Versione in Italiano
Serrastretta on the
Historical HighlightsTradition has it
that some families of Scigliano, fleeing feudal persecutions, came to this area
rich in forests, with plentiful, drinkable and irrigable waters, where they
decided to construct their houses. The year was 1383.
It was called
Serrastretta by the inhabitants of Taverna who often passed through this area on
their way to Nicastro. They first noticed the village nestled " between two high
hills " (called Serre) -- this is the name still in use today.
founded as a hamlet of the " University" (today "Municipality") of
Feroleto Antico. Just before 1600 the town acquired the role of University by
design of the Royal Court of Calabria Ultra.
Serrastretta was at
first under the dominion of the dukes Caracciolo, then, because of
several internal disputes it would in a later century yield all of the county of
Nicastro to Count Carlo d' Aquino.
After his visit to Serrastretta,
it remained an enchanted place to him so he decided to build a palace to use as
a summer-autumn residence here, called " the Castle " and which still
exists in the lower portion of the town.
At the end of XVIII century all of
the territory came under the control of the Regal State Treasury which seized it
from the last heir of the Aquinos and tranferred if to the King of Naples. It
followed first, a period of submission to the Kingdom of Naples.
With the coming of Napoleon Bonaparte in Italy, the territories of
Feroleto and Serrastretta, and nearly all of Calabria came under the dominion of
This gave rise to a long period of brigandage, of which
Serrastretta also had to suffer. Large bands, composed mainly of Bourbon
soldiers and partisans, often threatened to plunder and to burn the town, giving
rise to violent clashes with the population.
Only thanks to an intense
campaign by G. Murat and General Manhes this phenomenon eventually
ended -- definitively.
With the death of Napoleon and the end of French
domination, Ferdinand IV was returned to the throne of Naples and Sicily
and the entire area passed under the control of the Bourbons.
During those years the Carbonari, began and, saw its proponents
in Serrastretta. The large tree ("'u Milucuacciu") that stood
above the main public square of the town, planted by the Carbonari of
Serrastretta, but unfortunately uprooted for several reasons of public safety,
was a reminder of those events.
The residents of Serrastretta have always been active in the large
changes in history: from the revolution of 1848 to the campaign of
Garibaldi in southern Italy; from the expansionistic campaigns in the
middle east to the last two great world-wide conflicts.
In memory of those
who died in these two wars a monument was erected in the center of town,
formed from a large granite block topped-off by Winged Victory, a fusion in
bronze inspired to the "Nike of Samotracia", work of the sculptor
The years of the post-war period have also seen Serrastretta hit by
emigration, with exoduses from Italy which have provoked a progressive
loss of population in the entire town, which today only eases in the summer,
with the arrival of emigrants and tourists for vacations -- when the town
resumes its splendor.
In the photo: the monument to the fallen
Serrastretta has been an important place. Elevated to a Municipality in century
XVI, in 1807 it became the center of the Governor (or Justice of the
Peace). Subsequently this center was transformed into a Pretura
(Magistrate's Court), which remained active until to 1933.
In 1865 The
Office of Agency of Direct Taxes and the Cadastre (land registry office)
was created and made the head of an immense number of other municipalities,
comprised Miglierina, Soveria Mannelli, S. Mango d 'Aquino and Falerna. A few
years later an Office of the Registry and Brands (official stamps &
seals) was established.
In the beginning of century XVII the center of
Preventive or Correctional Jails was established, and remained active
until recent time. During this period it became the center of the Fucilieri
Reali (Royal Riflemen), which later transformed in 1860 to the
Gendarmeria (Police station) and subsequently, under the monarchy, to the
seat of the Carabinieri Reali (Royal Military Police).
proclamation of the Reign of Italy to approximately 1919, Serrastretta was the
main center of the Political Electoral College, comprising many of the
towns in the Catanzaro and the Sila Piccola areas.
With the onset of the
Republic many of these operations have been gradually centralized, and
Serrastretta has progressively lost its political importance.
was also one of the first towns in south Italy having electric power,
thanks to a local power station built at beginning of this century, following
the principles of the initiative of the " Societą Idro - elettrica
Serrastrettese (Hydro-Electric Society (Co.) ", founded by Dr. Ernesto
In the photo: an old water-powered flour mill at the edge of
Beginning of Other City CentersIn the
course of the centuries the inhabitants of Serrastretta have given origin to
rural villages to cultivate the lands, which today have transformed into their
own inhabited centers, and are recognized as districts. They number at least
five: Migliuso, Angoli, S. Michele, Accaria, Cancello and beyond, there
are numerous other districts. The most important event above the rest is the
founding of the municipality of Sersale (CZ), which was begun in 1620 to
work the colonies of Serrastretta.
They tired of the tyranny of the Aquinos,
and obtained a concession to cultivate the territories of Zagarise from the
baron Francesco Sersale Ruffo di Calabria. The village that progressively
formed was given the name of Sersale, in honor of the baron.
to remember their common origins, the municipal administrations of the two towns
have recently begun a gemellaggio (twin towns pact), formalized with
deliberate actions in the months of August and September 1995.
Noteworthy PersonalitiesOf the many
noteworthy and famous we particularly remember :
DALIDA': Yolanda Gigliotti -
Celebrated Star of Italian song of this century.
