with garbage.
We walk on and look around.
The first building of the Cattedrale di Maria Santissima Achiropita was also built in the XI century but was given its present form after considerable reconstructions in the XVII-XIX centuries.
The cathedral keeps a deeply revered fresco of the Virgin Mary, which is dated approximately to the VI-VIII centuries. It is believed that this image is not the work of human hands.
Another small Byzantine church of Panaghia (Chiesa della Panaghia), dating from the X-XI centuries.
The interior, like that of St. Mark’s Oratory, is also very small with a minimum of decoration.
It is possible to return back by the stairs.
Passing through the tunnel again.
We take a farewell look at the city and go home.
Italian guidebooks consider an ancient manuscript as the main attraction of Rossano. In 1879, a unique document in Greek, written in the sixth century, was found in the Cathedral. The document is called the Codex Rossanensis and contains the texts of the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Mark. It also includes several miniatures that are thought to be the oldest illustrations of the New Testament. The codex is kept in the cathedral museum, but the museum closed in our face.
The place for dinner tonight we again had to choose on our own. We chose among three places where we had already been. The fish restaurant was nice and crowded, but we had been there twice already, so we excluded it from consideration. At Piero’s on the road to Corigliano the food is good, but the atmosphere of complete solitude in an empty restaurant seems a little boring. At Nonna Caterina both the food is good and the environment is quite life-affirming. We go to Grandma Kate’s.
We found the way to the restaurant pretty quickly and did not get lost anywhere. We parked and went to the restaurant. We met Pietro at the restaurant and he told us that there would be dancing in the restaurant tonight. At first we couldn’t understand what kind of dancing we were talking about, we thought that some folklore group would come and there would be just a concert.
We go to the restaurant, sit at the table and have a look around. In comparison with yesterday’s day, the life in the restaurant is just boiling. First of all there are already a lot of people and some tables are moved so that it is obvious that there will be some events. Gradually the restaurant began to fill up, and we tried to figure out what was going on around it.
In addition to the visitors, who, like us, were occupying one table each, there were three other events planned for the restaurant with clearly more than one guest per table. The largest group was to celebrate the birthday of a little girl of 4-5 years old, we decided on that pretty quickly. The other two groups came, apparently for a family dinner, and one of those groups was the family of the restaurant owners.
The restaurant was gradually getting noisier and noisier, because the Italians even in a small group know how to make a very big noise. The composition of the audience was very mixed, including young children, who also added quite an intense noise effect to the overall cacophony.
We keep waiting for the dance that Pietro promised us, but it never comes. My chair is turned so that I have a good view of the front door to the restaurant, and I keep waiting for it to open and for the local folk ensemble to enter the premises to delight us with their art. The artists never appeared, and we already decided that something did not work out and we will have no dancing today.
But, quite unexpectedly for us, some guests from the neighboring tables came to the middle of the hall, and the party began after all. And that was the kind of dancing Pietro had warned us about. The rest of the time we spent in the restaurant the partying continued practically without a break. Fast music was replaced by slow music, tired dancers were coming back to their tables and the rested ones were taking their places.
We didn’t get to the end of the feast. On the next day was scheduled for tomorrow, so we settled accounts, said goodbye and went home.