Stemma di Bocchigliero
Bocchigliero il mio paese
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A little bit of history.

Bocchigliero is situated at 870 mtrs above sealevel, upon a spur of forests belonging to the high bassin of the Trionto river, on the left of Laurenzana torent. Undefined but certainly distant are here roots, so are withnessing frequent archeological searches in the area like Contrada Macchia del Calvario and Monumento. 
These sites give light to the origins of Bocchigliero. It was based on a ethnic settling in neolitic history. The Lenormant (studies on history) confirmed that most probably Bocchigliero surges on the site of the antique city of Arinthe, situated in Enotria (The ancient name of Calabria) wich was quoted by E. Of Milete.

In the fourth century BC the territory of Bocchigliero was occupated by a settlement of the Bruzi (Ancient Calabrian people), from wich some rests of a fortificated wall, similar to those of Pietrapaola, are remained.
Savages of a medieval habitat (Byzanthian?) emerged on the Basilico' mountain, were the rest of a basilian-norman oratory were situated.

The actual habitat of Bocchigliero was born most probably in the tenth century, because many habitants of the coast were looking for a place to hide in the mountains so they could be secure from the Saracene threat.

Being a fraction, belonging to the county of Cariati, Bocchigliero folowed the feodal happenings until, in 1678, it passed on to the Labonia (Another family of notables). They kept it until 1694 when again it passed on to the ‘Sambiase’ who remained till the falling of feodality in 1806.

Based on an ordering of general Championnet (1799) it was included in the canton of Ciro'. In 1806 it became a site of the Umbriatico government and in 1811 it finally became an autonomous common and it was comprised in the Campana district.

Artistic goods.

First of all we mark the principal church (Santa Maria Assunta), build in the 17th century, with typical basilican interior and three navate (?). Interesting are the bell-tower with his medieval wall ending in a piramidical structure and the entrance hall in manufactured stone, made by local workers.
Also other religious buildings should be mentioned, amongst them the church of the ‘Riforma’ (or ‘Santuario della madonna di Jesu’) which is located in a very panoramic position, at about 1000mrs of altitude. Another church is the one called ‘Chiesetta di Basilico’ which is a, probably Basilian-Norman, medieval oratory located at ‘Cozzo della Chiesa’ where you will also find many archeological structures. 

In the past, there were many convents at Bocchigliero but these days they are all closed. This means that there are many buildings and structures left behind, a must see!

When you walk around in the old town centre you will see many carracteristic artistic structures, like beautifull old front doors made of local stones, balconies made of hand-worked iron. All of those pieces of art are produced by local artisan!

The saints of Bocchigliero.

The religious movement was born about 1870 and called was ‘I Massari’ because people defined members that way. Leaders of the movement were Matteo Renzo, Gabriele Donnici and a little girl, Rachele Bernardi, who had visions of the Holy Mother Mary and acted like spokesman.In the beginning they were not against the church, they accepted the dogma of the Holy Trinity and they recognized the legitimacy of the constitution, religiously and civily.
However, this attitude changed quickly. Their inflexibility about their assertions, their claim to be the only ones to deposit absolute thruth and, above all, their practices caused many reactions. 
For example, the rite of ‘coricata’. Its purpose was to cause a stimulating excitement without yielding for it. This kind of test of resisting the Bad resulted in everyone belonging to the sect lying together nude, without any distinction of age, and without touching eachother.It seems however that many children were born after celebration of the ceremony, proof that they were visited by the ‘Holy Spirit’. The movement stopped about 1880 and Matteo Renzo and Gabriele Donnici were condamned.

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