Discover Mongrassano in Calabria!
Mongrassano is a small Calabrian town in the province of Cosenza, of Arbreshe origin, which transports us to the past through its unique architecture and unmissable attractions. Let’s discover Mongrassano in Calabria? Stay with us and make the best of the boot country! Here at Your Travel to Calabria you can make the trip of your dreams!!! FIND OUT HERE WHERE TO SLEEP IN CALABRIA! Stay with us and make the best of the boot country! Here at Traveling to Calabria you make the trip of your dreams!!! Are you staying in Calabria? LOOKING FOR A HOTEL IN CALABRIA? Check our suggestions! Click here!
Mongrassano. It rises in a mountainous position along a connecting strip between the massif of the Coastal Range to the west and the Valle del Crati to the east. The rugged reliefs of the Coastal Mountain Range, interspersed with deep incisions, are the backdrop of this small village, along which the main hydrographic network runs, consisting of predominantly torrential water courses, being, in the area under analysis, the Turbolo stream, undoubtedly the main one. Among the peaks that form this beautiful landscape, Serra San Nicolino (m.1257), Piano d’Albero (m.1013) and Serra Palombo (m.866) stand out.
A little of history…
Until the Middle Ages there is no reliable information about Mongrassano, but it can be assumed that the area was already inhabited in remote times. In particular, some discoveries were made in the district of Signorello, mainly a small amphora (ancient vases, originating in ancient Greece) dating back to the 5th century BC, reproducing a dancer. Also read Greeks and Calabria: what is the relation?
The origins of the village of Mongrassano have their roots in the distant past: historical sources take us back to the end of the 3rd century BC, during the Roman period, when the triumvir consul Marcus Licinius Crassus, pursuing the rebel Spartacus, fleeing the Roman legions and heading for Sicily, encamped at the foot of the Great Mountain. When Spartacus was defeated, the Roman consul donated the land on which the camp was built to some of his veterans who distinguished themselves in the battle and from there a village was formed that took the name of Mons Crasanus in honor of the consul Crassus.
In the mid-15th century, the country was repopulated by Albanian refugees who came to southern Italy to escape the Ottoman Turks. This is demonstrated by Charles Le Clerc’s census taken in 1521 for Charles V.
Conflicts and independence
With lay feudal lords there were really no serious problems, while the situation with ecclesiastical feudal lords was the opposite. These, although the Holy See had immediately granted freedom of rite to the Albanians who settled in Italy, could not stand the new arrivals. In 1779 Mongrassano was an independent municipality.
Mongrassano was a battleground and incursions for the bandits, who ravaged the area. The bands of bandits were those led by Filippo Tavolaro, Angelo Formoso, Gennaro Emmanuele and Michele Argondizzo. With the outbreak of riots for independence, many of Mongrassano’s children took up arms and went to fight for the ideal of the homeland. Among these, the group led by Domenico Sarri became famous, who helped Garibaldi in the passage of the Expedition of the Thousand through Calabria, also personally financing the enterprise.
Now that you know the main historical events of Mongrassano…
Let’s get to know the attractions of Mongrassano?
1) Discover Mongrassano in Calabria: THE FOUNTAINS
Mongrassano was built in an area where water sources abound; in fact, there are several fountains on the edge of town. Among these, the closest and most important are three: Croimado (large fountain), Croipetta (fountain of the Petta family), Croistiro (source with strong jet). Like many other things in Mongrassano (city areas, traditional garments, objects in common use, etc.), the sources also retain Albanian names, of which, however, in some cases the meaning has been lost.
2) Discover Mongrassano in Calabria: THE CHURCH OF SANTA CATARINA
The foundation of the church dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, the Virgin and Martyr, dates back to 1100. The church, in Romanesque style, with three naves, has a marble colonnade surmounted by a feminine gallery. Its portal, dating from 1938, is the work of master P. Mantovani. It is full of paintings and sculptures. Inside, you can admire a shrine by Francesco Maria Santoro in chiseled silver, made in 1829 and placed on the high altar, a painting dedicated to S. Francesco di Paola placed in the sacristy, by Giovanni Battista Santoro, a wooden bust representing S. Francesco da Paola, the statues of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, Santa Lucia, the Madonna del Carmine and the Immaculate Conception, all works by the well-known artist Carlo Santoro.
3) Discover Mongrassano in Calabria: THE CARMELITE CHURCH
The Carmelite Church was probably born as a Basilian church in the second half of the 13th century. In the 1500s it became the seat of the Carmelites, who built their own Convent next to it, where the City Hall is now located, to which it was annexed in 1649 with the title of “St. Maria del Carmim”.
