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e-borghi travel 5, Landscapes and villages: Calabria, the Landscapes of Contemplation

Calabria: The Landscapes of Contemplation “… what a wonderful land! What refreshment for your soul!”, this famous quote by the Russian writer N.V. Gogol perfectly describes the sentiment that Calabria and its landscapes is unleashed in the visitors’ eyes. That’s what happened to the well-known German director Wim Wenders who was completely lost in the beauty of the Calabrian landscapes, he called them “the landscapes of contemplation”. Actually Calabria with its thousand-year-old contrasts is for sure an extraordinary “narration” of art, nature, people, villages and traditions. An exclusive invitation to contemplation: Calabria is a state of mind. A Chest of Landscapes and Villages In Calabria the untouched landscapes and the thousand-year-old-villages are always ready to become the exclusive set and location for the movie industry which has always supported the regional tourism promotion in an area where the landscapes, the villages and cities are deeply charming, they are the landscapes of contemplation. They are immersed in the green of woods, in the beauty, surrounded by the ruins and the mysteries, the coast is spread with towers and traps, the plains are spotted with cedars, olive trees, citrus and bergamots and the hinterland is featured by many churches, convents, abbeys, olive mills and torrents. They all emerge in a powerful way shouting their presence to the world. The examples that follow clearly describe what Baudelaire used to say “By facing the landscape of Calabria the soul catches what the eyes cannot” The Landscapes of the Soul The village of Serra San Bruno, Vibo Valentia, the Sila’s landscapes and the villages have been the absolute protagonist in front of the camera since the 1930s, the emerald landscape and the mystical Certosa in the backgroud. But the harsh beauty of the Calabrian landscape with its lakes and forests, is also the background of important movies like Il lupo della Sila and Il Patto col Diavolo in which, the ancient agricultural mountain landscapes are perfectly portrayed: from Sila to Aspromonte Calabria has been confirmed as the land of the landscapes of the soul. Then in the Grecian Area through the villages of Pentedattilo, Chorio and Condofuri (RC) in the movie The timeless Land among the landscapes of olive trees and jasmine we can admire the elegant movements of the harvesters of Calabria while the village of San Luca (RC) – one of the few certified Italian villages that are identified as The Landscapes of the Authors – holds the scene in the movie Alvaro’s land. Landscapes and Existential Villages Even famous directors like Monicelli and Pasolini chose the landscapes of Calabria as a set for their movies. “The Incredible Army of Brancaleone” and The Gospel according to St. Matthew were respectively shot in Le Castella and Cutro (KR). However the solemnity of the latter was described by Pasolini himself as a place “…where the hills seem dunes imagined by Kafka and the sunset the sail of a blood red rose”. Other more recent audio-visual productions like the movie Arbëria shot around the Villages of the arbëresche (the Albanian people of Italy) territory of Oriolo, Mormanno, Spezzano Albanese, San Giorgio Albanese and San Demetrio Corone (CS) as well as The Poor Christ by Capossela set in the famous village of Riace (RC) have contributed to the further rising of Calabria to the role of existential landscape following the fil rouge of a unique landscape contemplation.

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  • #pasolini
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  • #riace
  • #serrasanbruno
  • #thepactwiththedevil
  • #thesilawolf
  • #villagesinsila


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