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Gimigliano, Italia

 

 

 

 
Introduction


Gimigliano is a small town of about 4,000 inhabitants, situated 19 km from the regional capital Catanzaro.
Gimigliano is famous for its green and pink marble quarries. That marble can be seen in the following places: on the stairs of the “Chiesa del Gesù” in Naples, on the floor of the “Reggia di Caserta”, in the winter choir stall and in the niches of the “Basilica di San Giovanni” in Laterano, in the central square of Saint Petersburg and in a great number of churches in Catanzaro and in the surrounding area of the Presila.
Around the year 1828, as Lamannis states, Gimigliano was very close to 6000 inhabitants.
There were numerous craft workshops for silk and broom working The accuracy of the results was excellent and the fabrics woven were really beautiful.
Since Gimigliano is very near Catanzaro it is influenced in some respects by the capital, above all as regards the demographic aspect: its present population is less than it was in the years before the world war because of emigration to the North of Italy and America.

“SS. SALVATORE” ( the original building is dated 1000, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1783 and rebuilt as it looks today in 1796), it is the home of the venerated painting of the “Madonna di Costantinopoli” (1626), honoured by the Pope in 1984. The Church offers interesting decorations (frescoes, stuccoes, caisson vaults, rose windows) as well as remarkable works made of green and pink marble from local quarries.(columns, portals, windows).

“MARIA SS: ASSUNTA” It is located in Gimigliano Inferiore. A beautiful font and some altars made of local stones may be found here.
The old Shrine is known as the “Cona” and it was built by a local brigand ,Pietro Gatto,after a vision of the Virgin in a dream in 1751. It is located on a stone promontory and the remains of Mons. S. Nicola Canino rest there.Mons Canino was a fervid promoter of the activities concerning the Shrine from 1921 to 1937. The new Shrine was consecrated in 1977. There are Venetian mosaics depicting the Virgin and the four Evangelists and a presbytery with various types of marble.

monuments

There is a monument in the centre of Gimigliano (Piazza Margherita) recalling the appearance of the Virgin of Costantinople to the brigand Pietro Gatto. It consists of two statues of white Carrara marble built into a natural rock.

 

 

Buildings/Churches

The most important buildings are religious ones but we must also mention a few small residences located in the two centres, “Gimigliano Superiore ” and “Gimigliano Inferiore” : the Ducal Palace, the Town Hall and a palace built with visible stones and bricks revealing prosperity and elegance.

 

art and handicraft

Handicraft
Wood working. Weaving of natural fibers like flax, cotton, and broom (fabrics, carpets, blankets, sheets) . agricultural and seasonal produce (mushrooms, tomatoes, aubergines, olives, peaches, chestnuts).
 

Local cooking

CHESTNUT FRITTERS (GIMIGLIANO-STYLE)

Mix 300 grams of chestnut flour with enough water to make a smooth creamy batter . Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Add 3 or 4 tablespoonfuls of the batter and press into patties. Fry on both sides until golden. Remove to a rack covered with absorbent paper to drain.
Pour a tablespoon of chestnut jam over each fritter.
Place fritters onto a buttered oven tray .
Bake in a hot oven (200°C) for about 5 minutes.
Serve with icing sugar .

entertainments

The territory of the entire province was involved in the ‘Peregrinatio’ with the miraculous image in 1949: the Virgin was welcomed by 47 villages (in the area of Lametia Terme, Soverato and the Presila) that devoted themselves to Her. Since then devotion to the image has greatly increased , and that is witnessed by the numerous pilgrimages where thousands of people coming from each part of Calabria meet together. The pilgrimage starts on the first Tuesday after Easter and the celebration reaches its culmination on Whit Tuesday when thousand of people reach Gimigliano and the Valley of Porto following a ritual full of atmosphere and historical references to the Oriental rites.: It is a journey to the sacred place on foot, then , on the night before the celebration ,the ‘incubatio’, i.e. , the practice of holding a vigil in the Church and in the Shrine and finally the fulfilment of the vow. The department of Sociology of the University of Padua carried out a research on the phenomenon concerning the popular and religious aspects of life in Gimigliano and such research confirmed an unquestionable trend: the worship of the “Madonna di Porto” “repeats all the parables concerning the religious experience and conveys the religious world into the real world where human beings are constantly looking for an identity in every aspect of their lives”. We must add that, such an identity has a social cultural and religious background in the wide territory of the province of Catanzaro as well as in other regional areas

natural resources

The rock
It is a slope of about 75 degrees, overlooking the Melito river, variously splintered and coloured thanks to the natural stones of the area.

The Valley of Porto
It is a picturesque small valley . the Corace river runs through it and the shrine of “Madonna di Costantinopoli” has been located here since 1750.

