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Comune di Pallagorio
Pallagorio Retro Chiesa Madre.jpg
Coat of arms of Pallagorio
Coat of arms
Pallagorio is located in Italy
Location of Pallagorio in Italy
Coordinates: 39°18′N 16°54′E / 39.300°N 16.900°E / 39.300; 16.900Coordinates: 39°18′N 16°54′E / 39.300°N 16.900°E / 39.300; 16.900
Country Italy
Region Calabria
Province / Metropolitan city Crotone (KR)
Frazioni Trepido
 • Total 41 km2 (16 sq mi)
Elevation 1 m (3 ft)
Population (December 31, 2004)
 • Total 1,627
 • Density 40/km2 (100/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Pallagoresi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 88818
Dialing code 0962
Patron saint Saint John the Baptist

Pallagorio (Albanian: Puhëriu, Calabrese: Paragùriu [1]) is a comune and town in the province of Crotone, in Calabria, Italy.


The village and the surrounding area have a very ancient history. The land area has been inhabited since the Neolithic; there are many caves scattered in the territory, in particular the so-called "Cave of St. Maurice" of palaeontological interest.

In historic times, in the second millennium BC, in the territorial area, came to settle the Oenotrian-Italic population of Chone, which left significant traces of their presence, both in place names that in the votive objects found throughout the affected area. Archaeological remains relevant, (votive statues, vases, tombs, walls) from the early first millennium are found all over the area surrounding the town. It is speculated that the area was the seat of Chone, the city Italic-Hellenic founded in Mycenaean age by Greek hero Philoctetes, mentioned by historical sources (Strabo, Apollodorus, Licophrone). Toponyms as "land of Cona" and "three fountains of Cona" still remain. The archaeological finds have emerged with Italic-Hellenic walls, amphorae, votive statues, tombs and the remains of an ancient necropolis with votive statues related to the Orphic cult.

The historical fact rather certain and sure is that at the beginning of the flowering of civilization of Magna Grecia, between the seventh and fifth century BC, Greek colonists started an intense colonization of the territorial area in which is located the village, coming, so, to found the country: that period remains memory and witness the country's name, clearly derived from the Greek (Palaios - Chorion: old country), the Hellenic place names of all the surrounding territory (Patamò, Coracciti, Gardea, Cona etc.) and the significant archaeological finds (votive statues, vases, furniture, walls, tombs) found in the districts surrounding the town, especially in the districts of Rosicella, Coniselle, Coracciti, Pastinella, Suvero, S. Antonio, Monte Pomillo, Gardea.

In Roman times, Latin colonists settled in the area overlooking the village, along the river valley Vitravo, starting an intense colonization of the land; the testimony of this period remain significant traces of the remains of agricultural Roman villas discovered along the watercourse.

Pallagorio during the 1930s

In medieval times, the village, concentrated in the districts of "Valle" and "Cucinaro" took the name of "San Giovanni in Palagorio". It had a few hundred inhabitants, mostly farmers, in the employ of the Lords and Diocese of Umbriatico.[2]

Around the middle of the fifteenth century, Albanian-Greek mercenaries from Epirus and Peloponnese under the guidance of Demetrio Reres settled the area after having fought in the war between the Angevins and Aragonese.[3][4][5]

Since the end of the seventeenth century, the village is the subject of an intense and continuous migration of people attracted by the fertility of the land, and the mild climate. The country is then feud of Spinelli to the end of the seventeenth century, then goes to the nobles Rovegno that hold it to the end of the eighteenth century.

In 1799 is recognized farmhouse autonomous with the name "S. Giovanni in Pallagorio" and included in the district of Corigliano. After the events of the Napoleonic, it became an independent town in 1834. Next, it followed the fate of the Bourbonic Kingdom of Italy.[2]

The country has preserved until the middle of the seventeenth century Byzantine Rite in addition to the Catholic Rite. With the prevalence of the Latin population and the willingness of the Catholic Church authorities it gradually affirmed the Latin Rite.

The village still retains the Arbëreshë language, in addition to the Calabrian dialect.


