Day 1 – GIOIOSA JONICA
Arrival on Riviera dei Gelsomini and accommodation in Hotel. Welcome cocktail and handing out of information material. Meet with the guide and departure for Gioiosa Jonica. Walk through the picturesque village among noble palaces, such as the magnificent Amaduri Palace, and ancient churches including San Rocco’s, the town patron saint. Visit to Villa del Naniglio, a jewel of the Roman era, almost perfectly intact, which preserves a large cistern and several polychrome mosaic floors. Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2 – LOCRI EPIZEPHIRI – GERACE
Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet with the guide and departure for Locri Epizephiri. Visit to the Archaeological Park, the ancient Magna Graecia polis, whose museum preserves the most important finds of the time, including famous pinakes (Greek word for ‘board’, they are votive tablets deposited in sanctuaries). Visit to Macrì Casino, which preserves evidence of the Roman and late antique ages. Lunch in a local restaurant. Then on to Gerace, the medieval citadel, one of The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy (I Borghi più belli d’Italia). Stroll through the charming old town, through its ancient churches, including the majestic Norman Cathedral and the Gothic Church of San Francesco, whose sumptuous polychrome marble altar stands out. Stop at Le Bombarde, a wonderful lookout over the Ionian Sea. Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 3 – STILO – BIVONGI – MONASTERACE
Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet with the guide and departure for Stilo, also included in the network of The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy (I Borghi più belli d’Italia), birthplace of philosopher Tommaso Campanella. Visit to the town centre and the Catholic Church, a jewel of Byzantine art. Then on to Bivongi to visit the Monastery of San Giovanni Therestis. Lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon visit to the Monasterace Archaeological Museum, which preserves the remains of the ancient Magna Graecia city of Kaulon, among which is the famous Mosaico del Drago (Mosaic of the Dragon), recently discovered. Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 4 – BOVA MARINA – CASIGNANA
Breakfast at the Hotel. Meet with the guide and departure for Bova Marina, in the heart of the Grecanica area (Calabrian Greece). Visit to Archeoderi Park, which preserves the remains of one of the oldest synagogues in the West. Lunch in an inn. On the way back, stop in Casignana to visit the recently discovered Villa Romana, one of the largest complexes of mosaic floors in southern Italy. Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 5 – BRANCALEON VETUS – STAITI
Breakfast at the Hotel. Meeting with the guide and departure for Brancaleone Vetus, an uninhabited medieval village, whose beautiful Archaeological Park is artistically and historically relevant. Among the ruins you can admire the silos granaries, dug into the stone, the cave churches including one called “Dell’ Albero della Vita” (Of the Tree of Life), an important testimony of the Armenian presence in the village. Lunch in a local restaurant. Continue to Staiti, the smallest municipality in Calabria, to visit the remains of the Byzantine Church of Santa Maria dei Tridetti (11th century), peculiar for the mixture of Eastern and Western motifs. Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 6 – RETURN
Breakfast at the Hotel. Return to headquarters.