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Comune di Pedace
Stazione Pedace.JPG
Pedace is located in Italy
Location of Pedace in Italy
Coordinates: 39°16′N 16°20′E / 39.267°N 16.333°E / 39.267; 16.333Coordinates: 39°16′N 16°20′E / 39.267°N 16.333°E / 39.267; 16.333
Country Italy
Region Calabria
Province / Metropolitan city Cosenza (CS)
Frazioni Lorica, Perito
 • Total 51 km2 (20 sq mi)
Elevation 598 m (1,962 ft)
Population (2013)[1]
 • Total 1,964
 • Density 39/km2 (100/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Pedacesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 87050
Dialing code 0984
Patron saint Madonna Addolorata
Saint day fourth Sunday in September
Website Official website

Pedace is a town and comune in the province of Cosenza in Calabria, a region of southern Italy.


The village lies at the foot of Mount Star, commonly known as the dialect of "Timpune e Stilla". It overlooks valley of river Cardone. The surface of the township is 51.47 square kilometers and extends to 'Sila mountains. Pedace is located at 450 and 700 metres above sea level respect to the country, while the fraction Lorica is at altitude of Lake Arvo, equal to 1280 above sea level. The highest peak is Botte Donato, already in Pedace's land and today in Serra Pedace.

The Petrone and the cross

In the area of Pedace, between peaks of Timpone Tenna and Timpone Bruno are the headwaters of the river the crater whose waters flow later in the neighboring territory of Aprigliano. A short distance away in the forests of Macchia Sacra (formerly in Pedace, now Serra Pedace) are the sources of the second largest river of Calabria: the Neto. The creek along the hill where the town gets its name Cardone. The exact denomination is probably Craton that is great the crater, in fact near Cosenza meets the Craticello or "Graticella" certainly longer, but with less water's flow. An important sub-tributary of the Cardone is the Fiumicello or "Jumiciellu" whose real name is Iscola (as written by Domenico Martire and preserved in the records of the notary Leonetti and in other acts of several local notaries).

The mountain in front of Pedace is a majestic forest of chestnut. A monoculture maintained for centuries and that has allowed the production of tons of chestnuts that have constituted the wealth of the village since the dawn of its origins. Today, with the abandonment is replacing a spontaneous, and for this probably original forest of cerri or oak. At the end of the level elevation chestnut marks the boundary between the Presila and Silas. At the confluence of the two rivers, Cardone and Iscola, rises the mountain called in the local dialect "U Petrune", in English "The big stone." The mountains are characterized by the presence of large rocks, and on the top there is a Cross on metal, visible from the village. Looking at the mountain from the space between the mother church and the bell, you feel a certain sacred perceptikn which refers to the Mount Calvary.

Origins of the name[edit]

The origins of the name "Pedace" are uncertain, some derived from toll that foreigners were obliged to pay to cross its territory. In fact, just across the country passed an ancient caravan which connected the city of Cosenza with Mesoraca through Sila Piccola and Crotone through the valley of the Neto to the Ionian Sea. Another oral tradition relates that the place of payment of the toll was located where the current bell. Added to these considerations, the origin of the term "toll" which is derived from foot and just a foot was represented in the ancient banner of the town.[2]

Others believe that the name derives from an ancient surname Greek: Λδιδαχις.[3] The Greek derivation of the name also brings to reflect the assumption of Byzantine-Greek origin of the country, which dates back to the diaspora of Basilian monks from 'Byzantine Empire.[4] Also corroborated symbolic value that he gave the 'Abate Gioacchino decided that, around the 1200, at the height of his fame to rebuild a church on the ruins of the ancient place of cult that gave hospitality to Basilian monks. These monks were in the granary until the coming of the Saracens which drove them out.


Statue of Padre Pio

Towards the second half of the tenth century, the military and political situation became very precarious due to the absence of authority 'Eastern Roman Empire. The populations were continuously exposed to invasions Lombard and Saracens. In particular, many historical agree that at the second Saracen invasion of the city of Cosenza (985 and 986 dc), the work of the 'epiro Abucalsimo, the population left the city fleeing the surrounding hills. I cosentini refugees in the forests gave rise to the hamlets, including Pedace, Serra, Surveyor and Iotta.

