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Calabrian side



Inhabitants: 1.164
Altitude: 756 m above s.l.

The town was founded by Albanian refugees, the same as many other Lucanian and Calabrian burgs of the Park where the arbëreshë culture is still alive (for instance the "Vallje", dances in traditional Albanian clothing are still performed in occasion of the Carnival). Particularly interesting to visit are: the remnants of the Cistercian Monastery (1195), the Sanctuary of S. Maria del Monte, St. John the Baptist Church, the Church of the Conception and the one of Our Lady of Sorrows. There are also many palaces and other civil buildings to admire. As for nature, particularly beautiful are: Taverna and Finghilisi woods, the specimens of pino loricato in Timpone del Pino, and several springs.





Inhabitants: 822
Altitude: 524 m above s.l.

Aieta was founded in the 10th century Byzantine citizens, who escaped Iconoclasm, and built several religious building in which Greek rituals would be performed. Aieta later on became Lauria’s fied, only to be then passed on to the Martiranos, and the Cosentinos. Particular interest attract: St. Mary of the Visitation Church, the church that was built inside the monastery of St. Francis of Assisi’s Order of the Friars Minor, the ruins of the St. Nicholas’ Chapel, St. Vito Martyr’s Chapel, Palazzo Martirano (built in a Renaissance style), the ancient mills and the medieval bridge. Do not miss the festival of fusillo in August.


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Alessandria del Carretto

Inhabitants: 511
Altitude: 1.000 m above s.l.

It was a fief of the Marquis Alessandro Pignone del Carretto. Amongst other attractions, there are: St. Alexander’s Church, the remnants of St. Elijah’s Chapel; the remnants of Via Regia "Heraclea / via Popilia", the Chichidimo and Angiò palaces, the finca-fortresses, the mills and the ancient hydroelectric central (early 20th century). As for natural beauties, charming are: Mount Sparviere, Valle del Saraceno, springs and rivers. Every year one of the most evocative arboreal rituals in southern Italy is celebrated: the Festa dell'Abete. Another main event in Alessandria del Carretto is the celebration in honor of St. Alexander.



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Belvedere Marittimo

Inhabitants: 9.409
Altitude: 150 m above s.l.

There are still traces of the Norman and Longobard occupations here, but also signs that Basilian monks resided in this burg. The most interesting places to visit here are: Church of S. Maria del Popolo, Church of the Madonna del Rosario (with the fresco that portrays St. Margherita da Cortona), Church of Our Lady of Grace, Church of SS. Crucifix, the Convent of the Capuchins (16th century), and the  Aragonese castle. In addition to the towers (of Paolo Emilio Emperor, Tirone) and the palaces (Granata, De Velutis, Spina, De Novellis, Leo), also badlands are particularly fascinating. The main event here is the sea-procession of the Madonna di Porto Salvo.

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Inhabitants: 2.289
Altitude: 400 m above s.l.

Built in the 14th century, this small town’s main attraction are: the ancient Church of the Madonna del Rosario (1091) the Church of Our Lady of Graces (1446), the Convent of the Capuchin Friars (1597), the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Neve (13th century), and Palazzo Ducale (16th century). However, Buonvicino doesn’t lac of beautiful landscapes, such as: the splendid Corvino Gorge, full of stalactites, the numerous springs, Valle del Drago, Vallone dello Sfrasso, Vallone del Cisso, Serra Commaroso, Valle della Frattina, Valle di Guida.


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Inhabitants: 22.383
Altitude: 362 m above s.l.

It is one of the most populous towns of the area. The first traces of a residential nucleus date back to the Lower Paleolithic (150,000 BC). Castrovillari has been a dominion of Normans, Swabians, Angevins and Aragonese, until in 1806 it was passed on to the Count of Cariati. Artistically and architecturally remarkable are the Church of S. Maria del Castello, surrounded by ancient hermit caves, S. Giuliano’s Church (1264), St. Francis’ Convent (1220), St. Joseph’s Church, and the extraordinary Aragonese Castle. A honorable mention goes to the natural beauties: Mount Pollino, Gola del Coscile). The main event is Carnival.

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Cerchiara di Calabria

Inhabitants: 2.439
Altitude: 1.439 m above s.l.

