What to do in a day in Civita?
Today I bring you one of the most beautiful villages in all of Italy: Civita! Located among the rocks, it is one of the places that you cannot fail to include in your itinerary! Let’s go to our post of the day? What to do in a day in Civita? 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!
One of the most amazing things about Civita is its natural formation: from where it is located, you can see from the Raganello Gorges to the Piana di Sibari on the Ionian Sea. Anyway, let’s go on our tour? Also read: How to find your ancestors in Italy?
1) What to do in a day in Civita? DISCOVER THE HISTORICAL CENTER OF CIVITA
If you are looking to experience the best of beautiful Calabria, the Historic Center of Civita is the ideal place to start our tour.
Comprising a complex of alleys, with unique features and unimaginable views, the whole environment is dominated by stones and brightly colored flowers that give the final touch to the village’s architecture. Departing from the Historic Center, we will visit the Raganello Gorges.
2) What to do in a day in Civita? VISIT THE RAGANELLO GORGES
Going to Civita and not visiting the Raganello Gorges is a real waste!
In the region, you are faced with an unimaginable panorama that is so beautiful: huge rock faces, which, for more than 3 kilometers and with a height that reaches almost 900 meters, dominate the view in one of the wildest parts of the Park.
The Gorges are named after the stream that crosses them, the Raganello, from the Greek ragas – “crack in the rock”.
- You know that we give you the best tips here on the blog, right? Then try visiting the Gorges from the Civita Viewpoint.
- What makes this one of the best places to see the Gorges is its reddish walls, which contrast with the blue of the sky, while illuminating the canyon. It is also possible to hear the waters in the distance, making the atmosphere even more peaceful and relaxing.
3) What to do in a day in Civita? VISIT THE DEVIL’S BRIDGE
Surrounded by legends, the Devil’s Bridge remains firm even in the face of the natural weather of the centuries, functioning as a link between the Ionian Sea and the Pollino mountain range. There were several renovations to keep it strong and beautiful, the main ones taking place in the 19th century and 2005. When you visit the place, you can see where they took place.
Legend has it…
Legend has it that a landowner asked the Devil to build a bridge over the Raganello, which he accepted, but with one condition: he wanted the soul of the first person who crossed it in return. When the bridge was built, the man sent a sheep. The Devil – irritated by this behavior – cursed the landlord, until, amid the man’s ironic laughter, the Devil dove into the stream, leaving behind a cloud of gray smoke.
4) What to do in a day in Civita? VISIT THE KODRA HOUSES AND CHIMNEYS
The Kodra Houses and the Chimneys are striking features of Civita’s urban architecture. Let’s find out more about them and why they are worth knowing.
The Kodra Houses
Kodra houses represent very old Arbëresh customs and traditions. Its name is a dedication to Ibrahim Kodra, an Albanian painter of international fame. Civita wanted to remember his death and these “talking” and anthropomorphic houses recall his painting lines and shapes.
They have a facade that resembles a human face. The large ground-floor door is dominated by an exterior chimney, flanked by two perfectly identical small windows, representing the mouth, nose, and eyes, respectively. Over time, some structures have lost one or more elements, but they always remain suggestive and fun to observe.
The Civita Chimneys, in turn, are older than the famous Kodra Houses – they say they date from 1500 onwards.
The chimney was a hallmark of every home and performed various functions, both factual and superstitious. Their functions, for example, were to suck smoke from chimneys, resist strong winds between the Pollino rocks and the Ionian coast, and, of course, ward off evil spirits.
The greatest curiosity is given by its different and, at times, strange shapes, resulting from the inspiration of the time of the master craftsmen and the social class to which the owners of the house belonged. Wealthier families built much more elaborate chimneys, sometimes considered true works of art, while poorer families had much simpler chimneys.
5) What to do in a day in Civita? VISIT THE ETHNIC MUSEUM OF ARBERESH CULTURE
The Arbëresh Ethnic Culture Museum was founded in 1989 to protect and promote the culture of the Italian-Albanian community living in Civita. The museum is divided into 4 specific rooms, each with objects, images, and documents from ancient Arbëresh history.
You can visit it every day from 5 pm to 7.45 pm, admission is free and the place is accessible to people with disabilities.
6) What to do in a day in Civita? VISIT THE CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA ASSUNTA
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta occupies a privileged location: right on the main square of Civita, with all its baroque-style majesty.
Built around 1600, it has undergone many renovations and restorations but has never lost its charm and power. We start the tour highlighting the vault embellished with paintings of the Immaculate Conception, San Biagio, the Trinity, and Madonna del Rosario.
Also worthy of attention is the iconostasis, which demonstrates Byzantine influence. In eastern churches, iconostasis has the function of dividing the nave from the altar. In the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, the structure was made of walnut and olive wood and embellished by the art of the painter Alfonso Leccese and the Iconographic School of Kolynos Ernesto of Athens.
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A little more about Civita
Founded in 1471, Civita has its origins in an Albanian community fleeing the Turkish invasions. Thus, it is one of the places responsible for bringing this culture to Calabria.
Origin of the name Civita
The origins of the name, like so many other cities, also cause some disagreements: some say that it derives from çifti (couple) due to the structure of the village, divided into two large neighborhoods – Sant’Antonio and Magazzeno; some argue that it comes from qifti, or eagle’s nest, because of its location. Finally, some say that the term comes from the Latin Civitas, to indicate its construction on the ruins of an ancient settlement destroyed by an earthquake.
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What to do in a day in Civita? You can see how much Civita has to offer, right? You may need to spend more than a day to see everything, but be sure to include it in your itinerary! If you decide to travel to Civita, remember that I am the only Portuguese-speaking guide in the territory of Calabria. By hiring our services, you will be able to know every detail of this city and others in the region. Contact!
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