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Plataci, where murals tell the past

Monday 15 october 2018

A small town where the culture of ancient Italian Arberia is still protected.

Plataci, where murals tell the past

High Calabria of Cosenza. Coming down from Puglia and the Ionian Lucania, one of the first Calabrian villages that meet. Not among the very first. Think of the beautiful Rocca Imperiale, a sort of gate of Calabria for those who enter the region. And so we are in Plataci, an important center for the linguistic protection of the ancient arbëreshe.

A small town where the culture of ancient Italian Arberia is still protected. We have already talked about it for Civita.

Plataci, Pllatëni in "Albanian", has less than a thousand inhabitants. The story here is etched, painted. The country of murals, very high with almost a thousand meters, waiting for you. And there is silence. And there is history. There is also the Pollino, the eastern side: below the great plain of Sibari and then the blue of the Ionian. Mari and mountains, one would say. And the Albanians here as well, as mentioned.

With even before the plane trees, ready to give the name to the place. Plataci once depended on the nearby Cerchiara, another beautiful center. Music, songs, clothes and dances: ancient traditions here challenge oblivion. So many customs that come from the past. Here is the feast of Our Lady of Constantinople, in spring, Tuesday after Pentecost and then also in November. Still today very much felt by the arbëreshe, Our Lady finds a home in a venerated sanctuary. Also loved the summer feast of St. Roch. The Festival of Little Chanters Arbëreshe then has the merit of safeguarding the melodies that were fathers. The same pride of the murals, works that on the historical stone and stop the past, safeguarding it with creativity and lightness. Up until a few years ago, there was also a compelling theme competition.

The rites, even here as in other countries, agricultural and pagan. "Tomorrow is March 1, remove the sheep from the steed and graze them, serves to ward off the invisible natural forces of bad weather", sings in arbëreshe Carnival days, a party that here, at the limits of heresy, is celebrated until first Sunday of Lent.

In Plataci two churches above all: the oldest is that of St. John the Baptist (1400) and then there is the eighteenth century of Our Lady of Constantinople. In the territory the Bosco della Montagnola, the highest in the country. Three kilometers away, instead, is Mount Barone, with the beautiful Cabugi spring; then the Forano lake, on the side of Mount Sparviere, divided with the nearby Alessandria del Carretto. Many nature trails: a magnificent panorama.

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