The very first traces of a residential nucleus date back to the Paleolithic. Cerchiara di Calabria was a fief of the Clermont family. There are numerous places of worship here: Sanctuary of S. Maria delle Armi, whose architecture is particularly interesting, the Convento degli Osservanti, the ruins of St. Andrew’s Monastery, St. Anthony’s Church, St. Peter, S. James and S. Francesco di Paola’s churches. Unique landscapes are Mount Sellaro, woods Cernostasi, Serra di Paola, S.Venere, Fagosa, and the sulfur springs Grotte delle Ninfe. The main even in Cerchiara is Carnival, where the traditional bagpipe is played.




Inhabitants: 921
Altitude: 450 m above s.l.

It was built thanks to the Sanseverino family: in the 15th century they allowed Albanian refugees to live in the area. It is an Albanian-speaking territory. Upon visiting, one cannot miss: Church of Santa Maria Assunta (17th century), the ancient stone fountains (Kroi lat, Kroi ndë mest and Kroi qacës), the water mills, Filanda Filardi, which faces the Raganello river, the Raganello Gorges, which are surrounded by woods, Lake Pittelli, and Grimavolo stream. Main events are: the rites performed during the Holy Week and Easter, which are characterized by songs, dances and clothing that are typical of the arberëshë culture; Arbëreshë Ferragosto.


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Francavilla Marittima

Inhabitants: 2.993
Altitude: 273 m.above s.l.

Founded in the 8th century, Francavilla Marittima has been, for centuries, a merely agricultural center. The religious architectural heritage includes the Church of the Madonna degli Infermi, the Church of the Madonna del Carmine, the Mother Church, the St. Lucy’s Chapel, and S. Emiddio’s Chapel. Interesting historical palaces are: Rovitti, De Santis, Rizzi, Montilli. As for landscapes: Bosco Cernostasi and Bosco Drisa, Raganello stream, which has access to the most beautiful gorges in Europe, "La Scosa" spring. Main events is Carnival, with the floats, and the "ruppa pignate" party.

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Inhabitants: 2.289
Altitude: 486 m.above s.l.

The origins are unequivocally arberëshë (16th century), in fact the buildings still bear evident traces of Albanian culture. The Byzantine-style Church of Eianina and SS. Peter and Paul’s Church (12th century) are also worth visiting, same as the Church of S. Maria Assunta and the Church of Purgatory. We recommend excursions on the top of Mount Manfriana and Mount Moschereto, in the Bosco La Fagosa, and on the banks of the Eiano River. The main events in Frascineto are the arberëshë festivals, the celebration in honor of St. Basil, Easter rituals and the commemoration of the dead, which follows the Orthodox ritual.


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Inhabitants: 2.277
Altitude: 465 m.above s.l.

The first traces of a residential area date back to the 9th century, and are to be attributed to Basilian monks. Grisolia was a fief of numerous families until the Napoleonic era., From a historical-architectural perspective, very interesting are the Sanctuary of St. Rocco (1000 d.C), St. Anthony’s Church, St. Sophia’s Church, St. Leonard’s Church, with what remains of the Byzantine frescos that had once been there. The majestic Palazzo Ducale (15th century) has become home to the Ethnographic museum. The area is part of the Orsomarso mountains. A honorable mention goes to Acqua di Pedarrone, Varco del Palombaro, Punta Limite, Cozzo Laimi and Cocuzzo.



Laino Borgo

Inhabitants: 1.997
Altitude: 271 m above s.l.

Probably founded before the 6th century a.C., the village was an important military and administrative center in the Lombard age. Some of the religious buildings built back in the day are still accessible today: Church of the Holy Spirit, the Sanctuary of S. Maria delle Cappelle (made of 15 tiny chapels, some of which can welcome only one visitor a time), the Church of Purgatory and the Church of S. Maria La Greca. Beautiful landscapes are: Gada, Rossino and Timpone di Castrocucco mountains, Lao’s Gorges. The main events are the “Judaic” tragedy during Holy Friday, and the arboreal rite of the "ntinne".

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Laino Castello

Inhabitants: 872
Altitude: 545 m above s.l.

