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Located 450 m above sea level in the heart of the National Park and within the Raganello Gorge Nature Reserve, Civita is one of the most beautiful villages in Calabria and is part of the circuit of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy and the Orange Flag. Rising around the year 1000, it owes its origins to the people of Cassano all'Ionio who, fleeing Saracen raids, took up residence here. Abandoned following the earthquake of 1465, it was colonised by Albanian settlers around 1471. Civita is today a treasure chest of Arbëreshe culture, whose customs and traditions it preserves. Known as the "village among the rocks", or the "village of the Devil's Bridge" because of its striking medieval stone construction, Civita is nestled in a verdant valley surrounded by wooded mountains, in a breathtaking natural setting. Numerous traces of the past can be found in the village: intersecting alleyways, narrow streets, two-storey stone houses and the characteristic anthropomorphic or talking houses, the so-called "Kodra houses" (after the Albanian artist Ibrahim Kodra who discovered them), small dwellings with small windows, chimney and chimney pots, whose façade resembles a human face, and the characteristic chimney pots, small works of art that kept bad luck away.

Village life revolves around the "gjitonia" (neighbourhood), a strong social identity governed by mutual aid and a spirit of belonging. Civita boasts a rich heritage of religious buildings including the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Baroque style (16th century) where the Byzantine liturgical rite is in force, the 16th century Chapel of Santa Maria della Consolazione and that dedicated to Sant'Antonio

Not to be missed is the impressive 36-metre-long Devil's Bridge, which crosses the Raganello stream in a single arch. 


87010 Civita CS, Italia

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