Photo of Andrea Laurenzano

In the Southern Ionian side of Aspromonte National Park, lives a linguistic minority named “Greeks of Calabria”. It is an area with a strong cultural identity, speaking the language of Homer and preserving ancient customs and traditions handed down from one household to another. Here, in fact, Greece has lived and lives, and for the tourist who wishes to become a visitor, the adventure of a perceived and sought-after Greekness opens up: in the faces of the people, in their gestures, their language. But also, in the ruins of the endless little Byzantine churches, in the fragments of surviving frescoes, in the castles, witnesses to all the defences, often desperate, and all the assaults.

O àrio den èchi sinòria – The air has no borders

Arrival of the group in the early morning (recommended around 10/10.30 a.m.) in the main square of Bova. Meet with the guide. Visit to the Museum of the Griko language dedicated to Gerhard Rohlfs. The visit to the museum will allow you to learn more about Griko dialect, its history and its archaic peculiarities through the exposition of the linguistic theories formulated by Gerhard Rohlfs who, since 1924, claimed the Magna Graecia origin of the language that still lives in the Hellenophone villages of Bova, Gallicianò and Roghudi, in the most inaccessible slopes of southern Aspromonte. Afterwards, a tour of the historical and archaeological interest in the flourishing old town of Bova, one of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy (I Borghi più belli d’Italia), with its noble palaces, narrow streets, the Sanctuary of San Leo, the Cathedral and the ruins of the Norman Castle.
At 1.30 p.m. typical lunch at Grecanico Restaurant of San Leo Cooperative, located 400 metres from the main square. The restaurant has a large terrace overlooking a spectacular view of Mount Etna, Fiumara Amendolea, some of the villages of Grecìa Calabria and the first peaks of Aspromonte.
At 3 p.m. departure for Pentedattilo (40 min from Bova). Pentadattilo (from the Greek word Pentedàktylos, meaning five fingers) is located 35 km from Reggio Calabria on the southern Ionic coast. The small semi-abandoned village, a true ethno-architectural jewel, retains its charm and is a true historical heritage to be discovered and protected. Guided tour of the village with a short walk through the narrow streets and a visit to the craft workshops.
Around 6 pm, return journey.