In 1050, Robert Guiscard, king of the Normans, supported by the pope, subdued Calabria. Roberto was succeeded by his nephew Roger II which was invested by Pope Anacleto II. Ruggero divided the territory into 21 baglive, including Pedace which also included the hamlets of Iotta, Serra and Perito. Noteworthy is the fact that the Bagliva is mentioned in the ancient hymn sung at the procession to the feast of the Sheep.

The Bagliva of Pedace

as it was called before

You, much invoked the Virgin

protectress and advocate

Was organized together with the other houses in the Universitas Casalium. Alternated different Norman kings until Manfredi was killed. He began the Angevin domination of 'southern Italy. Among the Angevin kings, Robert of Anjou figured significantly Calabrian history. On December 24, 1333 declared Silas royal domain by listing the rights and obligations of the inhabitants of the hamlets and establishing penalties for the usurpers. At the same time the tax collection was entrusted to the Baglivi, basically individuals to whom was assigned the task of collecting the taxes. There were violent struggles among the inhabitants of the hamlets and Baglivi, as the former had been exempted from the payment for the lands of the Sila. The offspring of the Swabians did not give up and with Peter III of Aragon, husband of the daughter of Manfred, declared war on the Angevins. Concluded a temporary peace in 1302 to Caltabellotta. The war between the Angevin and Aragonese started again several times until 1495 when the Aragonese with Frederick I of Aragon ruled supreme on the Kingdom of Naples. On September 7, 1539 Charles V moved to Cosenza. For the occasion, the Casalesi wanted to give him three thousand ducats and a beautiful foal. The king in return for the gifts abolished the excise of silk and elevated 24 Calabrian churches cathedrals, including the church of St. Peter and Paul Pedace. With the peace of Chateau CAMBRESIS of 1559 the South was annexed to Spain and in particular the Calabria was part of the viceroyalty of Naples.

The 1600 was a terrible century. Until 1626, the territory was continually subjected to earthquakes. Then rose up the various epidemics and a very serious was that of 1633 of which he speaks Domenico Martyr remembering the death of his brothers. The earth began to tremble 18 January 1638. Cosenza was destroyed with its hamlets. Pedace was completely destroyed with the destruction of 123 homes. In 1644, along with 82 other houses, was purchased by the Marquis Vincent Salvati, Grand Duke of Tuscany. He ran from the royal demesne to demesne feudal. Celico became the capital and by that time it housed the governor Saracens. The Casalesi, some of their rights, Barraco sent by the king of Spain and obtained the cancellation of the sale. The viceroy Duke of Arcos had no intention to enforce the dictates of the king, and for this reason, in 1647, the population organized an armed uprising. Led by the citizens of Pedace and Rovito and the number of about 600 men led to an attack on Celico where they routed the Saracens governor. It was the spark of a revolt against the Spanish, where he distinguished captain Peppe Gervasi, and that spread in different parts of Calabria. The spirit of rebellion joined also with the motion of Naples Masaniello. To quench the turmoil, the viceroy reinstated the houses in the royal domain. In 1656 a plague infested Cosenza. The Martyr relates that in Pedace, Serra and Perito 450 people died.

The Spanish domination, until 1714 marked the decline of the social and economic Calabria. From the 1738 were subjected to Austrian rule with the Peace of Vienna. Austria lost Naples and Sicily in favor of Charles III of Bourbon. He began the Bourbon domination of southern Italy. To bring order to the intricate local events in 1790 was appointed Judge Joseph Zurlo. The Zurlo effected a thorough investigation on the properties of soils and usurpations. He gathered the fruit of his labor in 3 volumes by proposing the allocation of land to the owners, forcing the payment of property taxes, and dissolving the abolition of civic uses throughout the kingdom.

In 1806 the town was almost destroyed by the invasion of the French.

