Cerchiara is a small town in Calabria, perched on the slopes of Mount Sellaro. Dominated by the ruins of the medieval castle that crowns the plain of Síbaris, this village is an ancient site that some historians say is of the pre-Hellenic age, thanks to the diverse finds of countless artifacts, archaeological heritage of the time. However, certain reports of its existence occur only in the Byzantine period, which, according to the name of Ciclarium, seems to be at the center of a monastic zone of great importance. Let’s get to our post of the day? Cerchiara of Calabria and its wonderful Sanctuary! Stay with us and make the best of Calabria! Here at Your Travel to Calabria you make the trip of your dreams! READ HERE WHERE TO STAY IN CALABRIA!
Watch this video and be enchanted by this small village!
This small town is rich in monuments, works of art and has one of the most fascinating panoramas in Calabria. The rocky spur, on which the village rests, is a natural spectacle that anticipates the wonders of the surrounding peaks, which are the Sierra of Paola, the Sellaro Mountains, Mount Sparviero, the Mount Panno Bianco and even the peaks of the Sierra of Dolcedorme and the Sierra of Ciavole. They are in the heart of the Pollino National Park, in the valley, which is located in the ‘Montagnola Pollino’ area, which belongs to the territory of Cerchiara, known for the presence of tree specimens that resemble snakes and loricati pines. Also read WHAT ARE THE TEN MUST SEE PLACES IN CALABRIA?
1) Cerchiara of Calabria and its wonderful Sanctuary – VISIT THE CAVES
Cerchiara of Calabria is excellent for nature walks and excellent excursions to Pollino. In the Bosco dell’Acqua Rossa (“Red Water Wood”) there is an equipped area and a trekking trail that leads to Mount Sellaro. You can also visit the Grotta delle Ninfe (“Cave of the Nymphs”), a spa known to the inhabitants of Síbaris. To visit the Caves of Cerchiara, however, you need to be used to hiking.
2) Cerchiara of Calabria and its wonderful Sanctuary – VISIT SANCTUARY OF SANTA MARIA DELLE ARMI
Among the vast expanses of woods on the slopes of Mount Sellaro, there is an important sanctuary, that of Santa Maria delle Armi (“St Mary of the Weapons”), an important testament to Renaissance art. This sanctuary is one of the most important attractions in this village and deserves to be visited. It was built around 1440, when in the same place, in a cave, several Byzantine plaques were found, among the oldest ever found and, among them, the image of the Virgin delle Armi, which gives its name to the sanctuary.
A little more about the Sanctuary…
According to some ancient testimonies, this Sanctuary is in an ancient Byzantine monastic site. In the middle of the 10th century, many monks of the Greek-Byzantine rite found shelter in the hollow caves of Mount Sellaro, also known as the Holy Mountain, for protection against the iconoclastic persecution of Leo III Isaurico. The sanctuary is shaped like a Latin cross.
To reach the sanctuary, access is via the Duke’s Palace, then cross a corridor with a panoramic view and pass a portal carved in stone. Inside the church are preserved notable works from the 17th century and frescoes from the 17th century Neapolitan school. The sacred image of Our Lady delle Armi is an oval-shaped stone in Syrian style. The icon is placed inside the chapel carved into the rock. We found it inside a baroque silver reliquary.
The Religious Feast of Our Lady “delle Armi”
The religious feast of Our Lady “delle Armi” takes place every year, on April 25th. Characteristic is the procession that, among ancient hymns for the Virgin, winds along the mountain paths and then returns to the Sanctuary.
Watch this video about the Sanctuary of Santa maria delle Armi!
3) Cerchiara of Calabria and its wonderful sanctuary – VISIT THE RUINS OF THE MONASTERY OF SANT´ANDREA
Near the Sanctuary are the ruins of the monastery of Sant’Andrea, always from the Byzantine era, built around 950. Initially, they were rectified by the monk San Pacomio (St Pacomius) and later by San Gregorio di Cassano (St Gregory of Cassano).
4) Cerchiara of Calabria and its wonderful Sanctuary – VISIT THE OTHER ATTRACTIONS OF CERCHIARA
Other interesting things to see in the village of Cerchiara are the Church of St Peter, a 15th century building, but restored in a later time, the Piana Palace, built by the last feudal lords of Cerchiara, the Pignatelli, who found the castle uninhabitable and built the Palace around 1600.
In Cerchiara, you can also visit the Cave of the Nymphs, where, according to legend, the Nymphs Lusiads, semidivine creatures, lived with the waters of spring, healing the body and soul of bathers. It is already known by the inhabitants of Síbaris and today it is a privileged destination, because the waters have dermo-therapeutic quality.
Cerchiara of Calabria and its Sanctuary Map
How to get to Cerchiara?
1) How to get to Cerchiara? BY AIRPLANE
To reach Calabria, the fastest and most convenient way is by plane and the region has three airports, such as Titto Minniti Airport, in the province of Reggio Calabria, Sant’Anna Airport, in Crotone and Lamezia Terme Airport. . Find out here how to get from Lamezia Terme Airport to the Center of Lamezia, Cosenza and Reggio Calabria!
Also read our posts about Airports in Italy:
- HOW TO GO FROM THE ROME AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF ROME?
- HOW TO GO FROM THE MALPENSA AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF MILANO?
- HOW TO GO FROM VENICE AIRPORT TO VENICE CENTER
2) How to get to Cerchiara? BY TRAIN
The railway line has numerous Intercity and Espresso trains that connect Calabria to the main cities in the north, both for the Tyrrhenian and the Ionian lines. READ THE POST HOW TO GET TO CALABRIA TO LEARN MORE DETAILS!
Did you know that Trenitalia is the main Italian company dedicated to the management of railway transport? Find out here “What is the difference between trains in Italy?”. Buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?”.
3) How to get to Cerchiara? BY CAR
From northern Italy, the A1 motorway runs from Milan to Naples. The A30 motorway connects Naples with Salerno, from where we depart via the A3 motorway, Salerno–Reggio Calabria, which crosses the entire province from north to south. Read also TRAVELING BY CAR IN ITALY: EXAMPLES OF TOURS
If you are going to rent a car, be sure to read our posts in the Driving in Italy section of the Traveling to Italy blog. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signs, tolls, roads and many more tips.
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Watch this video: Discovering Calabria with Ana Patricia: tour in Morano and Cosenza
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Cerchiara of Calabria and its wonderful Sanctuary. Cerchiara of Calabria is certainly a very interesting city from the historical, artistic, natural and religious points of view.
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