At the foot of the five-fingered mountain
What it is and where it is
Pentedattilo is an ancient, almost uninhabited village, characterized by the remains of a castle perched at the foot of a monolith shaped like an open hand. Founded by Greek settlers in about 640 B.C., it is located in the province of Reggio Calabria and is part of the municipality of Melito Porto Salvo, about a 20-minute drive from Reggio Airport.
Why it is special
In addition to the walk through the narrow and steep alleys of the village, during which breathtaking views and panoramas open up, you can visit the remains of the Castle that dominates the Valley of Mount Sant'Elia and enjoy the marvelous view: from here the gaze opens from Aspromonte to the Ionian Sea. It is also possible to visit the Church of Saints Corifei Peter and Paul, which combines the cusped bell tower of the Baroque-style facade with a dome in late Neo-Byzantine style. There are some typical renovated houses that will be able to allow you to live and sleep in this village dominated by nature in a silence that is almost impossible to find nowadays.
Not to be missed
Pentedattilo hosts in the summertime the "Paleariza," a major international event of Grecanic music and culture that has had Tullio De Piscopo, Parto delle nuvole pesanti and Roy Paci & Aretuska among its guests. the village is also the home of the Pentedattilo Film Festival, an international short film competition.
A bit of history
The village is characterized by the mountain above it, the only natural monument in the world with this shape. When the ancient Greeks, specifically the Chalcidans, landed on what would become the coast of Magna Graecia, they were enraptured by the sight of this monolith and named it Penta Daktilos (five fingers). In fact, the various ridges tend to resemble a hand pointing upward. The Chalcidans attracted by this shape identified it as a "divine" sign and founded a village there, which then evolved over the centuries, amid abandonments and raids, until it reached the height of its splendor in Byzantine times.
It is said that the village was the scene of a heinous crime: the massacre of the Alberti. It was on Easter night in the year 1686.... The story is very long and it is advisable to hear it directly from the mouths of the local people. Someone says that among the ruins of the old castle, at night, one can still hear the hooves of horses slowly approaching Pentedattilo from Montebello. Someone else says that when the wind blows violently through the gorges of the fortress, one can still hear the screams of Marquis Lorenzo Alberti. What is certain is that the story of the Pentedattilo massacre is still a mystery that wants to be told.
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