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Fuscaldo (CS)

The charm of the “stone village”

Fuscaldo rises on an extended surface between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the coastal mountain range. Of particular value is the historic town centre, nestled in the hills. Also known as "paese di pietra” (stone village), Fuscaldo was mentioned for the first time in 589 A.D. as Castrum Fuscalidi. Noteworthy of a visit are valuable medieval and Renaissance buildings, among which, in particular,
 
is the Palazzo Valenza as well: ancient churches, one hundred portals, arches, terraces and towers chiselled by stonecutters and local stone masons.
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A village crafted by stone and wind, which has endured both weather and a solitary position, whose historical town centre displays the vestiges of a glorious and ancient past.
 

A village crafted by stone and wind, solitary and severe, whose historical town centre displays the vestiges of a glorious and ancient past. Its origins are mysterious: Some experts claimed that it was founded by the Osci or Oenotrians; others assumed that the Greeks from Sybaris settled their first community around the pre-existing Elce stronghold soon after their defeat by the Crotonians. The area was definitely inhabited by the Romans and there are evidences that it was a Lombard camp. Evidence to confirm that the area was inhabited in Greek and Roman times was found in several tombs discovered in past centuries, particularly in San Leonardo, Garrafa, San Pietro and Lago, all containing Greek and Roman coins and jewels.

 
Fuscaldo
 

Evocative are the landscapes and views of the sea and equally fascinating is the natural scenery, from the gravel and sandy stretches of Marina di Fuscaldo to wooded areas, rich in streams and large clearings in hills and mountains. Tourists who decide to visit these places have a wide offer of activities available; on the one hand they can go for walks in nature to admire the beauty of the rural landscape and to enjoy the tastes and flavours of a tradition kept alive by agriculture, while on the other, they can appreciate the nearby pebbles and fine natural sand beach with cliffs that plunge into an emerald green sea; perfect destinations for snorkelling lovers.
Another option is a charming stroll along the narrow streets and steep staircases that ascend to the historical town centre until reaching the Piazza Indipendenza; Fuscaldo's thriving and scenic heart, also known for its numerous sandstone or “tuff” portals decorated by local master stonemasons for the stately buildings that make up its precious historical town centre. Among all and of undeniable historical value is Casa di Vienna (Vienna's home), where Vienna da Fuscaldo, mother of San Francesco di Paola (Saint Francis of Paola) was born and which today has become a refuge for pilgrims. The Oasi di Vienna (Oasis of Vienna) is located close to the Convento di San Francesco (Convent of Saint Francis); the great monastic complex which boasts a church and two libraries as well as a cloister and represents one of the oldest architectural gems throughout the country.
Additionally, within the town centre it is possible to visit the Chiesa Matrice (the town's main church), also very ancient and dating back to the XI/XII century while the Chiesa dell'Immacolata (Church of the Immaculate Conception) which with its high belfry supported by 12 columns of sandstone (known locally as tuff or “tuffa”) draws attention. The area's main resources are the fishing of Anchovies, bluefish par excellence, that live in the local seawaters. They are celebrated in an event called “Fuscaldo: Alici in Festival” (Fuscaldo Anchovies’ Festival) that draws, thousands of visitors every summer.

 
Fuscaldo
 
Fuscaldo Castle

Few ruins remain of the Castello di Fuscaldo, placed on a buttress of Serra Pantalonata between the valleys of the Maddalena and Mercando stream and dating back to the XII century. A fief of the Tarsia, Ruffo, Marzano and lastly Spinelli families from 1496 until 1806. The latter, a Catholic family supporter of the Holy Inquisition, reorganised the ancient fortification, making many changes.
The castle guards the history of the tragic fate of the Waldensians who fled persecution in the Piedmont Region and took refuge in Calabria to work the lands of the Marchesi Spinelli; here they were also declared heretics and subjected to a first process within the actual Fuscaldo Castle. All that remains of the castle is a small part of the city walls.

