|Città di Castrovillari|
Castrovillari within the Province of Cosenza and Calabria
|Frazioni||Cammarata, Ciminito, Vigne|
|• Mayor||Commissario prefettizio|
|• Total||130 km2 (50 sq mi)|
|Elevation||362 m (1,188 ft)|
|Population (October 30, 2010)|
|• Density||170/km2 (450/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||St. Iulian|
|Saint day||January 27|
The name derives probably from the medieval Latin castrum villarum, meaning "fortress of the villas". The place is inhabited since prehistoric times. The city was founded, or better fortified, in the middle ages during the wars between Langobards and Greek-Byzantins; the name comes from a more ancient fortress called "Sassonion" or "Saxonion", so the "Castron" appeared in some documents as "Neon Sassonion", likely the ancient Byzantine name corresponding to the medieval Latin "Castrum Villarum". Officially the city entered the history in the AD 1064 when the "Castra" was occupied by Norman warriors led by Robert Guiscard (Roberto il Guiscardo or Roberto d'Altavilla). In AD 1090, during the earldom of his son Roger called "Borsa", Earl of Apulia e Calabria, the sanctuary of "Saint Mary of the Castle" Madonna del Castello was built. During the Kingdom of Sicily when power passed from Hauteville to the Swabian dynasty House of Hohenstaufen, the town obtained the title of "Città" and was the starting point for the evangelization of Calabria by the Minor Friars Order, founded by St. Francis from Assisi. In the city about AD 1220 the first Franciscan Monastery in Calabria ("Protoconvento francescano") was built by Pietro Cathin from Sant'Andrea of the Marca, the first Order's Prior in Calabria. After the period of House of Anjou, during the Aragonese kingdom Crown of Aragon, the famous Castle (AD 1490) was built.
Castrovillari lies in north of Calabria, close to the borders with Basilicata and within the Pollino National Park. It counts 3 civil parishes (frazioni): Cammarata, Ciminito and Vigne. The town is situated in the middle of a huge arena shaped by big mountains, like Pollino (2,248 m) and Dolcedorme (2,273 m). This is the area of Pollino National park, the biggest in Europe. The town borders with the municipalities of Altomonte, Cassano allo Ionio, Cerchiara di Calabria, Chiaromonte (PZ), Civita, Frascineto, Morano Calabro, San Basile, San Lorenzo Bellizzi, San Lorenzo del Vallo, Saracena, Spezzano Albanese, Viggianello and Terranova di Pollino (PZ).
- Castello Aragonese
- Ponte della Catena (Bridge of the Chain), connecting the two halves of the city
- church of San Giuliano
- Franciscan protoconvent
- church of Madonna del Castello
The town was served, until 1978, by a railway station on the abandoned narrow gauge line Lagonegro-Lauria-Castrovillari-Spezzano Albanese, owned by the regional company Ferrovie della Calabria (FC). It is crossed by the A3 motorway (Naples-Salerno-Cosenza-Reggio Calabria) and served by two exits: "Castrovillari-Morano Calabro" and "Castrovillari-Frascineto".
Chess practice is quite common in Castrovillari, the local team playing in the second division of the Italian team competition. Regarding football, the most representative team is the U.S. Castrovillari Calcio, commonly known as Castrovillari. The team played for several seasons in the Serie C2, the fourth highest football league in Italy and the lowest with a professional status. Its home ground is the "Mimmo Rende Stadium".
Notes and references
- (Italian) Source: ISTAT 2010
- (Italian) Historical infos about the Lagonegro-Castrovillari-Spezzano railway
- Now Lega Pro Seconda Divisione
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Castrovillari.|
- (Italian) Castrovillari official website
- (Italian) Castrovillari.info
- (Italian) Castrovillari.biz
- (Italian) Castrovillari OnLine
- (Italian) The diary of Castrovillari