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Routes > Tauro > Rosarno ―> Galatro

- Rosarno
– Laureana di Borrello
– Galatro

Coming from the north on the A3 motorway Salerno-Reggio Calabria, at the 435th km there is the exit for Rosarno (131mt. a.s.l.), small town on the northern Tyrrhenian side of Reggio Calabria’s province. Rosarno is the heir of one of the most important Magna Graecia’s cities: the ancient Medma.
The ancient site of this city, between Piano delle Vigne and Calderazzo, has been found thanks to the work of Paolo Orsi who, with the excavations done in 1912 and 1913, brought back to light the rests of the locrese colony. Among the findings, some of which are of priceless value, there are some hellenic necropolis, bronze coins, street pavings, and remains of ancient buildings. Rosarno’s findings are kept in the National Museum of Reggio Calabria, in the one of Vibo Valentia and in many more museums around the world. The most ancient building was the one found in Montagnose area: the structure is the one of a rectangular house, without an internal patio, with a vast central room, and some other areas of different sizes, and it was probably built between the V and the first half of the IV century B.C. Obviously Medma’s city also had a few sacred areas. Two of them were found in the villages of Calderazzo and sant’Anna. The story of the “new” Rosarno has instead its beginning in the Middle Ages. Some documents give in fact informations about it starting from the XIII century. Formerly it was a fortified place with a sighting tower (Torre di Mesima), and a castle of which the ruins are still visible. In Piazza Duomo, one of the most evocative places, there is Cathedral dedicated to San Giovanni Battista. The sacred building, example of 900 neoclassicism, keeps a canvas of Neapolitan school representing the Sacred family with San Giovanni Battista, (XVIII century). Worth of mentioning are also the eighteen-century polychrome inlaid marble banisters and a holy water stoup of the XVII century. The church also guards a statue of the Madonna di Pathmos, in honour of the greek cult of the black Vergine, which is considered miraculous and it seems to have been found in the night of the 13th of August 1400 by a cowboy on the beach in a box pushed ashore by a violent stormy sea. In the church of Purgatorio we find a precious wooden crucifix of the XVII century, and a anonymous nineteen century statue of the resurrected Christ. It has also got to be mentioned the church of Rosario, rebuilt in the XVIII century and restored in the 30s, presenting a typical baroque style. With late baroque tones are instead the mullioned windows with two lights that illuminate the interior of the church of the Addolorata.

Only 14 km away from the motorway exit of Rosarno there is the village of Laureana di Borrello (270mt. a.s.l.), small and pretty centre that stands on the hills of the Serre, in the high valley of Mesina. Laureana’s origins go back to the X century when a great number of byzantines moved on the calabrian coasts. The most ancient part of Laureana, which goes back to the late medieval time, unfolds through narrow and twisting roads and alleys, where is still possible to admire gracious and moderate constructions. Also to mention the Torre di Castello, the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, the church and the convent of S. Antonio, the church of San francesco da Paola, the church of the Madonna del Carmine; the church of San Pietro, the church of Maria SS Annunziata in the Bellantone area, San Rocco’s Chapel, Santa Maria della Minerva’s church and S.Elia Profeta’s church, all the three of them in Stelletanone.

From Laureana di Borrello, taking the SS 536 and following it for 15 km, we get to Galatro, a small centre famous for its thermal baths areas. Set two km away from the historical centre of Galatro, the springs S.Elia drip water containing sulphur salt and iodine, and its benign action was discovered between the VIII and the IX century. The first people to use its curative qualities were the basilean monks of the S.Elia monastery , (this is the why the springs carry this name). The thermal baths are conventioned with the national health system. The season starts in may and lasts till november.

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