Italy has a very strong relationship with the faith and, in Calabria, this is not different. The region is home to some of the most beautiful sanctuaries in the entire country, and today, we will know the must see sanctuaries in Calabria. So, let’s do it! Here at Your Travel 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 Sanctuaries in Calabria
Like many regions, Calabria also feels a strong connection with the various sanctuaries and religious cults. The sanctuaries that are located in these regions are linked to nature and regional traditions. Most sanctuaries date from periods of domination of the Normans and Suevians, the most flourishing period of all of southern Italy. What Are The Ten Places You Must See In Calabria?
However, there are several that originate in the post-Renaissance era and are related to the apparitions at these locations during the many disasters that hit Calabria throughout its troubled history. The most beautiful villages are gathered around these places of devotion, such as memorials, abbeys, monasteries and convents, which have always been considered as bearers of stories and rituals that reflect the culture and bond of the miraculous lives of the Saints in these territories.
In this text we will know some of the Sanctuaries considered a must see. To meet those of strong charm is like reading a history book of this fascinating land. A trip that will make you better acquainted with the most beautiful sanctuaries of Calabria and with the treasures that are carefully guarded. Enogastronomic Itinerary In Calabria
1) The must see sanctuaries in Calabria: ST. FRANCIS OF PAOLA
Our journey starts from the sanctuary dedicated to St. Francis of Paola, one of the most important sanctuaries in Calabria. This small basilica, raised up to sanctuary in 1921, originated in 1435 with the first chapel built by San Francisco, founder of the Order of the Minimums, patron of Calabria and the men of the sea. Located in the Isca gorge, the complex of buildings was built on the ruins of the chapel built by Saint Francis and dedicated to the Saint of Assisi. The interior has two naves of different lengths, separated by four pointed arches and an arch.
A little more about St. Francis of Paola…
The hallway leads to the Saint’s chapel. The elegant frontage has the Renaissance style at the bottom and baroque at the top. It is in front of the large Square that welcomes many pilgrims from all over Italy, one can easily notice the imposing Sanctuary beyond the serenity and peace it offers.
2) The must see sanctuaries in Calabria: SANTA MARIA DELLE ARMI
Among the large tracts of pastureland and woods in Cerchiara di Calabria, on the slopes of Mount Sellaro, stands another important Sanctuary, that of Santa Maria delle Armi. It was built around 1440, when in the same place, in a cave, several Byzantine tablets were found, among the oldest already found, and among them, the image of the Blessed Virgin of Arms, from which comes the name of the sanctuary. In the church, in the form of a Latin cross, you can access through a local stone carved portal, after passing the Duke’s palace and other large rooms. At the edge of the rock, stands the bell tower with a cusp made of colored tiles.
3) The must see sanctuaries in Calabria: CHURCH OF SAINT MARY OF CONSTATINOPLE
Another must-see Sanctuary is Church of Saint Mary of Constantinople, in the province of Cosenza, specifically in Papasidero, where the monks built numerous places of worship, such as this Sanctuary. The 16th century church is situated on a rock summit on the Lao River, in a natural setting of particular fascination and beauty. This sanctuary has a Greek cross plan, with three naves and three bays, ‘crystallized’ by arches resting on square pillars. To the right of the building stands a squat bell tower with a square base and a pyramidal pinnacle, behind it, resist shards of an ancient fresco of modest size. You can get to the church by a bridge, built by Nicola Dario in 1904.
4) The must see sanctuaries in Calabria: SANTA MARIA DELL´ ISOLA
We proceeded to the discovery of the Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola, in Tropea, built on a picturesque cliff overlooking the blue-green sea. It dates back to the 11th century and was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1908. The Cathedral, founded in Norman times and retouched a few times to repair earthquake damage, still has two fascinating portals in the Gothic style.
A little more about Santa Maria Dell´ Isola…
Very interesting are the works kept inside. Every year, especially during the months of May, August and September, they gather numerous pilgrims who devoutly climb the long, steep staircase carved between the rocky walls that, from the base of the promontory, lead to the Shrine Square. Overlooking the sea, this sanctuary is surrounded by a stone garden, offering peace and tranquility. Even in summer, when the beaches are crowded with people, here you can take refuge and find a magnificent corner of absolute calm; ‘Magnificent’ is not enough to define this Benedictine sanctuary, one of the most photographed places in Tropea.
5) The must see sanctuaries in Calabria: SANTA MARIA DELLA GROTTA
Another Sanctuary to visit is that of Santa Maria della Grotta, in Praia a Mare, made by a series of limestone caves connected to each other. The structure is of natural origin, reorganized with small architectural adaptations, including three stairs to the entrance and small chapels. Inside the shrine is venerated the statue of the Virgin, represented in full-length wood with the Baby Jesus on her knees.
A little more about Santa Maria della Grotta…
Our Lady is dressed in a green starry cloak and a red robe and is called Madonna della Neve. The cave sanctuary of ‘Our Lady of the Grotto’ is a cultural asset that meets within a multiplicity of values and is a special attraction for all the tourists that come here. It should be noted that these five shrines are only a small part of many, not to be missed, which are scattered throughout this wonderful region.
How to get there?
1) How to get there? BY PLANE
The fastest and most convenient way to get to Calabria is by plane and the region has three airports: Titto Minniti Airport in Reggio Calabria, the Sant’Anna in Crotone and the Lamezia Terme Airport.
2) How to get there? BY TRAIN
The railway lines are numerous with the Intercity and Expresso trains, connecting Calabria with the main cities in the north of the country, both by the Tyrrhenian and Ionian lines.
3) How to get there? BY CAR
From northern Italy, the A1 highway runs from Milan to Naples. The A30 motorway connects Naples to Salerno, from where you can take the A3 Salerno-Reggio Calabria which runs from north to south throughout the province.
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IMPORTANT TO KNOW!
Remember that to drive in Italy it is MANDATORY to have the International Driving License, the famous IDP (International Driving Permit). The certificate is not issued in Italian, but it is accepted in English! The IDP lasts 180 days (it depends where you live) and is issued by the Traffic Department of your country (if you have the European Driver License, you don’t need to worry about it!).
- Check with your country’s Traffic Department which documents are required and the rates for issuing the IDP. If you chose to travel by car, be sure to read our Post “Driving in Italy“. It is very important to avoid winning fines for lack of information.
Watch this video: Discovering Calabria with Ana Patricia: tour in Cosenza
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The must see sanctuaries in Calabria. Calabria is a green scenery but also land of art history, ancient religious traditions and many of these shrines that have been mentioned are evidence of this. The sanctuaries, and other places of worship scattered in Calabria, are the most relevant example of art and architecture, history and Christian-Catholic worship that spread throughout the region.
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