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Comune di Acri
Immagine-Acri quartieri Picitti Santa Croce Odivella.JPG
Coat of arms of Acri
Coat of arms
Acri is located in Italy
Location of Acri in Italy
Coordinates: 39°30′N 16°23′E / 39.500°N 16.383°E / 39.500; 16.383
Country Italy
Region Calabria
Province Cosenza (CS)
Frazioni Acqua di Fico, Bellucci, Canaletta, Casalinella, Ceraco, Ceracò, Chimento, Cocozello, Corneto, Croce di Greca, Croce Don Paolo, Cuore di Maria, Cuta, Duglia, Ferrante d'Aragona, Foresta, Gallone Pane, Gioia, La Mucone, La Mucone Sottano, Manca e Galera, Milano, Mischinella, Monsignore, Montagnola, Ordichetto, Pagania, Pagania del Vallone, Pantadia, Pantalea, Pantano d'Olmo, Pantano il Melo, Pantano Soprano, Pantano Sottano, Pastamolla, Petramorella, Piana di Caruso, Pietremarine, Pinitello, Policaretto, Pozzometro, Pucchio, Salice, San Giacomo d'Acri, San Lorenzo, San Martino, Sant'Adriano, Sant'Angelo d'Acri, Santa Maria la Fiumara, Santo Zaccheria, Serra di Cristo, Schito, Serra di Vuda, Serralonga, Serricella, Settarie, Sorbo, Vallone Cupo, Vallone il Melo, Vallone il Pero, Vallone U Midu, Vagno, Vammana, Vupo
 • Mayor (Temporary) Maiorano Luigi (undefined)
 • Total 202.04 km2 (78.01 sq mi)
Elevation 720 m (2,360 ft)
Population (31 June 2010)
 • Total 21,275
 • Density 110/km2 (270/sq mi)
Demonym Acresi, Acritani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 87041
Dialing code 0984
Patron saint Beato Angelo d'Acri
Saint day 30 October
Website Official website

Acri (Greek: Άκρου, Πανδοσία, Αχερυντια Akroi, Pandosia, Acheruntia) is a town and comune in the province of Cosenza in the Calabria region of Italy.

The town is built on three hills overlooking the Mucone and Chàlamo rivers on the edge of Sila National Park.[1]


The area has been inhabited since the Neolithic period (3500-2800 BC). Archaeological excavations on the side of the Dogna Hills in 1999-2000-2001-2008 have described two phases of early settlement in the area. The earliest remains correspond to the Copper Age, the more recent to an advanced Early Bronze Age. It has been suggested that some of the latter represent the ancient Greek city of Acheruntia or Pandosia (Bruttium).[2]

Acri sided with Hannibal against Rome during the Second Punic War and was besieged by the Romans in 203 BC. During the domestically peaceful Imperial era Acri enjoyed a period of economic prosperity.[3]

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it was part of Odoacer's kingdom (476-493) and then the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Theodoric (493-554). During the Gothic War (535-553) Acri was besieged by Totila, whose troops plundered and almost completely destroyed the city in 542.

The Lombards made it a Gastaldate (an administrative ward governed by a civil employee of the Royal Court) until 896 when it was conquered by the Byzantines and became part of the Eastern Empire. The town was besieged, plundered and conquered numerous times by the Saracens and it was not until the city fell under the control of the Norman Robert Guiscard, who assigned the city to Count Simone Cofone, that a stable government returned (1074).

The town's 12th century history was characterised by conflict between powerful local abbots and the Norman feudal overlords. Acri was sverely damaged by an earthquake in 1185. Under the Houhenstaufen dynasty of the early 13th century it experienced a return to prosperity based on the silk trade. In 1268, along with the rest of southern Italy, the town came under the control of the Angevins and suffered a period of bad economic administration. In 1462 it was besieged by the Aragonese who captured the city after an act of betrayal by an Acri citizen. Devastation, pillage and killing followed. The S. Maria Maggiore Church was set alight with women and children inside. The commander Nicolò Clandioffo was sawed alive in the public square.

In 1496 the Aragonese were besieged by the French under King Charles VIII, who destroyed the castle and executed the nobles of Acri by sawing them alive.

The city's support for the Republican movement in 1799 was punished 7 years later when it was besieged and destroyed by Sanfedisti forces in 1806. Support for liberal politics remained strong and Acri played an active part in the Carbonari revolt of 1820-21, the uprising of 1848 and the Unification of 1860.[4]

Main sights[edit]

The town's principal churches have survived various earthquakes over the centuries and have preserved their historical and architectural significance. S. Maria Maggiore Church was rebuilt in the 17th century but preserves a wooden crucifix dating from the 14th century and other noteworthy works are the 16th century S. Francesco di Paolo and the Madonna of Rinfresco. Other works of art can be found in the Capuchin Convent and the mediaeval Annunziata Church.

The Church of Beato Angelo d'Acri and the adjacent museum contain artifacts of the namesake of the church, Beato Angelo. In the museum is the real room where Beato Angelo spent days praying and many articles of his clothing and religious implements. The body of Beato Angelo is displayed in a glass tomb inside of the church.

The castle ruins are preserved along with various former homes of the nobility, now museums, such as the Palazzo Sanseverino and the Palazzo Feraudo.[5]

« Bella la patria mia coi i suoi vigneti, col suo vecchio Castello e suoi torrenti; limpide son le sue fontane, e i venti sospirano di amor per gli uliveti. Di monti coronata e di querceti, sfido l'ira dei nembi e dei potenti; culla di forti, di impavidi ed ardenti di martiri, di santi e di poeti » (Vincenzo Julia)