Gimigliano is a small town of about 4,000
inhabitants, situated 19 km from the regional
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
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
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.
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.
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
Wood working. Weaving of natural fibers like flax,
cotton, and broom (fabrics, carpets, blankets,
sheets) . agricultural and seasonal produce
(mushrooms, tomatoes, aubergines, olives, peaches,
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 .
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Gimigliano is famous for:
• Olive oil, in the south areas.
• Chestnuts, thanks to its numerous forests.
• Fruit, mainly in the valley of ‘Madonna di
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.
The ten most common surnames in town of Gimigliano .