A visit to the village of Pentedattilo, between history and ghosts

Trip to the ghost town of Pentedattilo (RC), a place of legends and resilience
RC-Melito Porto Salvo-Pentedattilo-Borghi[sitoweb]

© Regione Calabria

Art and Culture

Have you ever heard of Pentedattilo (Calabria, RC)?

The village of Pentedattilo is among the most beautiful "ghost towns" to visit, despite the lugubrious legend that hovers there, linked to the "Slaughter of the Alberti" (1686).

A village haunted by ghosts, but also by an extraordinary nature and by the stories of the new resilient inhabitants, artists and shepherds, who in the village of Pentedattilo have found a new style of "slow life".

Pentedattilo: how to get there

Pentedattilo: the area where the ethnolinguistic minority of the "Greeks of Calabria" still survives and the Mediterranean nature of the Aspromonte National Park.

If you are wondering how to get to Pentedattilo, know that the municipality of reference is Melito di Porto Salvo, in the province of Reggio Calabria. The town is located along the SS 106 Jonica, in the stretch of sea known as the Riviera dei Gelsomini. The same beach where the "Landing of the Thousand" in Calabria took place on 19 August 1860, in the locality of Rumbolo.  

Getting there is easy: from the centre of Melito, continue a few kilometres inland, towards the unmistakable five-fingered cliff (as suggested by the name "Pentedattilo", of Greek origin) that towers above the town and incorporates the small houses and the bell tower of the old church in the rock, like a sculpted nativity scene.

Regione Calabria

Pentedattilo: what to see

Some call them "ghost-cities", the fact remains that the small abandoned villages are a fascinating attraction for those on the hunt for Gothic stories and legends.

Among the Calabrian "ghost towns", the village of Pentedattilo is a real open-air film set. Pentedattilo, mysterious and seductive Calabria, awaits you to tell its suspended story, which draws on a grim family massacre: the "Slaughter of the Alberti", named after the noble family that ruled the territory in the 16th century.

It was a passionate and heinous crime that bloodied the village of Pentedattilo, destined, according to the curse, to close its five rocky fingers on the town (hence called the "Devil's Hand"). Some claim to still hear the screams of Marquis Lorenzo Alberti during winter evenings. 

Regione Calabria

Pentedattilo, what to see? The ancient Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, predating the 14th century and embellished by the unmistakable bell tower.

The village of Pentedattilo was severely damaged by the 1789 earthquake, after which it depopulated (prophecy fulfilled?). Since the 1980s, it has been rediscovered and enhanced by local associations, which have transformed it into an "diffuse hotel", turning some private houses into Museums of Peasant Civilisation and artisan workshops offering a cross-section of the precious Aspromonte handicrafts.

When to visit the village of Pentedattilo? In every season of the year, to appreciate the different shades of colours and scents that surround it; in summer for the artistic and cultural events, such as the Paleariza Festival of Greek culture and the "Pentedattilo Film Festival" international short film festival. 

Pentedattilo: excursions 

The beautiful surroundings of Pentedattilo, Aspromonte Calabria, are perfect for a variety of excursions and trekking on foot, by bicycle and on horseback.

The village of Pentedattilo is one of the gateways to the Aspromonte National Park, and in particular to a visitor trail much appreciated by lovers of literature: the "Englishman's Path", in the footsteps of the writer Edward Lear, one of the protagonists of the Grand Tour in Calabria, and part of the official network of "Paths in Calabria".

Sentiero dell'Inglese
Sentiero dell'Inglese

The same itinerary of Pentedattilo, Calabria between history, art and nature, also inspired the artistic experience of Maurits Cornelis Escher, the Dutch engraver and graphic artist who was so fascinated by the village of Pentedattilo that he made it one of the icons of his lithographic art.

Following the itinerary to discover the "Escher glimpses" is another fascinating way to visit.


Ultimo aggiornamento: Apr 24, 2024 7:43 AM