The village of Squillace

We were at the beach nearby of Roccelletta, when we decided to visit the village of Squillace. The sky was clear, a warm mediterranean day; around us few persons and a deep blue sea that I watched as they told me the beauties of the village, of its history and of the famous ceramics. The descriptions were of a rich territory of history, culture and landscape. I was very curious to visit the place where – according to legend – during a storm had landed Ulysses, where in the Middle Ages on a hill fifteen kilometers from the sea, people took refuge for escape from the Saracen attacks. I was curious to visit the village of Cassiodorus, the last of the Romans e the first of the Italians and the place thatit was, in the year one thousand, an important one Norman county. So, in the afternoon, when the temperatures arethey made sweets, we walked towards Squillace. At that time the sunlight was warm and soft accentuating the beauties of the calabrian landscape. To make even more fascinating the journey towards Squillace there were the different bends of the road provincial that followed each other one after the other, giving us evocative landscapes. An hairpin bend and …Squillace seemed to be climbing over a spur; another and chestnut trees and orange groves occupied wide valleyswho threw themselves headlong towards the sea. All around there were gods ruins covered with prickly pears, stonesbetween the countryside, which once inside the village they were converted into cobbled streets, arches and covered walls of pottery, onions and peppers. We visited the shop of a craftsman, he told us his own work, describing it emphatically in the smallest details, exaggerating and coloring even more beautiful exposed ceramics. I paused to observe the red purple ocarinas while the craftsman detached from the wall a large plate that we had bought. We left theworkshop, passing next to one square, four women escaped from the sun, sheltering in the shadow of the Norman castle: behind them the outline of what was left of an old road sign and a huge garden that accompanied our look up to the horizon. We went down and went up along the streets of the village, discovering views, fountains and ancient buildings. We arrived casually in front of  the Church of San Matteo. A gentleman invited us to visit a rich collectionof cribs from the whole world: Bolivia, India, Argentina; at the hundredth statuette we lost concentration and politely struggled. A local inhabitant approached us, pointing to the alleys to go to get up to the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. We arrived in the square overlooking the imposing Cathedral. Two tourists studied a road map while I admired the rigid architecture of the Nineteenth-century church. We returned to Catanzaro when the sun had already set, and that evening I took a walk along the promenade thinking back to the luck of the people who lived in the hills behind me, being able to repair in the shadow of an ancient castle and stroll through the alleyways of a thousand-year history.

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