 


 


Adress Via D. Sansoni, 21
  87024 Fuscaldo (CS)
Phone number 0982/859863
Fax 098289592
Website www.comune.fuscaldo.cs.it
 

 

The Main Church

The year of its foundation is unknown; however, it certainly existed in 1166, because in that year, on June 5, Richard, the Archbishop of Cosenza, consecrated the main altar dedicated to Saint James the Greater the Apostle, where the relics of the Martyr Saints Pope Stephen, Viator, Senator and Cassiodorus are still kept. It is also certain that the church was founded by the Universitas of Fuscaldo that was in charge of its restoration till 1749. Originally, the church had a Gothic shape and housed many private chapels. Some of them, however, were very small and had no altar; the patrons had just the nave walls painted with images of the Saint to whom the chapel was dedicated, and paid the due rates to celebrate masses. The chapels are decorated with frescoes and paintings by Genesio Gualtieri from Mormanno and G. Battista Santoro.

 

Church of Beata Vergine del Soccorso

The little church is located in the Pesco district. The festival of the Virgin Mother, the Patron saint of the district, is celebrated on August 5: in the late afternoon, the statue of the Madonna is carried by bearers around the streets. Local people are involved in the preparation of the festival that begins in the small Church praying “novena”.

The bell tower is located on the left side of the church and keeps two bells.  

It is the only church located in the area and is surrounded by green vegetation.

 

Church of San Giuseppe

The Church is located in Via Garibaldi. It probably dates back to 1700 though it was previously used as a cemetery. The main altar is dedicated to "Nostra Donna del Suffragio", portrayed in the painting by Pascaletti. The Church was formerly called "Anime del Purgatorio".

 

Church of San Giovanni Nuovo

The church was a 18th century Augustinian oratory. The building, whose construction was sponsored by Marquis Spinelli, had originally to house a nun convent. It is located in Via Roma, opposite to the small private church of San Sebastiano. It is a single nave church with a bell tower and two bells. On the right side of the main entrance of the church the remains of a Medieval column stack can be admired.

 

Church of Immacolata

The single nave church is located in Via Chiesa Matrice. The 35 m high bell tower, built by local stonemasons, is decorated with twelve tuff fluted columns with Corinthian capitals, three on each corner. The baroque interior keeps stucco decorations and a series of canvas depicting the Virgin Mary by Giacomo Cestaro. The painting on the main altar is the work of Giuseppe Pascaletti from Fiumefreddo who painted it in 1748. The building was probably erected by the Archconfraternity of the Immaculate Conception in 1633, while in the early 18th century it was radically transformed by architect Nicolò Ricciullo from Rogliano. The bell tower was built later.

 

Church of Santa Maria del Rosario

The Church is located at the corner of Via Maggiore Vaccari and via Tenente Rubens Iannuzzi. It keeps two paintings by Antonio Berté, a 1973 altarpiece located on the right side of the nave, and a large painting entitled L'Ultima Cena, dated 1981 and exhibited all over Italy with other artworks of the series called “Morte di Pietra”. It was placed on the left side of the nave in 1983. Moreover, a beautiful low relief reproducing the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross) by Antonio Ricci, the Roman sculptor that made it in 1980, was offered to the church by Francesco Samà, the art historian.

 

Church of San Michele Arcangelo 

The church, located in the Cariglio square, was originally dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist. The current name was granted by a President decree in 1952, and it became a parish church in 1986. It is a two nave church and has a bell tower with two bells. It was offered to the parish agency in 1982 by Alfonso, Nicola and Luigi Vaccari.

 

Church of Santa Maria della Stella

It stands along the road to Paola. It was built thanks to the charitable contribution of local congregation.  It is located in the square of Scarcelli; it has three naves and a bell tower on the right side that can be accessed from inside the church. It keeps a picture of the Madonna of the Star by Genesio Gualtieri from Mormanno. The statues that decorate the façade are the works of local stonemasons.



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