Here we are to tell about another pearl of Aspromonte, a land that has always been a bit abandoned but full of mysteries and charm.
Today we take you to Africo Vecchio.
In our southern Italy it is easy to come across even very small towns, divided into two: a “new” part and an “old” part. The new part is the one where people usually live, while the old part is the one that tends to be uninhabited.
This is because once the countries were born purely near the mountains where they practiced farming and pastoralism of high altitude. With the time the people began to go down along the coasts leaving as hand their countries of origin to go to create work elsewhere.
This has made that slowly these small suburbs are depopulated becoming of the ghost town.
Africo Vecchio is one of these places, now abandoned by all, but that maintains a magical aura that takes us back in time, as if everything had remained unchanged.
To get there, we went up by car to Monte Perre and from there we continued on foot, keeping the left side towards the Aposcipo torrent. The first part of the excursion is very easy because it’s downhill, but don’t forget that you’ll have to go back to the car (so you’ll have to go uphill..hahha)
The path does not present any particular difficulty and after a few switchbacks in the first part, then the road is completely straight.
Some local people have told us that this is one of the most isolated churches in the entire region, and yet, it has never been abandoned. People still come here in May in procession to celebrate their local saint.
From the church the road continues downhill until the ghost town of Africo Vecchio, which you will see a little further on in the middle of the vegetation.
The village is unfortunately in a certain sense extinct, stripped of all signs of life and now left to total abandonment.
The problem of the recovery of places like Africo Vecchio is not only of administrative or political nature. At the base of all there is the almost total absence of collective interest in places like this, victims of the wicked parochialism that plagues this province.
Some buildings still remain very evident today, such as the main church and elementary schools, but how long will they last in total neglect?
Here are some suggestive views that evoke the life of the past, where the hours were marked by the rising and setting of the sun that reflected its rays along the sundial.
As our friend Giancarlo himself says, “how can we talk about development and growth if we don’t know our territory first”?
An example of this is the memorial plaque they have placed here on these ruins to commemorate Umberto Zanotti Bianco, patriot, environmentalist, anti-fascist and philanthropist.
His activities led him to train a vast number of teachers for adult and child literacy and to create hundreds of kindergartens, elementary schools and libraries in the early post-war period. Growth and development were his philosophy of life, in the years between 1910 and 1925.
In our territory and particularly in the southern regions, there are many places like this that deserve more prominence.
Our goal? To give everyone a different perspective: to look out of a window, take a long breath and enjoy the view, with the breeze caressing your skin, feeling free and one body with nature.
Route type: mountain path
Water: you need to be self-sufficient