It owes its fame to the name “Congrega” for having welcomed the lay Congregation of the SS. Immaculate, approved by D. Fernando IV of Bourbon in 1767. Of great artistic interest is the entirely carved wooden door (17th century), inserted in a stone frame also artistically worked, attributed to the master masons Costantino Licursi and Cesare Capparelli. Inside, you can admire above the altar a 16th-century painting depicting “The Annunciation“, probably by the artist Pietro Negroni, and a wooden statue of the Immaculate Conception sculpted by Carlo Santoro. Outside there is a plaque honoring the dead of the Second World War.
On the sides are the names of the fallen and two bronze plaques honoring the Mongrassians who emigrated to Argentina and the United States of America.
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4) Discover Mongrassano in Calabria: THE TOWNHOUSE
The Palace, now divided into two wings, one at the front and the other at the back, has a remarkable inner courtyard, probably used as a cloister. The rear wing, the oldest, was the last seat of the Convent of Santa Maria dei Benedetti. The convent, probably founded by the Basilians in the district of S. Maria (next to the chapel of S. Maria), moved with the advent of Roberto il Guiscardo and was transferred to the village, precisely in the back wing of the current City Hall, which it hosted it until 1542. The convent’s entrance faced the Mother Church and the convent itself was connected by a bridge to the Carmelite church. The front wing of the Palace, on the other hand, was built in 1630 and has housed, since 1649, the Carmelite Convent of Antica Osservanza. With the decree of Gioacchino Murat, of August 8, 1809, the convent was extinguished.
5) Discover Mongrassano in Calabria: THE MICELI PALACE
In the district of Serra di Leo (Sardalia), it was built for the homonymous baron in 1750. From architectural analysis it is possible to raise the hypothesis that the building already existed, so that in 1750 it was only renovated and adapted to the needs of the new owners. Today, the Miceli Palace is owned by the Municipality and inside it are the Municipal Library, the Arbëresh Iconographic Center (C.I.AR.), the Municipal Language Counter and the permanent exhibition of Arbëreshe Traditions and Culture.
6) Discover Mongrassano in Calabria: THE TRADITIONS
In Mongrassano, several traditions are still alive and functional, taking place throughout the year and marking the most important moments for the community (Christmas, Carnival, Holy Week, Easter, etc.), but it is also an integral part of each person’s life and accompanies them in their own existence, characterizing the moments of passage (Birth, Engagement, Marriage, Death, etc.).
In the traditions, the presence of musical, vocal and instrumental elements is constant and characterizes the life of Mongrassano. Very beautiful are the “songs in the air“ in Calabrian dialect that were sung while working in the fields or in the mountains, while today they are performed only when gathering or celebrating. Certainly the presence of songs in Albanian for ‘Carnival Valley’ and ‘Bride Dress’ is unique.
Our thanks to Andrea Ferraro, who created this post to introduce Mongrassano!
Meet Andrea’s work: @and_2905
Where to stay in Mongrassano? Hotel Don Carlo
Although located in San Marco Argentano, the hotel is just a nine-minute drive from Mongrassano. Take the opportunity to also visit San Marco! Click here and find out what to do in San Marco Argentano!
- Rating: 8 (Very Good!)
- Average daily rate: BRL 353.00*
- Location: The hotel is located right in the city center.
- Address: Via Xx Settembre Snc, 87018 San Marco Argentano, Italy
- Services: wellness centre, massages, sauna, gym, whirlpool and Turkish bath.
- Breakfast included: Yes, dinner too.
- (*) the value is an average of the daily rate for two people; values may vary according to the season, without prior notice.
Where to eat in Mongrassano? Antichi Sapori
If you are looking for typical Italian food in Mongrassano, this is a great option!
- Address: Contrada Colombra 88, Mongrassano, Italy
- Website: https://web.facebook.com/antichisaporimongrassano
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, closed on Tuesdays, from 18:00 to 23:00
- Phone: +39 0984 524171
How to get to Mongrassano?
1) How to get to Mongrassano? BY AIRPLANE
It is advisable to take a flight to Lamezia Terme airport, about 109 km from the city. Find out here how to get from Lamezia Terme airport to the center of Lamezia, Cosenza and Reggio Calabria! From there, you can continue along the A3 heading north (Salerno).
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 Mongrassano? BY TRAIN
To get to Mongrassano, the best way is to take a train:
Sibari Railway Station: Take the train directly to Mongrassano. It’s a local train, so it doesn’t go on the main line.
At the stations there are buses and transfer services to Mongrassano, but the public transport service is a little outdated, so I recommend renting a car to take this route, taking a transfer (click for more information) or taking a tour with me.
Did you know?
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?”.
Find out more about Italy by visiting my other Blog, Your Travel to Italy!
3) How to get to Mongrassano? BY CAR
To reach Mongrassano by car, take the nearest exits:
- Exit Tarsia South | A3 motorway | continue south
- Exit Torano | A3 motorway | continue north
Traveling by car in Italy
How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.
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Discover Mongrassano in Calabria! A small town full of features that make it unique and that certainly make your visit worthwhile!
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