San Marco Argentano
San Marco Argentano, on the road of the Normans
Jul 6, 2020 12:56 PM
Jul 6, 2020 12:56 PM
The Norman village of San Marco Argentano is regarded as the heir of the ancient Argentanum, located in the Fullone river valley,in the province of Cosenza, along the isthmus that connects the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas. Placed between the two seas, this town was the crossroads of ancient trades since the beginnings of Christianity, becoming a gateway between cultures and traditions that are very different from one another other. A hamlet where history and culture have merged and have created a portal which leads us directly into the past.
San Marco is an unbelievably well-preserved historical relic of a Norman town; this is evident in the Cathedral's Crypt, which architecturally-speaking has remained intact and thus become a historical heritage of absolute importance.
Placed between the two seas, San Marco was the crossroads of ancient trades, becoming a gateway between cultures and traditions are very different from one another.
Norman influence is evident in the Norman Tower of Drogo, or Torre del Guiscardo; the city’s main architectural monument and historical centre. The Abbey of Santa Maria della Matina, one of the region's most important monastic complexes was built by the Benedictines and though only a few remains are to be found, it has nevertheless managed to preserve its allure. San Marco surprises visitors with the charm of its historical town centre, with its winding narrow streets and ancient alleys that branch off to the old town into unexpectedly broad open spaces, revealing its beauty and the culture of the people that inhabited it. The historic town centre is dotted with noble palaces of the nineteenth century, decorated by portals, coats of arms and skillfully carved stone cornices.
The geographical position of San Marco allows for quick trips to the National Park of Pollino, Italy’s largest, to observe fauna and flora, loricati pines and the Parco della Sila; here visitors can admire the unspoiled nature of a plateau which preserves breathtaking landscapes and the lakes Cecita, Arvo and Ampollino or wander across to the woods to explore nature and wildlife trails.
San Marco could only be a place of meeting between the great men of the Holy Church.
From the Sanctuary of San Marco's Martyrs (Satuario dei Santi Martiri Argentanesi), cradle of Christianity of San Marco Argentano, to the martyr Agostino Castrillo, whose body rests in the Crypt, to Sant'Antonio da Padova, San Francesco di Paola and San Nicola Faggio da Longobardi who all have left indelible traces of their past.
As in other aspects of Calabria, including San Marco's history, culture and tradition come together to create an original culinary experience; a sensory journey of flavours and scents that enhances the excellent produce of the land and local companies featuring these ingredients in the processing and production of local specialties. Like the pipazzi arraganati, without doubt one of the most famous dishes of the local tradition: red peppers (sweet or spicy) which are sun-dried in summer and then fried in winter in boiling oil. What makes this dish unique is the inimitable crispiness? It can be served as a side-dish with typical delicatessen products and with main courses or with pork rinds.