After the Christmas break our voyages resume. Our next stop is a small town, off the beaten track, hidden in the forests of southern Calabria’s Aspromonte region, away from crowded tourist destinations.
San Giorgio is an ancient village founded by the Morgeti, an Italic people who inhabited the Ionian-Tyrrhenian area of Calabria even before the foundation of Rome and the rise of Magna Grecia and to whom the name of the town is attributed today.
From Scilla, it takes just under an hour to get to San Giorgio Morgeto. This area is home to many other medieval towns each with its own history, culture and tradition, such as Cittanova, famous for its unique Stock fish Festival.
At 500 meters above sea level and for its enviable position, located almost halfway between two seas: the Ionian and Tyrrhenian, in the heart of the Aspromonte National Park, and caressed by the four winds, San Giorgio is a welcome cure-all for your lungs for every breath of pure air you will breathe.
At the top of the ancient Norman castle (600 m above sea level), you will enjoy a breathtaking view. From the slopes of the hills and its centuries-old olive groves, looking west towards the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Aeolian Islands in the background, you will witness spectacular sunsets. Then, shift your sight eastward, to the Ionian coast, where enchanting sunrises will mesmerize you.
Have a picnic among the trees, in the area surrounding the castle and quench your thirst with ice-cold, mountain springs water, or simply relax and admire the natural beauty around you.
The focal point of the town is certainly the ancient Fontana Grande (The Great Fountain), now the icon of the town; a magnificent example of Renaissance architecture built in 1664 by the powerful Caracciolo Barons in the central square.
San Giorgio Morgeto is also known for the various medieval churches adorned with paintings and famous wooden works and sculptures that bear the mark of craftsmen and stonemasons specialized in sculpting the precious river granite stone, typical of the area.
The country gave birth and has been host to many famous people such as Tommaso Campanella, philosopher, astronomer and theologian of the seventeenth century and Francesco Florimo, musician and composer of the nineteenth century.
After a splendid and peaceful day in San Giorgio Morgeto, we stop for dinner at Altanum, an excellent restaurant in the center of the medieval village.
Listed on the menu are typical local dishes, a variety of cheeses, sausage, homemade pasta, figs and other Calabrian delights.
In July and August this village of almost 3000 inhabitants hosts thousands of tourists who flock to San Giorgio Morgeto to attend the various festivals and traditional medieval celebrations put together by the local cultural association.