Why you should visit Taverna (and Calabria) to find out the roots of the West

Self-portrait, “St. John Baptist”, Taverna (Catanzaro – Italy)

Let’s start spoilering something: contemplating in person the “St. Dominic’s vision”, that overlooks the altar of the San Domenico church, is already a good reason to visit Taverna. Doing it right now, at Guercino’s comparative exposure (wich will end on Novembre 16), is a too greedy opportunity to let it escapes. But let’s proceed slowly.

Less than three thousands inhabitants, a village at the foot of the “Sila Piccola” that settles just over 500 metres above sea level and reaches the 1400 metres of altitude at “Villaggio Mancuso“, Taverna is the synthesis of Calabria. Just a few minutes from the sea and, obviously, a few minutes from the wonderful and lush forests of the Calabrian mountains, like many other Calabrian villages, Taverna claims ancient origins. According to popular tradition, Taverna would have been founded by the inhabitants of Trischene, a Greek colony situated in the current Uria (fraction of the municipality of Sellia Marina), which the sisters of the trojan king Priamo would have given birth to. But despite the actual existence of Trischene have being debated, it seems plausible the existence of a Greek-Latin colony from which Sellia and Taverna would derive, following the Arab pirates incursions that forced inhabitants to find safer shelters in the interior during the Middle Ages.

The history of Taverna is the history of Calabria, the geography of Taverna is the geography of Calabria: snug villages, clinging to the mountains, where you can breathe the burning wood in fireplaces in winter and the scent of the sea during summer. Continua a leggere