It is a real one day full immersion into the Greek Aspromonte, among abandoned villages, villages that resist and villages that have even begun to flourish. Here people have until today preserved the Greek language and millenary traditions. It is a journey back in time full of landscape, naturalistic, historical-cultural, geological and gastronomic impressions to be experienced with all the senses!
The landscape is dominated during the entire tour by the Fiumara Amendolea, a geosite of international importance, which offers us continuous breathtaking views of its gravel riverbed looking like a silver ribbon which meanders from the mountain to the sea.
The first stop is in Bova, the cultural capital of the Greek area considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, located at 850 m above sea level with its street signs in Greek language, picturesque lanes, numerous churches, the remains of the castle and the Norman tower and the Museum of the Greek-Calabrian language dedicated to the German philologist Gerhard Rohlfs who dedicated over 60 years of his life to the study of language, people and traditions of this area. After visiting the village and the museum, we resume our journey towards the hinterland.
After a stretch with sinuous curves and indescribable views of Bova and the Fiumara Amendolea we reach the Piani di Bova and enter a completely different scenery. Here we find plantations of fruit trees, cows and goats that graze and then, just over 1000 m a.s.l. the forest with a completely unexpected coolness. It is truly the ideal place for a short walk and a picnic with typical products.
Almost in the midst of nowhere a bizarre rock awaits us and seems to scrutinize us. This is the Rocca del Draku, a geosite of national importance and a place of countless stories and legends and a witness to a very particular geological history.
And then we see it from above, the Roghudi Vecchio village, located in a breathtaking position on a spur between the Fiumara Amendolea and the Furria torrent. The village was abandoned in the early 70s after devasting floods and a real Odyssey began for its inhabitants until they could settle in the new town near Melito di Porto Salvo. But they felt uprooted and found it hard to get used to this new life without gardens, livestock and community. The abandoned houses, still full of different objects, are silent witnesses to a life of the past, hard and difficult but perhaps less unhappy than it may seem.
Our last destination is the small village Gallicianò. Here only about forty inhabitants resist and proudly defend language and traditions. The village, with no school or market, is well hidden and not easy to reach and it is precisely for this isolation that it has preserved the Greek language in a particular way. But the traveler who ventures this far is welcomed with open arms and enjoys the privilege of knowing the ancient hospitality oft Magna Graecia (Great Greece) and experiencing an absolutely authentic piece of Calabria. We visit the Fountain of Love, the small Orthodox church and the ethnographic museum. And to end the day really well and savor not only the atmosphere but also the dishes of this magical village, we stop for dinner.