Morano Calabro – “A particularly characteristic village at the foot of the Pollino in Calabria”. One of the jewelries of Morano Calabro is its natural beauty! Surrounded by an almost untouched nature, the city offers unique and unforgettable attractions. Let´s go?! Let’s know Morano Calabro? Stay with us and make the best of boot country! Here at Traveling to Calabria you make the trip of your dreams!!! Are you staying in Calabria? Looking for a hotel? Click here and discover best accommodation options in Calabria!
A little more about Morano Calabro…
The small village of Morano Calabro, which stands in a hill, 694 meters above sea level, is a very unique and is, definitely, one of the most fascinating centers of the Pollino National Park. Morano Calabro is considered one of the most beautiful villages in the whole Italy, and its charm comes from its particular position, which creates spectacular scenery throughout the year, whether it is covered in green plains in spring, or when it is covered with snow in the winter. The characteristic houses seem to pile up on top of each other, filling the lower part of the column with broad steps that gradually narrow, forming a kind of pyramid; above, which is the old castle of Norman origin, is it called a “crib“, because at first glance it looks like a, well, a crib.
The location was an advanced strategic support, at a cultural and commercial crossroads, and during the period of Magna Graecia (6th century BC), it was one of the paths between Ionian and Tyrrhenian. The names Muranum and Summuranum go back to the Roman period, from which also derive the current denomination of the place. The first, and oldest, appears in a single register of millennial stone from the second century BC. It was recovered in Polla, in the Valley of Diano. In ‘Lapis Pollae’ (a Latin-language epigraph engraved on a marble slab), Muranum means ‘station’ of the Regio-Capuam, the former Roman consular road, commonly known as Popilia-Annia, which was the only access to Calabria across the continent. Summuranum appears on the itinerary of Antonino (2nd century AD) and in the Tabula Peutingeriana (2nd century AD), probably represented another place through the Regio-Capuam, behind the town of Morano and Castrovillari.
1) Let’s know Morano Calabro? VISIT THE CHURCH OF S. MARIA MAGDALENA
As soon as you arrive at the place, in the main Square, you cannot miss the important church of S. Maria Magdalena, with an imposing cupola and the belfry of ocher-green tiles, visible from the whole citadel, which combine very well with the colors of the sky and the mountain that surrounds it.
The church was built in medieval times on an old chapel located in a grove of elms. During the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries numerous extensions and reconstructions took place in there, which gave the church its present baroque-late appearance. The church and its interior, houses many works of art from Moran and represents an important historical-artistic center, as well as religious, in the center of Morano Calabro. The rich presence of works of art, many of which come from other churches of Morano, allows you to define the ‘Magdalena’ as a kind of church-museum – in fact, in its interior, stands the Retable, by Bartolomeo Vivarini (Murano, 1430 – Venice, 1491), a work dating from 1477, coming from the church of San Bernardino.
2) Let’s know Morano Calabro? VISIT THE CHURCH OF SAN BERNADINO OF SIENA
Crossing the citadel, one cannot miss visiting the Church of San Bernardino of Siena. A jewel of the monastic architecture of the 1400s in late Gothic style, it is the wooden relief of the ship’s hull – unique in Calabria.
3) Let’s know Morano Calabro? VISIT THE CHURCH OF S. MARIA DEL CARMINE AND S. NICHOLAS
Also worth visiting the Church of S. Maria del Carmine, the Church of S. Nicholas, SS Peter and Paul, and, a little further away, the Cappuccini Convent, with the cloister of the seventeenth century and the ruins of the Monastery of Colloreto, surrounded by a forest of ferns and beeches at the foot of the Pollino.
4) Let’s know Morano Calabro? VISIT THE NIBBIO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
Between one church and another, you also have the chance to visit the Nibbio Natural History Museum, a reference to the awareness and promotion of the nature culture that surrounds the park. The natural museum is organized in monothematic sections, and in each one is developed a theme linked to Ornithology, Entomology and Malacology, with special references to animals and plants life in the surroundings of Pollino. The exhibition is displayed in several units of the Old Town (the images below are from the sections of a single museum theme).
