The Abbey of San Giovanni in Fiore a treasure of art and culture, emblem of a cultural and spiritual tradition whose name is linked to the figure of the abbot Gioacchino da Fiore, is one of the largest religious buildings in Calabria.
Joachim of Fiore, a great revolutionary prophet and a man of profound faith, was born in Celico in the province of Cosenza between 1130 and 1135, in a rich bourgeois family that allowed her to study in the most famous monasteries of the territory.
Here his faith and his convictions are rooted, thus becoming part of the Cistercian order in the Abbey of Santa Maria di Corazzo, where he lived for five years writing the "De vita sancti benedicti et de officio divine secundum sucess doctrinam".
Abandoned the abbey and the Cistercian order, he retired to the hermitage of Pietralata. In 1191, Gioacchino went back to Sila together with Raniero di Ponza, precisely between the rivers Neto and Arvo in a territory called Jure Vetere (ancient flower) thus building the Protocenobio of Jure Vetere with the help of a community of hermits. These places were baptized San Giovanni and flanked with a Jure (flower), symbol of Platonic love and the beginning of a new life.
Gioacchino chose this place to build his Abbey because he considered it a peaceful land and able to transmit spirituality. In these years the monk matured the florense order which was then recognized and approved by Pope Celestine III in 1196. In the summer of 1214 there was however a fire, in which the devast of the Protocenobio by Jure Vetere took place together with other buildings. From the fire the only one that remained intact on the Abbey itself. Gioacchino da Fiore died in 1202 in the monastery of San Martino di Canale in Pietrafitta, where he was buried. His body was later moved to the church of the Florense Abbey of San Giovanni in Fiore when it was still under construction, it was 1226. After the fire, the monks of Gioachino chose to rebuild the housing complex, not far from Jure Vetere and about twice as large, on a rocky ridge on the valley of the river Neto, founding the imposing Florense Abbey of San Giovanni in Fiore, it was 1215.