I’ve just left the town of Reggio Calabria and continued to the end of Italy turning around the coast from the Tyrrenian to the Ionian Sea. A wonderful route with a view that faces Sicily.
Then I arrived in Bova Marina and I continued my journey up in the mountains and eventually Bova appared like a nativity scene with the lights from the houses.
Bova, which is in the heart of the National Park of Aspromonte, has Magno-Greek roots when the Greek colonies reached Calabria to found new towns. Here traditions and culture of the past still live: at the entrance of the village there is a sign which welcomes visitors written both in ancient Greek and Italian: this demonstrates the locals’ will to maintain the tradition. In fact in this area they are working in order to preserve the language which is passed down only oraly and for this reason , it is risking to become a dead language.
Suddenly I felt as if I were at home, walking between narrow streets where also the dogs that I met welcomed me. In the little square of the village there is a nice Chemist’s and a bar where is the meeting point for the 200 people who live there.
Next to the square there is an old steam engine which is well preserved. It is an industrial archaeological monument dedicated to the Italian Railway.
Alessandra and Pietro, my B&B’s owners, received me at their home which is used as a reception and before showing me the flat, they offered me some tea and biscuits. Every morning they continued to cuddle me with sweet surprises which were discreetly left in the kitchenette.
In the evening I ate at a restaurant which served typical dishes such as goat and “lestopitta”, a thin unleavened disc of flour and water which is fried. After a while a little band played and sang traditional songs with tambourines and button accordions: I began to dance with a Swiss group of tourists who were there, too. They told me that they were visiting the nearby villages such as Roghudi, Palizzi, Pentedattilo which are now all uninhabited, but very fascinating.
The day after I went up to about 1,200 mt and then down again to the Dragon’s Rock, a big stone where (according to the local legend) they took food to a dragon who defended a treasure.
The legend says that who went near the rock would have been blown away into a stream by a strong gust. Nearby there are the “Caldaie del latte” (Milk Cauldrons) which were necessary (for the legend) to feed the Dragon.
While I was coming back to Bova, I found a farm which produces apples and cherries: after a walk between their apple trees, I felt a good smell coming from the farmhouse kitchen, so I decided to stop there for lunch and eat their good dishes made with apples and vegetables. Suring the lunch, I enjoyed the company of the farmer, Leo, and his staff, Giovanni and Gabriella, who also gave us a little present: a jar of apple jam.
On the last day, before leaving Bova, I decided to go to the top of the village walking throgh the historical centre with well restored houses. At the highest point of Bova, there is the “Cave of the Lovers” where people go in order to promise “endless love” over looking the wonderful panorama of the Aspromonte mountains, the Amendolea torrent, the sea, and the oriental side of Sicily with its Etna Volcano.
An atmosphere of the past and beautiful views: this is Bova!