The museum is organized into nine sections, within which – through a survey of social history – a reading of the main sectors of the local economy is presented. The exhibition uses various instruments of works, utensils and objects of domestic use, wagons and other means of transport and copies of the popular locker room.
A little more of Morano´s story
The old local coat of arms, with the head of a Moor, indicates the Saracen presence between the 10th and 11th centuries. In this period the first fort was established at the top of the hill, expanded in the 13th century with a castle which, today, remains spectacular ruins. The final installation of the middle age still remains, with a compact layer of houses and a labyrinth of stairs, alleys and winding streets, partially carved into the rock.
The buildings are so close to each other that they seem, from the bottom of the Pollino, to be an unreal perfect conical hill, made of houses. The buildings are interspersed with so many alleys that tear the place and open themselves in front of the church and the many noble palaces, each one marked by important events and so many years of history. Between the sky and the green hills, is the Castle, for centuries defending the access to Calabria, it was renewed and extended in the first half of the 1500s by Pietro Antonio Sanseverino, prince of Bisignano, feudal lord of Morano.
It appears in ruins, at the top of the city and in a strategic position, dominating the whole valley of the old Sybaris. Its origins date back to Roman times, when a fort was raised or probably a watchtower, which served as a base for, later, remodeling in the Norman-Swabian period.
Around this time it is likely that the castle was transformed: from its rudimentary form to a higher and wider construction. The renovation of the building, in the first 40 years of the sixteenth century (between 1514 and 1545), under the command of Pietrantonio Sanseverino, who, in the execution of the work was inspired by the model of Maschio Angioino di Napoli, called to build it the most skilled workers of the time. The Castle was almost a constant residence until the early 1700s.
Its present arrangement indicates the form that it had in the first decade of the eighteenth century: the Square, surrounded by six cylindrical towers (of which only the central and the left-front lasted entirely).
The city is member of the ‘Paesi Bandiera Arancione’ (Orange Cities Flags Association) and, also, part of the ‘Club of most beautiful villages in Italy’ and its territory is part of the gastronomic itinerary with the “Strada Del Vino e Dei Sapori del Pollino” (Wine and Flavors Road of Pollino). Another interesting info: the village is a twin town of Porto Alegre, Brazil.
How to get there?
1) How to get there? BY PLANE
Internacional Capodichino Airport, Naples. Lamezia Terme Airport, Catanzaro.
2) How to get there? BY TRAIN
Or you can go down to Sibari (Cosenza) or Sapri (Salerno), according to your available time, and you can find a connection with the bus services of the Calabro-Lucane Railway; For those who have the possibility to continue by train, the route is more comfortable and speedy from the station of Maratea (Potenza).
3) How to get there? BY CAR
From the Salerno highway Reggio Calabria, take the exit of Morano Calabro – Campotenese; for those coming from the north, it is possible to get there through a 12 km steep and winding ex SS19, exit at the Morano Calabro – Castrovillari highway; for those who come from the South, the road that connects to the place is about 7Km.
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Considered one of the most beautiful villages in the region of Calabria, and Italy, in addition, appreciated for its architecture and art; it is admired for its location, set in a natural environment, such as the experience of being on the mass of the Pollino, which is able to leave you breathless. Certainly, it is a place for a tourist to visit, whether it is to spend your vacation or a weekend. Many are the reasons that lead us to Morano Calabro, such as art, culture, history and charm of this citadel on the slopes of Monte Pollino, where it is easy to find some refreshment on the hottest days, or winter snow for a romantic stroll through the narrow streets of the village.
A unique experience is to be at this fantastic place, at the foot of the hill where are the ruins of an old convent from 1600, which allows you to enjoy hiking with the feeling of immersion in a wild and untouchable nature, archeology, good food, great hospitality and cordiality on the part of those who are in Morano. The proximity of the village of Morano Calabro to other cities characteristic of Pollino, completes the beauty of the visit.
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