Laino Castello rose on the top of a hill in the 7th century. The ruins of the feudal castle and of the walls are still visible. Inside there are precious works, such as a triptych, and a baptismal font that dates back to the 16th century. Particularly important is St. Theodore’s Church, with the crenellated bell tower and the Byzantine dome. There are numerous historic palaces of great architectural importance: Attademo, Chitarelli, Rocca, De Franco, Palese-Lo Passo, Forastieri. As for nature, there are: Lao river, with the great Gorges, La Destra, and Colle S. Teodoro springs.

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Lungro (Ungra)

Inhabitants: 650
Altitude: 3.260 m above s.l.

Before the arrival of Albanian refugees, in 1200, the burg’s economical development depended on the monastery. Like many centers in this area of ​​the Orsomarso mountain complex, this too preserves many traces of the presence of Basilian monks, which can be better seen in the Cappella della Concezione, where there are several frescoes that seem to have taken inspiration from the Byzantine style (they’re usually attributed to Pietro Cortese). Also worth visiting is the majestic Cathedral of S. Nicola di Mira. Nature lovers may enjoy Piana di Tavolara Bosco Sant'Elia. As for folklore, some Byzantine rituals are still performed during the Holy Week.

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Inhabitants: 1.238
Altitude: 360 m above s.l.

The town is named after the homonymous Norman technique for encastellation (end of the 11th century). It was a fief of some important families such as the Carafa, the Matera and the Lagni. Those who visit this burg may admire the Church of S. Maria del Piano, which was built on a pre-existing temple, and contains many interesting Renaissance frescoes, St. Dominic and St. Peter’s churches (the latter one has Italian-Greek origins), the Chapel of the Madonna del Carmine, plus Palazzo Ducale and Porta della Terra. Do not miss the beautiful landscapes you can admire from Piazza Croce, Piazza Castello and from the Rifugio in Anzirrone.



Morano Calabro

Inhabitants: 4.608
Altitude: 694 m above s.l.

Morano Calabro was originally inhabited by Romans, and in the Middle Age it became a fief of the Morano family, only to then pass on to the Fuscaldos, the Sanseverino and the Spinellis. The ruins of the ancient castle date back to the Norman age. Religious buildings to visit are: the Collegiate Church of St. Peter and Paul (the oldest church of Morano), St. Nicholas’ Church, St. Bernardino’s Convent and Church, the Collegiate Church of St. Mary Magdalene, and the Convent of Collereto. As for landscapes, we have: Mount Pollino, Piano Ruggio, the Campotenese plain; the forests of Monaco, Pollinello and della Principessa are ideal destinations for nature lovers and excursions.




Inhabitants: 3.186
Altitude: 850 m above s.l.

Some remnants of the Greek-Roman age trace its origins back to long before the Lombards came. S. Maria del Colle’s Church is one of the most beautiful testimonials of the classic age as well as Middle Age: rich decorations,  baroque interiors, a marvelous marble altar. Among other things, the Church of Santa Apollonia and the one of the Madonna del Suffragio are an absolute must upon visiting Mormanno. There are also palaces: Alberti, Sarubbi, D'Alessandro, Rossi. We recommend excursions through the woods of Palanuda, Piano Carpino, Piano Gammio, Monte Cerviero. The main event is the celebration in honor of St. Joseph.




Inhabitants: 1.283
Altitude: 384 m above s.l.

The village was founded in 1000 d.C., on the ruins of a Basilian convent. The museum in the church of Santa Croce preserves many remnants of Mottafollone’s past (chains, swords, a cinerary urn, an ancient wooden statue and much more). Little to nothing is known of the medieval castle. Religious sites to visit are: St. John the Baptist’s Church, the Cappella del Carmine, the Mother Church of Santa Maria della Motta, Santa Maria Assunta’s Church in Capo d'Acqua, St. Anthony’s Abbey. When it comes to landscape, impossible to miss is Pietra Portusata, a large cavity on Montea’s slopes.





Inhabitants: 1.337
Altitude: 131 m above s.l.

The town was founded in the Roman age, it’s always been a crossroads of peoples, and a refuge for Basilian monks. The latter ones have left proof of their presence in the religious buildings, such as: Church of S. Maria di Mercuri, the ruins of the Castle of Mercurion and S. Cosimo’s Chapel. The territory is part of the Orsomarso mountains and is home to one of the richest and most fascinating landscapes in southern Italy: the Oriented Natural Reserve "Valle del Fiume Argentino". Here wild nature prevails, offering great examples of flora (pino loricato) and fauna (native roe deer).