Historical background


Gimigliano is a small town of about 4,000 inhabitants, situated 19 km from the regional capital Catanzaro.
It’s name, according to some people seems to derive from the Greek word “ghe-melon” that means “the land of apples”, whereas according to the historian Lamannis it derives from Saint Geminiano, bishop of Modena, who lived in 452; it seems that, by his intercession, the city of Modena got rid of Attila King of the Huns.
Probably the inhabitants of Gimigliano, being under constant danger of invasion, decided to dedicate some churches to the Saint and , later, the place derived its name from him.
Another hypothesis the derivation of the name regards its clear Latin origin (Geminianum), with reference to the ‘twin ‘ villages. In fact Gimigliano ‘Superiore ‘ and inferiore’ , as they appear today, could be contemporary (see: A. Calogero, “Riflessioni su Gimigliano”).
Its inhabitants have Greek, Latin and Jewish origins. Their ancestors had been besieged by the Saracens along the Jonian coast between 805 and 864 therefore they decided to take to the present territory of Gimigliano giving origin to 30 villages.
Gimigliano rose on a hilly crest on the left bank of the river Corace. This river is suitable for floating timber.
Around its surroundings there are green-cipolin marble caves, pyrite deposits (whose extraction was particularly active during the period going from 1940 to 1949).
With specific regards to the mineral resources Marafiote wrote in 1605: ”… inside various caves you can find “ fire - producing rocks ,absolutely perfect, black, varied, mixed and coloured, and there are very fine stones fit to cut iron in oil”, Pacinelli in 1693 remembered the wealth of “apples, walnuts, pears, chestnuts, oil and silk”.
Historically speking Gimigliano was a territory of Catanzaro up to 1481, then belonged to the Carafa family(1451-1610) and to the Cigala family(until 1799) . Finally it was annexed to the district of Catanzaro and later to the department of the “Sagra”. In 1807 after an uprising against the French Gimigliano was punished by generals Gouget and Camus and put under the jurisdiction of Tiriolo .
The village suffered from many earthquakes in 1626,1638,1783 and from a flooding in 1773.
Around the year 1828, as Lamannis states, Gimigliano was very close to 6000 inhabitants.
There were numerous craft workshops for silk and broom working The accuracy of the results was excellent and the fabrics woven were really beautiful , this until an ‘ingenious venturer’ introduced in Catanzaro a new type of steam-powered machinery,with 24 mangles, capable of producing at low cots a great quantity of organza.
Merchants from Catanzaro and Apulia exported those products to the entire kingdom of Naples.
Historians mention, among the distinguished citizens of Gimigliano, some clergymen and men of letters such as the bishops Adamo (14th century), Giovanni Crisostomo, Fedele de Santis and Annibale Roselli (1540-1610) who was a friar minor.
In the 4th century Tiberio Rosello lived in Gimigliano, he was a philosopher and a magician He is remembered as a fine thinker and an eccentric character.. he was a follower of Agostino Nifo, professor of philosophy in Naples.
In the end of the 18th century the mathematician Giuseppe Scorza (1781-1844) and the diplomatic clergyman were also highly renowned .
A distinguished family is that of the Lamannis , the members of this family are worthy of mention for their intelligence and culture; Gabriele Lamannis stood out among all the others.
He was born 2nd February 1787 and died 5th July 1828 in Firmo. He was a public administrator and a thoughtful scholar.
Priest Domenico also belonged to that noble family and he was a very zealous learned man . thanks to its works the history of Gimigliano from its foundation to the 17th century is known today.
As regards the 19th century in 1946 the majority of the inhabitants voted for the Monarchy even if the republican preferences were numerous.
Since Gimigliano is very near Catanzaro it is influenced in some respects by the capital, above all as regards the demographic aspect: its present population is less than it was in the years before the world war because of emigration to the North of Italy and America.

 
Typical food


Gimigliano is famous for:

• Olive oil, in the south areas.
• Chestnuts, thanks to its numerous forests.
• Fruit, mainly in the valley of ‘Madonna di Porto’.

the legend

The worship of the “Madonna di Porto” dates back to 1626 and is connected to the veneration of the Virgin of Constantinople that was a devotional movement established in 430 A.D. in the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. Because of the iconoclastic movement the South of Italy became the main area of worship of votive images representing the Virgin “Thetokos” (mother of God”) with the Baby Jesus in Her arms. Such images were originated from the theology of icons established during the Council of Ephesos. The local people have worshipped the Virgin since 1528 when “Madonna di Costantinopoli” protected Naples from the plague. Similar events and natural calamities took place in Calabria in 1626 and the inhabitants of Gimigliano were persuaded to proclame the Virgin protectress of the village. A painter from Gagliano (CZ) called ‘Marcangione’ was appointed to portray the Virgin but when he started to sketch the drawing “found it miraculously completed not by a human hand but by an angelic one”. Since then that image has been greatly venerated also following the oriental ritual and in fact a ceremony in Her honour was established on Whit Tuesday, according to the ritual of Constantinople. The name “Madonna di Porto”was decided in 1753 after the building of a small chapel , called “Cona”, in “Porto” next to Gimigliano, in honour of the Virgin after that She had appeared in a dream to the brigand Pietro Gatto. A small and picturesque church was then built near the chapel that started to be a constant point of reference for numerous pilgrimages. At the beginning of the nineteenth century , during the Pentecostal celebration a new custom was introduced , i.e. carrying in procession the portrait of the Virgin from the Parish Church where it is kept, to the Shrine.
 

Gimigliano - Panorama
 
Gimigliano - Panorama innevato
 
Gimigliano - Acqua di Marra
 
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Gimigliano - Panorama Jusu
 
Gimigliano - Vista da Marra
 
Gimigliano - Susu e Oriata
 
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Gimigliano - Spassiaturu di notte
 
Gimigliano - Vista aerea
 
Gimigliano - Vista aerea
 
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The ten most common surnames in town of Gimigliano .
 

Number Surname
299.28 Paonessa
196.08 Rotella
162.54 Trapasso
74.82 Rotundo
72.24 Scalzo
69.66 Gigliotti
59.34 Mussari
59.34 Soluri
54.18 Gariano
54.18 Scozzafava

 

 


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 

 

 

 

 

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January 2006