Festival of the Sheep[edit]

Our Lady of Sorrows, "The Sheep"
The Cuccìa
Corso Garibaldini and the "tunnel" bright during the Festival

For the Catholic tradition, the protector of the Our Lady of Sorrows Pedace is called "The Sheep" a symbol of meekness and resignation of Virgin Mary in the sacrifice of herself at the Cross. The feast, which falls on the fourth Sunday of September, is characterized as the "Feast of the Sheep". During the party making a historic lottery ancient tradition provides a sheep as first prize. Tradition has it that the Capuchin Fathers in seventeenth century, erecting a Monastery and a church (Church of the Addolorata), introduced the worship to Our Lady of Sorrows. Pedace had now got its sanctuary, the symbol of the faith of their fathers. Forte is the current attachment to "The Sheep". Worthy of remembrance is the earthquake of February 12, 1854, celebrated each year with a votive festival. The nation is preparing for the big feast for seven Saturdays. The statue of the Virgin Mary is kept for most of the year in his church. On the occasion of the Feast of the Sheep is brought into the church of SS. AA. Peter and Paul. At the end of the festival is again accompanied in the Church of Our. On 25 September 1999, during the "Festival of the Sheep," was twinned with the town of Santa Fiora (Grosseto), to strengthen exchanges social, commercial and cultural relations between the two countries that have many features in common. The twinning was possible because the mayor of Santa Fiora, Luigi Vencia, was a native of Pedace.


The cuccìa is the traditional dish prepared on the occasion of the Feast of Sheep. It consists of wheat boiled and seasoned with rinds, meat of pork and goat. Although made with simple ingredients requires great care in the preparation phase. The cleaning of the grain, the subsequent phases of soaking, boiling and cooking in the traditional wood stove require three days so that we can bring to a successful preparation of the much sought after dish. The recipe also described by the poet priest of Acre, Vincenzo Padula, has far exceeded the two centuries of life. Currently there are no certainties about the origin. Assonance and similarity hypothesis is that the derivation from couscous, the typical Arab dish and buckwheat. For this reason, the pot back to the origins of the house, when the Saracens invaded Cosenza. Noteworthy is the particularity of the addition of pork to that of the goat (the Saracen tradition) that it seems like the appropriate a dish to deny it to those of Islam and considers the pig an unclean animal . A way as to say, "this dish, dear invader, I'll steal and modify it with my tradition so that you can no longer eat it."

Horse of Fire[edit]

Horse of Fire

On the eve of the Feast of the Sheep is marked by a "procession parallel" to the real one the next day. It is an ancient rite to promote rain during the winter. At sunset, a horse by paper mache with his rider puppet is led by a volunteer on his shoulders and walked around the streets of the country. The horse is preceded by the roll of drums that represent the thunder, while in the horse's mouth are lit fireworks, symbolizing the lightning. The event is highly anticipated by the boys who follow the horse throughout his tour. It creates a very attractive and festive. In the past, to build this colorful and fascinating symbol of local custom, was Vittorio Sapia, the late artist pedacese. The climax of the event is reached when, upon arrival on the churchyard of the church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, horse and rider are given to flame, in a blaze of liberating shouts and clapping.


Church of SS. Apostles Peter and Paul
The bell tower near the church mother
Apotropaic Mask
Photo of the rock on which is built the Convent

The main church of the town is the Church of SS. Apostles Peter and Paul, built in the sixteenth century. It consists of three naves, on top of which is placed a Latin cross. Its facade is characterized by the presence of a rose central above the portal of entry, and two smaller ones in the style of 1600. With its base of 40 x 20 meters is the largest compared to the surrounding churches. Post in the mall called "The Patches" in 1500 in front of him in the hospice of St. Nicholas Church and to the left of the Confraternity of Santa Maria della Pace. On the last arc to the right of the entrance, still has a stone decoration of the 1580, when he was made a renovation and expansion. The September 7th 1539, King Charles V to return some gifts received by the inhabitants of the houses, 24 churches raised in Calabria cathedral, including the church Pedace. With the earthquake in 1638 was added a new chapel with the title of S. Maria della Misericordia or Suffrages. Inside there is the Chapel of the Sacrament in the Baroque style, the priest in walnut inlaid 1806, the wooden altar in Baroque Neapolitan. Several paintings in the church: "The Miraculous Draught of Fishes" and "The Trinity" and the painted sky of 1771 are attributes to the painter Cristoforo Santanna. On the arch of the apse rises the dome, with woven wicker and painted by some of Bevacqua Spezzano della Sila at the height of which is represented the dove of the Holy Spirit that looms over the presbytery. The pulpit in walnut and chestnut of the 1700 and the work of local craftsmen is attached to the second to last column on the right. In vestry instead there are cabinets in walnut inlaid 1848 by a certain Joseph Leonetti of Serra Pedace.

