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Montalto Uffugo: the unfinished village

Tuesday 09 january 2018

An unaware village and its incomplete richness.

Montalto Uffugo: the unfinished village

Montalto Uffugo is a village, but nobody knows it. It's a place rich in history. It was told by Tito Livio as the Aufugum where the Bruzi took refuge in their resistance against Hannibal. It was inhabited by Normans, Jews and the Waldensians and it was the theater of one of the most bloody massacres of these ones in the XVI century.

Montalto is a place rich in culture. Here it took life the Accademia degli Inculti, established in the early years of the seventeenth century by Paolo Antonio Foscarini and it has become in a short time one of the cultural most fervent and prestigious cenacles of the epoch. It's in Montalto that Ruggero Leoncavallo was inspired for the setting of his most representative work (I Pagliacci), and it's always here in Montalto that in the fifteenth century an opulent Jewish community has been established, traders of silk and other precious fabrics, whose shops are still present in the old historical center of the village.

Montalto is also a place rich of religion, with ancient and valuable churches, such as the Cathedral of Madonna della Serra, with its splendid baroque facade dating back to 1227, later remodeled in the modern epoch, inside which there is housed a precious wooden statue of the XIV century. And together with the Church of San Francesco and San Giacomo, deserves a particular attention the Church of the Carmine, original headquarters of the Accademia degli Inculti, built in 1600 and still inaccessible dued to a restructuring that was worth the signalling between the places of the heart of the FAI. And the religious tradition lives also in the illustrious people of the village, as Don Gaetano Mauro and Elena Aiello, the founders of religious orders for which it has already begun the process of canonization.

So much richness in this village on the hills of Calabria, still partly unknown. Yet there's something missing. The awareness of itself, the full consciousness of being a place of culture, the inability, for lack of funds but also perhaps of autonomous forces, to promote a cultural tourism that could bring Montalto among the unmissable places to visit during a vacation in Calabria.

Montalto is a village where still live many young people who have decided to come back home after theirs study and job experiences outside the region, where remain gastronomic and popular traditions, but it's still lacking the strength in feeling special. Missing that pinch of presumption that carries a community to be aware, to be able making that leap in quality that Montalto Uffugo deserves, not to remain hidden and present only in the heart of the ones who live here.

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