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Neo-hermits and castellans

Tuesday 06 august 2019

We are in the western strip of the Calabrian Serre Regional Park, in Soreto and in the Arena: both belonging to the province of Vibo Valentia. A little trip: in an ancient Franciscan monastery; in a small medieval vibonese village.

Neo-hermits and castellans

Built on the left bank of the Marepotamo river, the main affluent of the Mesima river: one of the largest rivers in the region, which from the Calabrian Serre flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea, the ancient convent / hermitage of Soreto, a town belonging to the neighboring municipality of Dinami, show scholars, and those who by chance find them passing by, their own secular walls that are rich in history and devotion and welcome tourists and pilgrims from all over.

Place of silence and peace, the ancient convent / hermitage, nowadays flanked by a recently built structure: Eremo dei Santi Francesco in Soreto - dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi and St. Francis of Paola - created by a devotee of the area in 1990 and now undergoing restructuring to welcome hermitages and pilgrims, and those who wish to spend time between these places, lends itself well to pleasant spiritual retreats, to pleasant walks, to the heart is enriched and lightened, in company of the rustling of leaves and the path of the river.

About half an hour's drive from Soreto, and for those who love walking to several hours of walking, there are several villages to visit, including Arena.

Arena, first Greek colony and later Roman municipality, during the Middle Ages it was the capital of a great feud, including Soreto. The castle, built by the Normans in the 11th century, was home to several nobles and lords.

Destroyed by the great scourge of 1783, the earthquake that struck much of southern Calabria and the city of Messina, and later proved by the flood of 1855, Arena today shows itself as a treasure trove of beauties: a charming village overlooking extensive olive groves, from which a good oil is extracted; on large forests of beech and chestnut, under which to find benefit on hot days.

The numerous alleys that rise from the town hall square towards the upper part of the village find a pleasant stop in the various small squares, surrounded by low houses scented with flowers, and in the many faces that offer visitors enchanting prospects.

Enchanting vertical perspectives, therefore, for those who want to visit the pretty village that in these days is preparing to welcome the figures in the traditional Historical Re-enactment, which this year will take place on Saturday 10th August and which will culminate with the election of the Castellana, a girl of place where the keys of the castle will be symbolically delivered.

Two small trips to live and share, in a land full of simple flavors and delicate sounds.

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