Corigliano majestically stands on a small hill surrounded by green olive and colourful citron groves. South, it is protected by the imposing Sila massif and, east, it overlooks the turquoise water of the Ionian Sea.
Among the historical and artistic monuments that adorn Corigliano, the Castello Ducale (Ducal Castle) has an outstanding position, recently restored to its former glory.
The area has a Mediterranean climate with a mild temperature all year round and very hot days in summer.
In the past, Corignano was at the centre of historical events of great importance and is the birthplace of Charles III, King of Naples who reigned toward the end of the XII century. Among the historical and artistic monuments that adorn Corigliano, the Ducal Castle has an outstanding position. The 1073 fortified building was recently restored to its former glory and it has now become a must-see place for visitors. A walk in the old town through narrow streets, rural houses and ancient sacred places is a fascinating and intense experience, as well as the archaeological itineraries concerning the historical connections to the ancient Sybaris.
The economy of the town of Corigliano Calabro and its numerous hamlets is driven toward the primary sector, agriculture and fisheries, given the proximity of the sea and harbour. The exceptional weather conditions allow the massive production of oranges and clementines, as well as that of olive oil and wine. Precisely because of this production, Corigliano Calabro has been included among the list of Italian towns of flavours. Recent years have seen the increasing development of the tourism sector, given the proximity of the Sila park and the magnificent Ionian Sea, the town welcomes tourists almost all-year round, with a peak during the summer season.
Corigliano Calabro holds a large number of festivals and festivities dedicated to the local flavours throughout the year. Starting from the “Sagra del pesce azzurro” (blue fish feast) that is organised during early August in Schiavonea, in the magnificent setting of the Ionian Sea. During this festival, visitors can enjoy all local specialities based on fish, from fried fish to the most elaborate dishes.
On 22 October 2017, by referendum, the process of merging with the nearby town of Rossano began. This ended on 31 March 2018 with the establishment of the new municipality of Corigliano-Rossano.
The Ducal Castle
For almost seven centuries, Corigliano’s Ducal Castle has overlooked the southern entrance of the Sybaris plain, which was the most famous and fertile plain of the Magna Graecia. The first news about the presence, in Corigliano, of a fortified outpost date back to the XI century. In fact, it was built by the Normans who, in their campaigns to conquer Sicily and Calabria, in moving along the valley of the river Crati, thought to build a primitive stronghold, to defend the perched village and control the underlying plain. Despite dramatic renovations (made following 1490) having erased almost completely all traces of this primitive fortified structure, it can be assumed that the basis of the present “Mastio” (dungeon) dates back to this historical period. Layers of the castle’s overlapping stones tell tales of the succession of its occupants, changes in terms of taste and even its slow evolution from a typically military function to a residential one. The restoration project has set as its first goal that of allowing the castle's stones to tell their own story. The echo of the presence of its last owners have suggested a discrete pace in how the castle was re-purposed, so as not to break that aura of those who once lived within its walls. Hence, it is not only a museum, but also a place where Sybarites get to know one another, and co-exist at peace within their own minds and culture. The Library of the Magna Grecia, the Museum of the image, the museums, the functional rehabilitation of some environments, such as the Salone degli Specchi (Hall of Mirrors) and the Kitchens (point sale of local products and refreshments-book shop), spaces for exhibitions, outdoor spaces for shows, conference rooms, the possibility to officiate weddings (both religious and lay), are the specific results obtained following restoration works and having re-purposed the existing space. The horizon, both near and far, has rather suggested a particular solution, with binoculars pointing towards the Sibari Plain and allowing us, using a computer, to travel in space and in time, or a telescopes on top of the dungeon, which powered by software will provide images of today's sky and that back in 510 B.C.; date of destruction of the ancient Sybaris.
Marina di Schiavonea
Facing the urban centre is Corigliano's Marina (Schiavonea); a spa and tourist location where, caressed by warm summer sun, visitors are pampered by its intense crystal clear water and entertained by its welcoming people and traditions; here, they can spend a wonderful holiday without having to give up any modern conveniences. Embraced and spoiled by the mountains of the Pollino and Sila and perfumed by the smell of orange blossom which gave birth to the famous clementines, Schiavonea's image is reflected in the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea. Its geographical position and its temperate climate allow to holiday here all-year round. In summer, in fact, the torrid heat is crushed by the coolness of the surrounding mountains and of course, by the pristine water of the sea; while winter is the ideal time for tasting the typical local products, both from the sea and mountains.
Schiavonea is equipped with a beautiful and very long promenade, enjoyed by the young and not so young as well as families with children; it offers many attractions as well as nightclubs, cafés and restaurants for gatherings of the young people who liven up the night life of the Sibari Plain.
Following Gioia Tauro, Schiavonea is Calabria’s largest port. As a result of a huge engineering endeavour, fishing has taken on the features of a true industry with a thriving production. The port also has an equipped area for the mooring of merchant ships and cruise ships. In fact, when it comes to cruise ships it is the point of departure for Greece and other countries of the East. Schiavonea also boasts a beautiful old town centre, typical of seaside villages, with narrow parallel alleys that all lead precisely toward the sea or the marina’s “piazette” or quaint squares. The chiesa Santa Maria ad Nives was built over the old chiesa di San Leonardo, which existed in the area since the seventeenth century. Today this church is flanked by another of a new design, built in the years 2000, much larger than the first that now, in addition to being dedicated to San Leonardo, is also home to the Madonna Nera della Schiavonea (Schiavonea’s Black Madonna). Schiavonea is the starting point for renowned places within Greco-Roman history, with Byzantine and Norman towns; from here, in fact, visitors can visit the ancient Sybaris with its ruins and museum; Corigliano Calabro with the impressive ducal castle of Norman origins; Rossano, the Byzantine city with the headquarters of the museum that houses the “Codice Purpureo” and also the town of Amarelli liquorice.
Corigliano Calabro is the land of flavours and as such, will not disappoint the expectations of those who love Mediterranean cuisine. Corigliano’s cuisine is simple in terms of ingredients, but full of intense flavours and creativity. The basic ingredients are the most often vegetables and legumes, served with pasta or other starchy foods. Fish is of course one of the stars of local cuisine and here, it is of excellent quality and caught in large quantities by local fishermen. An example of a starter eaten locally during a typical meal is “tagliatelle con i ceci” (tagliatelle with chickpeas), which is to be eaten after having tried one of the many typical salami products such as as “soppressata” (the sausage of the mountains) and the “capocollo” (pork meat taken from the neck). During carnival, a meal in Corigliano would not be complete without difficult eating “a pasta chjna” (baked lasagna), surrounded by various delicatessen products and enjoyed with an excellent local red wine. A typical food in the heart of the summer are the famous “lumincianÓ™ chjine " (stuffed aubergines) and “a pitta chjna and ri gurpinella” (stuffed sweet focaccia and gonfiotti filled with jam, raisins and peanuts). On the eve of Santa Lucia (Saint Lucy) 13 things must be brought to the table, i.e. 13 types of fruits among which the tradition requires that the following be included “murtìlle, i melle e ri pizzingàngule” (blueberries, wild medlar and strawberries).
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