Winner of AIFIN 2009 Prize 'Banca e Territorio'

City of art in the Region and in the National Park of Pollino, Morano Calabro is one of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia” (Most beautiful village in Italy), Orange flag of the Italian Touring Club and listed in the project called EDEN (Destinazioni Europee di Eccellenza, best European destination) of the European Commission. The city earned all of these awards because of its offer, the high quality welcome and sustainable tourism, in addiction to its distinctive look. The town, in fact, is perched on a hill dominated by the ruins of the norman castle. It develops downstream with intricate streets that make Morano the most fascinating medieval village in Calabria.

The strategic location in the upper valley of the river Coscile, on the western slopes of the massif of Pollino, has allowed the city to become an important strategic outpost and a cultural and commercial crossroads. Already in the second century BC Morano, in fact, was one of the main steps on the ancient roman road from Capua to Reggio Calabria, the only access to the region by the mainland. The first apparition of the name of the city is on a milestone of that road. The city is called Muranum, this name probably derives from an important local roman family. Calabro has much recent origin and dates back to June 1863 when it was assigned by a royal decree, in order to distinguish the city from Morano sul Po (AL).

The first fortifications probably date to the roman period. Where the norman castle was built seems there was a roman fort. The current shape of the village comes from the norman-swabian Middle Ages (XII century) when the urban area grew around the castle, inside a system of wall. The houses, built without a clear town planning, create, also today, a striking visual effect for which all the houses seem attached to each other.

In the medieval period also dates the event commemorated by the annual re-enactment in Morano Calabro. The Festa della Bandiera (Flag Day), citizen prize where the three districts compete, recalls in fact the liberation from Saracens (1076) and is celebrated in conjunction with the feast of the Patron Saint Bernardino of Siena.

The city, in the dominion of Anjou in 1269 and then in the aragonese one, was feud of important noble families of the area: Morano, Fasanella, Fuscaldo and Sanseverino. Thanks to Sanseverino, in XVI centuries, the castle was restored. Neapolitan architects reworked the castle like Castel Nuovo in Naples, providing it with a rectangular plan and six towers. The family of Sanseverino, a family of great patrons, contributed to the development of Morano by commissioning the construction of important buildings such as the monastery of Saint Bernardino of Siena, one of the best examples of franciscan architecture in Calabria.

The Collegiate of Saint Mary Magdalene is another of the most important churches in Morano Calabro. It is built on a little medieval chapel and now is a significant example of regional Baroque. It is also curious for its bell tower and dome covered by yellow and green majolica in the style of Campania.

In the XVII century and until the early XIX, Spinelli, princes of Scalea, had the feud, and then it followed the history of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies and the Kingdom of Italy. In the second half of the 60s, Morano Calabro was involved in an expansion phase that led to the construction of new modern buildings in the plain facing the ancient town.

Don Carlo De Cardona (1871-1985) is one of the prominent citizens of Morano Calabro. He was a priest and one of the most charismatic and discussed figures of Partito Popolare Italiano in Calabria.

He battled for workers and was the founder of peasant leagues and economic institutions. He also worked to eradicate usury. His social commitment has led to the founding of Cassa Rurale di Bisignano and Cassa di Luzzi, first pillars of the BCC Mediocrati.

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