Three Calabrian Churches Worth Visiting at Christmas

Many street corners, alleys and pathways in Calabria hold a unique find, an ancient artifact … a centuries-old secret. Just strolling through one of the many Medieval, Byzantine or Baroque towns in the region will give you a glimpse into its former life and nowhere is this more true than in the villages’ churches.

With presepe overflowing from corner angles and lights glistening across the piazza, Christmas is the perfect time to visit Calabria. If you are lucky enough to be in the region during the holidays, consider stopping by one of these three churches. Can’t make it for Christmas? Don’t worry … they are just as stunning in the summer … or fall … or springtime. I promise.

Duomo, Reggio Calabria

The Cattedrale di Maria Santissima Assunta in Cielo, or for those of us not into tongue-twisters, “Reggio’s Duomo,” is the largest religious building in Calabria with origins dating back to the Norman invasion of 1061. It’s in the Piazza Duomo … you can’t miss it.

Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, Civita

Not all of Calabria’s magnificent churches are cathedrals. In fact, smaller churches, like the Albanian Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta in Civita have a certain charm that is hard to find elsewhere. The town was populated in the 1400s by Albanian-Greeks and this church is filled with Byzantine icons, mosaics and paintings.

Chiesa della Madonna, Capo Colonna

The Chiesa della Madonna stands just outside the Capo Colonna ruins in the province of Crotone and is the smallest of the three churches on this list. It’s two small aisles line a mosaic floor and murals that depict the story of a famous battle.

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Photos: All by Cherrye Moore, My Bella Vita except Reggio Calabria Doumo pic, courtesy of FotografieItalia

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Comments

  1. Your post makes me daydream about getting back to Italy, it has been a few years. Nothing stirs the heart like memories of Bella Italia…

    Yep … she’s not a bad-lookin’ gal, is she?

  2. Reviewing this site reminds me of our 2007 month-long driving trip in southern Italy driving 3 weeks throughout Calabria, with the 4th seek in Siracusa, Sicily. But, in Calabria, the town outside of Cosenza, called: Carolei, and a the smaller…MUCH smaller village around the corner, or Treti were intriguing as was the Carolei church dating to the 15th century. On a Sunday morning for the 11am Mass, the church was filled to capacity with men dressed in suits and the women also well dressed. The choir consisted of teenagers, about 12 of them, singing in 4 part harmony, with 2 40ish-aged priests. It was a remarkable morning that Sunday!
    Then, on a back road off of the main road (the only main road) was the cemetery where friend’s families had been buried decades ago. What a beautiful spot overlooking the valley of peach, lemon, and olive trees….with a wonderful aroma of them.
    So glad to have made the trip to this town and would go again in a heart beat!
    Thanks for these 3 photos as they are what reminded me of our trip in 2007.

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