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Inhabitants: 778
Altitude: 208 m above s.l.

The same as the other towns of the Mercure area in which Basilian monks have resided, Papasidero features many important religious buildings, such as: Sanctuary of Maria SS. of Constantinople, St. Sophia’s Chapel and St. Constantine’s Church. The ruins of the Swabian castle, the city walls and the abbey of San Pietro il Grasso are also interesting sites to visit. The "Valle del Fiume Lao" Nature Reserve stands out for its great floral and faunal diversity. The most important event of the year is in June, when Papasidero celebrates its patron, St. Anthony, and there’s the "parade of beams".


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Inhabitants: 817
Altitude: 950 m above s.l.

Founded in the 15th century by the Albanian refugees that came here after their hero Giorgio Kastriota Scanderbeg’s death, the town was one of the fiefs belonging to the Sanseverino family. There are many places of worship in this Albanian-speaking linguistic island: San Rocco’s Church, the Chapel of Our Lady of Constantinople, St. John the Baptist’s Mother Church. Here also elegant palaces built in the 18th century can be found. And don’t forget the panoramas: Bosco della Montagnola and Lago Forano. In Plataci, same as in other towns in the area, Basilian traditions remain vivid in the commemoration of the dead, which is done following the Greek Orthodox ritual.

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Praia a Mare

Inhabitants: 6.805
Altitude: 5 m above s.l.

In the 10th century there was a Basilian monastery that later on became the Christian sanctuary of the Madonna della Grotta. There’s solid proof that the caves surrounding Praia a Mare have been inhabited since the Upper Paleolithic. Nature and history here are the main attractions: Sanctuary of the Madonna della Grotta, the Castle, the Fiuzzi Tower, and Dino’s Island’s Tower. On Dino’s Island you may also admire beautiful caves and protected species such as the Primula palinuri (flowers), and Alcyonacea (corals).



San Basile

Inhabitants: 1.062
Altitude: 540 m above s.l.

The village’s name inevitably gives away its Basilian origins as well as the presence of the monastery of S. Basilio Craterere, around which the first residential nucleus developed. In the 15th century the arrival of Albanian refugees helped to increase population. The numerous religious buildings in San Basile are impossible to miss upon visiting: St. John the Baptist’s Church, Monastery of S. Maria Odigitria, the private chapels that belonged to the Bellizzi, Tamburi and "Don Cicillit" families. Sorgente della Fata is one of the most beautiful natural panoramas in San Basile. Amongst the most important events here there are the Procession of Kristos Anesti and the celebration in honor of S. Maria Odigitria.

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San Donato di Ninea

Inhabitants: 1.473
Altitude: 720 m above s.l.

According to many scholars, the small town is to be identified with the ancient city of Ninea. The historical-architectural heritage is particularly rich: Church of the SS. Trinity or Church of Casale, Church of the SS. Assunta, Church of Motta, St. Michael Archangel’s Sanctuary, S. Donato’s Chapel, Church of SS. Salvatore, S. Domenica’s Oratory, S. Vito’s Church, Palazzo Monaco, Baronial Palace and Castello. Do not miss the splendid landscapes of Cozzo del Pellegrino, Mount La Mula and Bosco della Cava; also the remnants of the ancient mines in Bocca della Cava are interesting.



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Inhabitants: 1.381
Altitude: 275 m above s.l.

It was probably founded by some people that took refuge here from Civitas when Benevento county’s Lombards destroyed it in 680. The Angevin Castle is still enchanting, with its large loggias, not to mention the Church of S. Maria della Neve (13th century), S. Francesco di Paola’s Convent, St. Joseph and St. Michael’s chapels, the Chapel of the Madonna del Carmine. Because it’s situated in the middle of Orsomarso mountains, Sangineto offers spectacular views of the surroundings (from Cozzo La Limpa and Timpa di Civita) and many waterways (Sorgenti Carriero and Petrosa, Torrente Sangineto and Lago La Penna).

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San Lorenzo Bellizzi

Inhabitants: 715
Altitude: 830 m above s.l.

