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Letter from the Mayor – pdf

Between Italian Seas

A view from Mount Copari looking down on the old section of Monterosso toward Lago (Lake) Angitola.  Beyond the ridge in the distance is the Mediterranean and its beaches.  The old Norman watchtower can be seen at the highest point in town.

A view from Mount Copari looking down on the old section of Monterosso toward Lago (Lake) Angitola. Beyond the ridge in the distance is the Mediterranean and its beaches. The old Norman watchtower can be seen at the highest point in town.

The ancient village of Monterosso Calabro in the southern Calabria region of Italy cannot be found on most maps of the country, and this is just as well. Tucked into a fold in the hilly peaks above the of the narrowest part of Italy’s ‘toe,’ it clings to one of many such hills that tumble in great waves down to the sea, straddling both sides of the Italian peninsula. Tiny Monterosso has weathered the turbulent history of this area for at least a thousand years, but has thankfully remained quite intact. Few tourists find it, and fewer still have spoiled it.

Monterosso is perhaps one of the best kept secrets in Calabria.

Those dreaming of owning a home in Italy, in some lovely ‘backwater’ where jet-setters have little interest in coming, will be delighted with this picturesque village high in the hills of Calabria — but only minutes from the cobalt blue Mediterranean and its beaches.

Street scene in Monterosso showing the yellow stuccoed Palazzo Morano.

Street scene in Monterosso showing the yellow stuccoed Palazzo Morano.

Piatti_tipici_CalabresiMonterosso in Calabria dates to a time of crusaders and sultans, peasants and adventurers. For those visitors who do discover it, it is a quiet feast of ancient architecture, vineyards and olive groves, history, legend, and flavors. Church bells ring, roosters crow, and the aromas of the day’s sauces, bubbling in pots all over town can be detected soon after daylight. In the oldest parts of town, a jumble of ancient brick and stucco houses follows the lead of steep stone streets, which wind around themselves like an ancient Arab souk. And this is no wonder, as those who are curious will discover. To understand Monterosso, one must first know a bit of its history, but we will leave that for another page.

Young Calabrian girl with spindle. From the postcard collection of Francesco Bruni, Lamezia Terme.

Young Calabrian girl with spindle. From the postcard collection of Francesco Bruni, Lamezia Terme.

There are perhaps dozens of homes for sale here whose foundations date back a thousand years.  Many can be had for less than a credit card balance, some fully restored and fully furnished, and others which will need complete restoration to your own tastes.

Those interested in Monterosso, and the homes that may be available, may contact Antonio Parisi on the Contact page.

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