Emilio DE FAZIO (1828-1877): Medical Doctor and Scholar. Wrote a
great deal on cancer and miasma palustre.
Francesco Antonio GIULIANI (1738-1809): Philosopher, Scholar, Jurist.
He wrote various treatises of rights and politics, the greater part unknown. In
1779 he illustred and published in Naples " Le Rime " of the Poet Pirro
Schettini, and he was named Academic at the Telesio Academy of
Filippo BRUNI (1725-1803): Local Archpriest, Theologian and Scholar
of Latin and Greek letters.
Leopoldo DE FAZIO (XIX sec.): University Professor and Journalist. He
worked and lived in Rome for a great deal of time. We remember his many works of
politics and patriotism.
Francesco MIRANTE (XIX sec.): Man of letters. Worked a great deal of
time in scholastic circles, and wrote many works of didactics and history. He
received many honorary acknowledgments, among which he received the gold medal in 1932.
Francesco MAZZEI (1833-1921): University Professor in various
advanced institutes. Patriot.
How to get to Serrastretta
From Catanzaro: take the highway of Two Seas (Due Mari) - exit at
Marcellinara and proceed to Tiriolo (25 Km approximately)
From Cosenza: take the highway A3 SA-RC - exit at Altilia Grimaldi
and proceed to Soveria Mannelli (30 Km approximately)
From Lamezia T.: take the provincial road to Fronti-Accaria-M.te
Condro (20 Km approximately)
From Reggio C.: take the highway A3 SA-RC - exit at Lamezia T. -
proceed on the Highway of "Two Seas (Due Mari)" towards Catanzaro - exit at S.
Ippolito cloverleaf and continue as from Lamezia.
By train: From Catanzaro or Cosenza with the Railroads of Calabria.
By Bus: From Lamezia Terme with the Joną Bus Company.
CraftsmanBesides its history,
Serrastretta is known everywhere for its flourishing arts & crafts, its
woodwork and for the production of furniture, kitchens, door-frames, casings
and furnishings of every kind.
First and above all other crafts are the
woven-straw chairs, for which Serrastretta is considered to be one of the
main Calabrese producers. The chairs makers continue to construct chairs
as in old times -- a frame made of wood, to which the women expertly apply the
woven straw seats with a special bush" vuda ", coming from the plants in
The precious loom work requires much skill and many of
the women still practice special hook weaving, the lace-pillow and
MuseumsIn Serrastretta there is a
stable Museum of Rural and Artisan Civilisation, with original tools and
reconstructions of activities of the past.
Open all year and on request (by
care of Town hall). Guided visits are also in
Do not forget in the historical center the Ancient house of the
craftsman, reconstructed meticulously in all its original atmospheres.
Always open in the summer and upon request during the rest of the year.
House of the craftsman: workshop of the
Mother Church of B. V. del Soccorso: Structured like a Latin cross
with three naves in the late Baroque style. On the walls numerous frescoes by
several artists are present, among which is a Carl Zimatore. Also present inside
is the esteemed wooden chancel, work of local craftsman, and an
ancient baptismal source in green marble coming from the nearby
Corazzo Monastery. Also noteworthy is the stone carved relief frame of the
main portal with several decorative themes.
The portals of recent
manufacture, are in bronze with applied bas-relief representing scenes of daily
life and religious symbols and events.
Aedicula of Maria S.S. of Costantinopoli - Serrastretta
Church of Rosario - Accaria
Immaculate church - Accaria
Immaculate church - Migliuso
Church of S. Giuseppe - Angoli
Church of S. Michele Arcangelo - S. Michele
Inside of the Mother Church
(beech-wood) For a long time
competed between the numerous monarchs in the course of centuries, today the
Faggeta represents a naturalistic patrimony and an immense value for the entire
territory. With an extension of many many acres, under the strict control of The
Forest Authority, even today several local craftsmen use it as the primary
source of lumber for their work.
At its begin region there is an ample zone
equipped for pic-nics, preferred target by vacationers, with numerous
barbeques and many other springs, all very in tune with the ambient
Recently various paths of varied length that can be
covered by foot, or on mountain-bike or horse. --
have for the most part, been traced and mapped.
Margari's stoneDeep in the Faggeta is
a large cliff encircled by vegetation, known by the name " the Stone of
Margari ". Ancient legend says that the population of the Margari may have
hidden their treasure here.
Following an ancient ritual and with an
exceedingly strong blow, it is said that the stone would crack and release all
of its audacious its immense valuables.
Up to now nobody is known to have
In the photo: one splendid portion of the
Typical products of the area are dressed pork products ("soppressate,
salsicce"), cheeses, mushrooms, dried fruits and sweets for the
Chestnuts are found in the higher parts of town and olives in
the hilly-areas where all of their derivatives are produced as well. Orchards
and vineyards are in every territory, and above all of the districts.
forget to taste the "porcini" mushrooms specialties accompanied with the
wonderful local red wine.
Restaurant Chalet " Dalida' ": 096884116
Hotel Restaurant " Parco Pingitore ": 096881071
Both carry out
also pizzeria service with a wood burning furnace all year.
One of several "Christmas fires" realized in the town the
24th and 31th of December
Fairs and open markets
Market every Friday of the month
" Fair of New Year's Day " - Decembers 30 & 31.
Numbers of public usefullness