Its origins are uncertain, what is sure is that San Lorenzo Bellizzi became autonomous only in 1806, when feudalism was abolished. Interesting sites to visit are: the Mother Church of S. Lawrence, the Madonna del Carmine Chapel, the Church of the Crucifix, St. Anne’s Church, and the remnants of the ancient mills. Extraordinary natural panoramas: Mount Pollino, Timpa S.Angelo, Raganello gorges, Fagosa, Principessa, Serra di Paola and Montagnella woods. Peculiar is the stone ring called St. Anne’s Eye. The main feasts: the procession with the "cirji" (August 24th), Carnival, with the "ngaudarott" parade.



San Sosti

Inhabitants: 2.105
Altitude: 363 m above s.l.

The origins are, supposedly, to be found in the Saracen invasion. Later on, the arrival of Albanian refugees further increased the population. If you come to San Sosti, you can’t help but be mesmerized by Pettoruto’s Sanctuar, San Sozonte and S. Nicholas’ abbeys, the remnants of the Rocca Castle, and last but not least, the enchanting Cozzo del Pellegrino, Il Castagneto, and Pinete dell’Antro della Maschera. Striking are the Photo:


Sant'Agata di Esaro

Inhabitants: 1.952
Altitude: 450 m above s.l.

It is common belief that the village was founded during the siege conducted by Roberto il Guiscardo (6th-11th century). From a historical perspective, the most interesting places are the convent and the cloister of S. Francesco di Paola. He probably was the saint suggested the location to the friars. Honorable mentions go to: the Mother Church of the Annunciation, S. Maria delle Grazie’s Church, St. Lucy’s Church. Do not miss the spectacular gorges and waterfalls of the Asaro, the Tavola dei briganti, the unique stone block called Il Dito del Diavolo, and the enchanting Grotta della Monaca.



Santa Domenica Talao

Inhabitants: 1.282
Altitude: 304 m above s.l.

The town, which started developing at the beginning of the 17th century, saw a considerable rise in its agricultural and commercial interests thanks to which many manors were built. A fine example is Palazzo Campagna, with its bossed portal and the rounded arches loggias. Interesting to see are also St. Joseph’s Church, the Church of the Holy Rosary, St. John’s Chapel and the Fossa dei Morti. There are also many woods (Jarmi, Cerzeto, Prestioli) and springs (Acqua della Cerza, Fontana del Prete, Fontana Boy, Fontana di Sitta etc.).




Inhabitants: 3.915
Altitude: 692 m above s.l.

The village was originally thought as a bulwark, built on the ruins of the ancient Sestio. The town then developed in the Middle Age. Saracena’s architectural works are also impressive, the most interesting ones are: the ancient Church of S. Maria del Gamio and the Church of S. Leone Taumaturgo (both belong to the Byzantine age), the Church of S. Maria delle Armi (Middle Age), the chapels of the Madonna of Constantinople and Santa Maria dell'Alto. The territory is part of the mountains Orsomarso and Verbicaro. A honorable mention goes to the Ascia di Scardiello, which is a limestone block on the bottom of the Scardiello relief.




Inhabitants: 6.186
Altitude: 300 m above s.l.

It probably derives from the ancient city Blanda Julia, Greek-Roman age. Some refugees from Blanda might have taken refuge here to escape Saracens. Very interesting is the religious and civil architectural heritage, starting from the Mother Church St. Peter the Apostle (14th century). Also worth seeing is the Church of the Annunciation (18th century), the Purgatory Chapel, the Cappella Mater Domini, Palazzo Ducale and Palazzo Lomonaco, where Giuseppe Garibaldi stayed in 1860. The main religious festivals are those that celebrate S. Blaise, S. Anthony, and St. Michael.



Inhabitants: 3.142
Altitude: 428 m above s.l.

The village may have been founded in medieval-barbaric times. In the beginning it was only a castle surrounded by high walls. Verbicaro offers many attractions to visitors, such as: the Dominican  Monastery (16th century), St. Lucy’s Church, S. Maria del Rito’s Church, S. Francesco di Paola’s Church, the Church of the Madonna del Carmine, the Mother Church of S. Maria del Piano. Verbicaro also offers beautiful landscapes, such as: Mount Trincello and the prairies of Piano la Sepa. The rituals that occur during the Holy Week, both religious and non-religious, are also charming to see.

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