The Places of Worship in the Pollino National Park
A religious tour in Calabria dedicated to pilgrimage sanctuaries, places of faith, rich in tradition, point of reference for their devotion to the figure of the Madonna and popular piety. Sanctuary in the territory of the Pollino National Park and for the most part in close relation with the environment, built in isolated and mystical places.
Day 1 Journey and arrive to hotel in Cosenza
Day 2 in the morning sightseeing of the Sanctuary of Madonna of the Castle in Castrovillari which was built in the 1090 where Ruggero The Norman would want to build his castle, therefore this Sanctuary is so called. In fact it is situated on a hill that dominates the village from where you can enjoy the panorama of the magnificent mountains of Pollino National Park. In the afternoon guided visit to the ruins of the Sanctuary of St. Maria di Colloreto in Morano Calabro, which is at the foot of Serra del Prete and visible from the motorway. Two Bernini’s marble statues, which were first stored in it, are now in the Church of SS Peter and Paul in the village. Important is the Church of St. Bernardino where is the famous polyptych by Vivarini (1477).
Day 3 in the morning guided visit to the Sanctuary of Madonna del Pettoruto in San Sosti, located in a place of natural beauty from which you can see a charming view on the Ionian coastside. The name “Pettoruto” is due to the nature of the earth of that place which is very rocky. The Sanctuary is one of the most important pilgrimage site of Calabria. In the afternoon, visit to the historical centre of Altomonte with the Church of St. Maria della Consolazione overlooking the village and the Civic Museum which houses the great heritage of the Basilica. Very interesting are the Church of St. Giacomo (XII century) and the baroque one of St. Francesco from Paola, with the adjoining convent of the Minims.
Day 4 in the morning, visit to the Sanctuary of Madonna di Costantinopoli of Papasidero. The Sanctuary is on the rock on the right bank of the Lao River. The cult of Madonna of Constantinople or Hodigitria – which means “guide, leader” – goes back to the Eastern monasticism which spread in Calabria in Southern Italy. In the afternoon, visit to the Church of Madonna of Mercurio in the homonymous district, a few kilometers from the village of Orsomarso, which is situated on a cliff overlooking the Lao River. Near the church there are the ruins of the ancient Monastery of Mercurion.
Day 5 In the morning, visit to the Sanctuary of St. Maria delle Armi in Cerchiara di Calabria, located in the wonderful panoramic position: from the chain of Pollino to the Sila mountains and the Ionian coast. It is situated not far from the picturesque centre of the village with its stone buildings and called “delle Armi” from the greek “harmòs” which means “cave, cracks“. In the afternoon, sightseeing of Frascineto and Civita, two villages with Arbëreshë culture which is still alive with their traditions and language. In Frascineto, visit the Cathedral and the Museum of Albanian Costume. Then visit of Civita with its beautiful historical centre, walking to the panoramic view point where you can admire the Raganello Gorges.
Day 6 Journey and departure.