Maierà, the home of chilli pepper


Maierà  is a small village of the Alto Tirreno Cosentino area, built on a rocky cliff overlooking the Vaccata, stream with clusters of houses next to each other.

Maierà  houses the world only Museo del Peperoncino (Museum of Chilli Pepper), located within the Palazzo Patrizio in its historical centre and birthplace of the Italian Academy of Chilli Pepper.

Maierà  is very popular due to its peculiar position as the village rests on the rock in an enchanting natural-historical setting. It is separated from the nearby village of Grisolia by a deep valley, known as the "Vallata dei Mulini" (valley of the mills), which still today preserves the remains of old stone mills that drove the local economy.

The name Maierà  derives from the Hebrew toponym M’arà, which means cave, and is due to the presence of a large number of natural caves in the area. The Grotta di San Domenico (Cave of San Domenico), a natural cave partially excavated by man, that was once home to Basilian monks is of great historical relevance. The narrow alleys of the historical town centre retain several works of modern art such as murals and works in pottery, curated for by different artists as evidence of a past that meets with the modern present day. Imposing and beautiful to see is the Porta Grande or Porta della Terra, which was once the entrance gate to the ancient village. Also of interest is the Expo Zona Sud exhibition space, which over the years has welcomed exhibitions and meetings with artists and renowned national and international intellectuals.


Chiesa Madre di Santa Maria del Piano located within the historical town centre of Maierà must not be missed. The Cappella della Madonna del Carmelo (Chapel of Our Lady of Carmel) is a small church built near the historic town centre, where the ruins of the Longobard court may be found. 
Another small church worthy of a visit is the Chiesa di San Pietro, formerly part of the Abbazia Basiliana di San Pietro a Carbonara; one of the most ancient Basilian abbeys of the Tyrrhenian coast. Within its interior, it is possible to admire the altar and a valuable wooden Crucifix. Only a few ruins remain of the Chiesetta Basiliana di San Giacomo, identifiable in the perimeter walls and the saint’s niche, that attest to the presence of Basilian Monks. The Via Crucis in Vrasi, with its precious and delicate majolica earthenware is of artistic relevance.

Maierà's Museum of Chilli Pepper

The world's only Museo del Peperoncino (Museum of Chilli Pepper), is located within the Palazzo Patrizio in its historical centre was an initiative of the Accademia Italiana del Peperoncino (Italian Academy of Chilli Pepper). From July 2016 it is part of the Associazione Nazionale Piccoli Musei. (National Association of Small Museums). The Museum was born to showcase the art, items and advertising inspired by the famous diavolillo (chilli pepper), mandatory reference for lovers of spicy flavours and tastes and proof of its great love for Calabria that has chosen it as the symbol of its cultural identity. The Museum is equipped with various exhibition halls, such as La Via del Peperoncino, which displays a journey of six thousand years of travelling around the world, narrated by maps, photographs, drawings and historical accounts; a section on aromas and flavours, an overview of the varieties grown worldwide; the section on Advertising and merchandising, that preserves a collection of the most famous sauces worldwide, in addition to perfumes, bathroom-foam, lighters, paintings and posters; a section on satire, with the "Vignette sul Ring", created from the spicy ideas of the famous cartoonist Gianfranco Passpartout, in addition to the latest news on the 'Walt Disney Pic' collection made with the art of pyrography,; the Pottery&Chili Pepper section with the Tazzina Pepita as its highlight; a captivating, curious and stimulating cup. Do not miss the section Companies&gastronomy, which features a display of products based on chilli pepper that are processed and marketed worldwide.


In the streets of Maierà  visitors are greeted daily with the aromas of the typical gastronomy, where home-made pasta is the star dish: fusilli pasta with goat meat sauce, mixed fried pork meats with roast peppers sprinkled with a good glass of red wine from Maierà  are all part of the area's typical menu. Other local specialities to be enjoyed are Lagane e Ceci (lagane wide pasta with chickpeas) and red pepper, tagliatelle pasta with porcini mushrooms gathered in nearby woods, Pasta e Fagioli 'ndufata (pasta and beans) and the typical crispy Pepe cruschi (sweet fried red peppers from Senise). 
Typical sweets which are prepared during the christmas period include stuffed Chinule and Cannaritole seasoned with fig honey.

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Ultimo aggiornamento: Jul 8, 2020 11:24 AM