From Amendolea to Bova
Here we are in the core of the “Area Grecanica”, symbolic place of Aspromonte, where naturalistic beauties and historical, archaeological and anthropological peculiarities are merged. Along a route that refers to the ancient efforts of the people who worked the land and transported their goods via the old sheep tracks that connected small towns, you’ll enjoy unique natural landscapes, with the majestic Etna volcano which stands out on the horizon, as if it were a part of Calabria.
We start the tour from modern Amendolea (district of Condofuri), a small pretty village overlooking the Amendolea Torrent and, after crossing the small stream Cozzi, we begin the ascent. The path is very steep, but the view is breathtaking, with wide valleys where disparate shades of green and yellow merge with the blue of the sea that laps the shores of the vast white beaches. Flourishing pastures alternate with olive groves and citrus orchards, here where the “lord” is the bergamot, precious citrus fruit typical only in this stretch of coastline, fundamental for the world-wide production of perfumes and for the local food and wine products.
Along our path, a detour on the left leads up to Amendolea vecchia, an ancient village abandoned after the flood of 1951. Dominated by Ruffo’s Castle, the striking village preserves the ruins of the old houses and of three little byzantine churches (of St. Nicholas, St. Sebastian and St. Catherine).
Returning to the initial route, we continue to go uphill, almost reaching the peak of Mount Briga, where we’ll come to a cart track that leads to the tarmac road towards Bova, the “Chora”, considered the ideal capital of the “Area Grecanica”, which is called even “Bovesia”, not for chance.
Awarded with the title of one of “the most beautiful villages in Italy”, in 2015 Bova also received the prestigious “Orange Flag” by the Touring Club. It’s a village rich in history and art, folklore and crafts, home to one of the Visitor Centers of the Aspromonte National Park (focusing on the ethnic and linguistic minorities) and an interesting Museum of Paleontology.
The tour of the village unwinds through narrow alleys and staircases, ancient churches and palaces, until we reach the highest point of the town, where there are few remains of the medieval castle, in a dominant position, which once was a safe refuge against the Saracen pillages and today it’s a spectacular panoramic viewpoint. During the tour, it will not miss the meeting with the local elders, who still speak a dialect of greek type, known as “grecanico” or “Greek of Calabria”, linguistic remnant of Byzantine civilization, once very prosperous here.
|Starting location||Modern Amendolea|
|Difference in altitude||660 m|
|Minimum altitude||140 m above sea level (modern Amendolea)|
|Maximum altitude||800 m above sea level (Castle of Bova)|
|Route lenght||8.300 m|
|Periods of accessibility||Always|