Gerace, the "Queen of Aspromonte" and one of the most beautiful old villages in Italy
Gerace is a handsome well preserved high-perched town, sometimes called "La Regina d'Aspromonte" and recognised as one of the I Borghi Più Belli d'Italia. Founded during the Byzantine age, not far from the ancient city of Lokroi (7th cent BC), the town includes the 11th cent. Norman Castle and the Cathedral, consecrated with both Latin and Greek rites, and whose architecture is considered to have national relevance. Gerace hosts many churches, among which the oldest temple in Italy specifically built as an Orthodox-Greek church, in the 10th century; the Civic Museum has collections of local handcraft and historical heritage although the best way to enjoy Gerace is to walk along its beautiful stone-paved narrow streets and taste its delicious typical Ionian-side Aspromonte cuisine.
Along the way to Gerace, close to Mammola, the open-air Santa Barbara contemporary art Museum, founded by a well-known Calabrian artist, takes place between a river valley and an ancient monastery perched on a hill.
Departing from Reggio we will drive along the A3 Naples-Reggio motorway and the Tyrrhenian-Ionian road, reaching the high-perched town of Gerace after about 2 hours. We will enjoy walking in the whole old town visiting: the 11th century Cathedral, consecrated with both Roman-Catholic and Greek-Byzantine rites; the San Francesco 13th century church and Byzantine archæological excavations in its cloister, in case they will be open to the public; the Santa Maria del Mastro 18th century Baroc-style church; the Civic Museum. We will also approach the 11th century Norman Castle and San Giovannello, the oldest church in Italy specifically built as Orthodox-Greek, in the 10th century; both sites are currently closed to public, but visitors can enjoy their architecture from outside. We may have an Aspromonte typical cuisine lunch or in case you are interested we may include, on the way back, the visit of the open-air Santa Barbara contemporary art Museum at Mammola (10 Euro admission fee not included in this tour).
Meeting Point + Tour Duration
Meeting Point Options: Rail or Bus Station, Cruise Ship Port, Airport, Hotel, Address or Intersection, Monument/Building
Duration: 9 hours
Please bear in mind that reach Gerace from Reggio (and reach Reggio from Gerace on the way back) takes almost two hours by car, driving on both motorway and national/local roads.
Contemporary 5 seats medium-size car, model Dacia Sandero Stepway, built in 2016.
- Guiding Services
- Private Transportation
- Admission Tickets
Estimated Local Cash Needed
30 EUR - According to what you decide to eat and which street-food place or restaurant you choose you would need between 5 and 25 Euro. All restaurants in Gerace serve local food and cook typical recipes from Ionian Aspromonte area. In case you decide to visit the open-air Santa Barbara contemporary art Museum you would need to pay a 10 Euro admission fee (5 Euro for kids till 15 years old and free admission for children under 6 years old).
- Personal Expenses
- Food, Drinks, Snacks
Due to political issues (more than ten years have passed since the last time the regional government gave the chance to apply for exams to become a tour guide) I will not able to guide you inside the National Archæological Museum of Reggio.