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Gerace: a medieval village in the heart of Calabria

Located on the slopes of Aspromonte, Calabria, Gerace is a charming medieval village that enchants visitors with its timeless beauty and rich historical heritage. This enchanting city, which stands on a hill 470 meters above sea level, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding valley and the Ionian Sea, offering a unique experience to anyone who visits it.

Also known as “Upper Gerace” to distinguish it from the more modern part of the town, “Lower Gerace”, this ancient village has roots that date back to the times of the Greeks and Romans. However, it was in the medieval period that Gerace reached its greatest splendor, becoming an important religious and political center of the region.

The historic center

The beating heart of Gerace is represented by its magnificent co-cathedral, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta. This majestic sacred building, built in the 11th century, skillfully combines architectural elements of different styles, from Norman art to Gothic. Inside the cathedral you can admire precious frescoes and marble altars, which testify to the wealth and religious importance of Gerace over the centuries. In the crypt of the church it is possible to visit the “treasure room” where objects, sacred vestments and statues from different eras are displayed.

Also unmissable is the church of San Nicola del Cofino, a rock crypt from the Paleochristian era dug into the rock. The village is full of churches from many different eras and all very beautiful. Gerace is in fact nicknamed “the city of a hundred churches”.

The streets of the historic center are an authentic labyrinth of alleys, arches and courtyards, which invite you to get lost in a romantic walk through past centuries. Along the way, you can admire noble palaces, churches and ancient convents that tell the history and art of this village.

The symbol of the strategic importance that this city has held in the past is certainly its castle. The ancient fortress from the Greek era, destroyed in the Byzantine period, was subsequently restored in the Norman era. Today the mighty walls and a large tower remain of the castle. From here you can admire spectacular views of the city and the surrounding countryside.

Gerace Castle

What to do in Gerace?

Gerace also offers spectacular panoramic views. From the Terrazza delle Bombarde, it is possible to admire the entire valley below, with its lush vineyards, olive groves and citrus groves that characterize the Calabrian landscape. The Ionian sea, with its crystal clear waters and golden beaches, completes the idyllic picture.

Gerace is also famous for its food and wine tradition. Visitors have the opportunity to taste local delicacies, such as olive oil, cheeses, cured meats and wines typical of the region. Gerace’s cuisine is a riot of authentic flavors that will delight even the most demanding palates.

Furthermore, the city hosts numerous cultural and folklore events throughout the year. The most famous is the “Il Borgo Incantato” festival which takes place in July. The festival welcomes numerous street artists who come from all over the world to perform in the squares and streets of the historic center.

In conclusion, Gerace is an authentic treasure that deserves to be discovered. Its medieval beauty, its rich historical and cultural heritage and its enchanting location make this town a unique place in the heart of Calabria. Visiting Gerace means immersing yourself in a magical atmosphere, where time seems to have stopped, offering an experience that will remain etched in the memory of anyone who sets foot there.