Hypothesis on the origins of the name are various. One is that the current village lays more or less near existing settlements which are old, if not on the same ruins of a fortress-town, and the name derives from Greek: Palaios Chorion ("old settlement"). Other derive it from the Albanian name (Puheriu), from Puhe e ri (New Puhe) referring to a settlement in Albania with possibly the same name. The last one is still derived from the Arbereshe dialect: Pucciur e riut (Kissed from the wind), referring to the geographical position. From studies, archaeological findings, and mostly from the work of Ofelia Giudicissi, the first version sounds more reliable.[6]


By end of 2004, the town had a population of 1627 people.

Culture and traditions[edit]

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel[edit]

The devotion towards Our Lady of Mount Carmel (La Madonna del Carmine), Arbereshe: "Shumburia", shows up in liturgical and civil behavior which is transmitted through generations. The elderly narrate that in the past, the feast was held in the second Sunday of May, and became and significant event.[6]

St. Lucy's Day[edit]

For St. Lucy's Day (Santa Lucia), the special dessert is baked figs wrapped in reed, and mostly boiled wheat.[6]


One of the most existing moment is the Christmas dessert preparation: culumolli, doughnut style pastry fried in oil, xhurxhullea, type of Turrón made with sesame seeds and almonds worked with honey and covered in colored sugar ornaments, bukunotet, type of dumpling filled up with marmalade or ricotta cheese and covered with powder sugar, and krustullit, a type of big egg, milk, and flour gnocchis dipped in honey and must.[6]

Feast of the dead[edit]

Te vdekurat (Italian: La festa dei morti). A former rite. Used to be a custom to eat boiled wheat. The rite consisted in rejoining around a table with a big bowl of the boiled grain and a bottle of wine placed in the middle. After the church ceremony, the boiled wheat was placed over slices of bread. Unfortunately this rite doesn't follow up today.[6]

St. Joseph[edit]

For Saint Joseph, the traditional plate of chickpea pasta called Tumac më qiqra.[6]

Easter period[edit]

Easter period, from Palm Sunday to Easter Monday. After three days of agjirimi (fasting), the Saturday dinner table is filled with wine, sausage, viskote (taralli) and the kulaç. Sunday's gastronomy is based on lamb meat, shtjerri, and rrashkatjel, a type of pasta. The kulaç gets prepared when the holy week approaches.
The spouses exchange the nuses, a ring shaped pasta bar with an Easter egg each inside. The "egg" has been in the center of religious practices, as an expression of wishes, and for decorative purposes as well. Easter eggs are present in all Arbereshe villages. A typical Easter dessert is çiçi, which comes out as a stick shaped dough, folded and braided. For the kids there is shporteza (the little basket of bread), and pulza (the chick), chicken shaped bread with an egg inside, with pasta-made crest and wings. The typical dessert used to be the cuzzupat, a pigeon-shaped one.[6]


Pallagorio relies on the production of oil, wine, cereals, citruses, and the intense breeding of cattle.

Places of interest[edit]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ G. Gasca Queirazza, C. Mercato, etc. (1996), Dizionario di toponomastica : storia e significato dei nomi geografici italiani, Milano: Garzanti, p. 470, ISBN 9788811305002, OCLC 718439728 
  2. ^ a b Pallagorio - Palolo Staltari (in Italian)
  3. ^ Robert Elsie (19 March 2010). Historical Dictionary of Albania. Scarecrow Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8108-7380-3. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Arshi Pipa (1978). Albanian Folk Verse: Structure and Genre. O. Harrassowitz. p. 41. ISBN 978-3-87828-119-1. Retrieved 1 December 2013. The king appointed Demetrius governor of the Reggio province in Calabria 
  5. ^ Perta, Carmela (2004-01-01). Language Decline and Death in Three Arbë- Resh Communities in Italy: A Sociolinguistic Study. Edizioni dell'Orso. p. 1. ISBN 9788876947919. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Pallagorio (in Italian), Crotone Turismo, retrieved 2014-01-02