San Demetrio Corone
The town is in a fertile valley, surrounded by olive groves stretching to the valley of the Crati. The town is a cultural centre and is linked to the Italo-Albanian college of Sant’Adriano. This was transferred here in 1794 from San Benedetto Ullano. The origins of the college go back to the founding of the Greek abbey in 955 by San NIlo. A visit to the Church of Sant’Adriano from the X – XII centuries is a must. The building is exceptional and inside there are frescoes of animals (panthers, lions, snakes). Besides, every year there is a week dedicated to the various Arberesh communities. The Albanian name is “Shen Mitri”.
Visit: The Church of Sant’Adriano.
It is situated on the north side of the Sila Greca below the Serra Crista d’Acri. The town dates from around 1470. It was here that Prince Sanseverino di Bisignano kept his cattle in winter and hence the name, vaccarizzo from the Italian word for cow – vacca. Visitors should see the Church of Santissima Maria di Costantinopoli, 17th century, Greek Byzantine ritual, and the Church della Madonna del Santissimo Rosario and The Church della Confraternità. Furthermore there is the Museum where there is a permanent display of Albanian costumes. The Albanian name for the town is “Vakarici”.
Visit: The Church of Santa Maria di Costantinopoli – the Museum – The Church della Madonna del Rosario.
San Cosmo Albanese
This is a small Albanian town situated at the foot of the Sila Greca at 400 m above sea level and 10 km from the Plain of Sibari. It is surrounded by olive groves. The visitor must see the Sanctuary of Saint Cosimo and Saint DAmiano which is the jewel in the crown of the Arberesh communities. There are interesting paintings of the Greek Orthodox religious rituals inspired by Byzantine culture. The Albanian name is “Strighari”.
Visit: The Church of Saints Cosimo e Damiano.
The town is on a hill to the west of the Sibaritide. Its origins go way back in time. Near the town a necropolis dating from the Iron Age has been found. In the XVI century Albanian refugees arrived here. Agriculture is very important in this area. The Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie and the Spa complex with its various types of waters and treatments are places to visit.
Visit: Our Lady of the Graces Sanctuary, Tower of Mordillo, Museum of Mordillo.
Located on the Pollino, the village is of Albanian origin. The place is well known for the excellent wine, produced by the vineyards cultivated in abundance in its mountains. To visit is the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, the church of San Pietro with its typical oriental dome.
The museum of Albanian dolls and costumes deserves special mention.