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Badolato

 
Love at first sight - Amore a prima vista - by Domenico Russumanno

The town is situated approximately 30 km from Catanzaro on the Ionian coast and 2.5 hours (140km + / -) from Reggio di Calabria, on a spur between two valleys which opens out to the coastal plain below.
It can be reached following the SS 106, approximately 6 km from Badolato Marina a fast developing tourist resort thanks to the increasing number of tourists, due to its beach and the clear sea.

The birth of Badolato dates back to the first half of the tenth century, at the behest of Robert Guiscard, Duke of Calabria, who in 1080 decided to build a "peaceful village" where already lived a few huts of poor shepherds.
The mountain town like many others in Calabria, was heavily damaged by the earthquake of 1783 and the flood of 1951. 
Positioned a few hundred meters above sea level (240) Badolato stands on a hill overlooking the wide valley of the river Gallipari, whose rugged features and beauty can be admired in all their glory from the many viewpoints that dot the road leading to the 'plateau' of the Serre and Brognaturo.

The village from the beginning had defensive purposes as confirmed by the walls and the stately castle dating from about the twelfth century, the latter, in particular with tower served as a lookout against the invasions of the Saracens or the Turks, who plagued Calabria throughout the Middle Ages.
Unfortunately, little or nothing remains of the fort today, if not the very structure of the town, with its countless streets wind in concentric circles, converging towards the top of the hill. From here the small old village unfolded with peasant homes and shops that made up life itself.
The village reached its peak production in the first half of 900, reaching an almost complete self-sufficiency both in terms of agricultural and livestock...
Below : Approaching the town from Badolato Marina
Few bed & breakfast services are operating in Badolato Superiore while in Badolato Marina a new development of second homes for the Danish market has joined the existing hotels and facilities.
Rumors have that a few years back, Silvio Berlusconi offered to buy the whole town  to convert it to an exclusive resort for the rich and famous...and well endowed 'signorine' to practice the 'bunga bunga' away from indiscreet eyes.
Once reached the town you can wander around the many small alleyways characteristic of medieval towns with its impressive remains of the castle and other fortifications along with a marvelous artistic and architectural heritage.
The economy was largely based on craft, leather work, wood, silk, flax and wool, and also on the rearing of pigs, used both for domestic consumption and for income support.
The decline, however, began as early as the immediate postwar period following  a strong earthquake, but was accentuated after the flood of 1951 which destroyed much of the town.
Medieval remains include the remnants of the old city wall .
Worth visiting are the several Byzantine churches arranged in the shape of a Latin cross.
Three kilometers from the town is the Church of Santa Maria della Sanità, which was a Basilian Medieval center of the tenth century, characterized by an arched portico covered with wooden beams.
The Franciscan monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli from 1603 set on a hill opposite the village, (on your right as you approach the town from below-at the end of  an extremely long set of stairs).
Below : The Church of the Immaculate Conception dating back to 1686, famous for the interesting structure...
..also for the strategic enviable location overlooking the valley, from where you can admire the entire coast from the Gulf of Squillace all the way to Punta Stilo.
Below is the Church of San Domenico, once attached to a Dominican convent.
It was built In 1607 and is located in the highest part of the town. It is one of the greatest testimonies of religious architecture in existence today in Calabria, with a single rectangular nave and with a gorgeous front facade of granite.
Today, buying the old homes and bringing them to life with all the possibly available amenities and comforts are well-to-do-tourists from northern Italy, northern Europe, north America and Australia.

Below : Opening the video is an American citizen telling us how she fell in love with the town and the locals and the magnificent view of the sun rising on the horizon over the sea, "We even bought a small olive grove, making some exceptional olive oil" she says.
Yearly event : The Tarantella Power
Below: People waiting to get on one of the bus carrying them up in the village's  square for the concert. No cars allowed.
Official website www



 
The Latin name was Vadum latum, or (roughly) wide vista. Perched high on the mountain to better defend itself from pirates  incursions.  

Today, after years 
in decline, the village is once again on the grow, thanks to the ambition and hard work of people
who love it for the beauty, and of course, tranquility.

 
 

 
In the silent of the Christmas night of 1997, a big ship, called Ararat, as the biblical Mount of Noah, arrives, in the small costal village of Badolato Marina.

The ship was loaded with hundreds and hundreds of Kurdish refugees who fled the bloody riots taking place in their land. 

The not so ordinary event, sparked among the villagers an extraordinary sense of solidarity toward the newly arrived that touched the whole Europe.

In those houses emptied coincidentally by
emigration were welcomed the new immigrants who had no other choice but to flee for their lives.

Their voices and stories, places, friendships and affections still remain after many years, witness to Calabria historical past as land of hospitality.

Related article:

With blistered hands and a sunburned face, Nihat Aydin jumped off a battered freighter and swam to the Italian shore...

When hundreds of Kurdish boat people landed in Italy the day after Christmas, Mayor Gerardo Manello 
opened  this medieval town to them with a mixture of civic self-interest and humanitarian concern-
"We want to be a model for the world," he said.
"We want to send out a message that all people who are persecuted, who are in need, should be welcomed in a dignified way."

...Perilous Path Ends In An Italian Town.

"Why should I go someplace where they don't want me?" said the 32-year-old engineer from Baghdad.

"I was forced to leave my country. I need protection from Saddam. I don't need Germans or French to arrest me and send me back to Saddam."

On Jan. 21, Marof's 
wife gave birth to a daughter--the first child born in Badolato in several years, according to Mannello.

She was given a suitably Italian name, Angela.

Angela bears the name of the police officer who saw to it that her parents, who had been separated upon their arrival in Italy, were reunited...>>>






Nearby



-
Orange coast -
From Badolato Marina
 to Copanello




 La Roccelletta 





Squillace Castle







Serra San Bruno



 

Calabria 
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