In the square next to the church is the impressive bell that rises four floors and is 37 meters high. In the past it was all in the Romanesque style, as you can observe in the framework of the altarpiece of the main altar in the Church of S. Maria di Monte Oliveto. He had five floors and ended at cusp square pyramidal. The latter and the fifth floor ruined following an earthquake in 1800 and in their place was built a drum on which rests a slender dome and lantern where, in 1912, were placed the three bells of the clock. The two smaller ones were recast in 1977. The largest, the recast also in 1803, it says "sister" of another in this Celico. Holds within it a time capsule placed by the mayor Rita Pisano in memory to future generations who will have the honor of opening it. The bell tower was restored again in the 2000s. At some cantons of the tower are the masks apotropaic against hexes.[5]

The Church of Santa Maria di Monte Oliveto
Convent of San Francesco di Paola

The church of Santa Maria di Monte Oliveto was built in 1563 by the friars of the place that you had an adjoining convent. In the main facade, opens the door to stone arch surmounted by a lancet arch. The interior has a single nave, houses a polyptych on canvas signed Hippolitus Burghesius of 1612 depicting the Madonna di Monte Oliveto between St. Peter, St. Paul, St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. The painting represents a considerable wealth of art for Pedace. The Church of the Addolorata, in this way the Capuchins, was built in 1580 by the Capuchin friars. Originally it was annexed to the nearby convent which was closed after the earthquake of 1783 and finally abandoned by the religious in 1866 after the confiscation of church property. The monastery has been destroyed to make way for the municipal cemetery. The church, however, has been renovated recently. The historic Domenico Martyr in his Platea of the churches of Pedace cites the presence of a church of Roman origin: Santa Vetere which stood where today the Capuchin church and the cemetery.

The Convent of San Francesco di Paola was constructed in 1617 on the ruins of the monastery of the brotherhood of Santa Maria della Pietra. The architectural complex with a rectangular base is placed on a boulder of considerable size. A legend people said that it was just San Francesco di Paola to insist, against the will of the unskilled, moving all the time the materials for the location of the cornerstone on the boulder. Under the structure is also a tunnel of thirty meters, called "Lamia". Inside, there are still two old watering, fed by a spring of clear, cold water, where once stood refreshment donkeys returning from work by the nearby mountains. The entire structure, with the passage of time, it has suffered extensive damage. Recently renovated, it was intended as a cultural center for concerts, theater, conferences, meetings and private functions. The monastery houses the Municipal Library of Cosenza and is the current home of the school of restoration "CORE". At the bottom, the height of the river, in 1799 was built an ancient mill used the friars.



Church of Santa Maria Assunta

Perito is located in the lower compared to the country and used to be an autonomous house. Probably has a history older than the rest of the houses. Its name comes from the many orchards of pears with the mildest climate occupying the flat part of its territory. It was independent as Iotta house. He was like coat of arms a bright sun on a white country. The main square Piazza San. Sebastian is dedicated to the patron saint of the village, celebrated in the month of October. In correspondence of the square is still present at the house of the poet Michele De Marco commemorated by a plaque. From the square you can reach a historic stone staircase, built during the fascist period, which in the past made it possible to quickly reach the railway station. In the village there is also the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. Its construction is probably the seventeenth century. The main façade, punctuated by high pilasters, has three portals similar bill, but of different sizes. The building has an attached bell tower quadrangular base that stands on three levels. The restorations were completed in 2013.


The population of Lorica, hanging in the town of San Giovanni in Fiore and Pedace, overlooking the Lake Arvo and has lifts and skiing which, together with the spectacular landscape that surrounds it, make it one of the busiest tourist destinations in the Calabria, during all seasons of the year. The town is part of the Sila National Park. The name comes from the Latin word "lorica" (armor), and could be interpreted as a safe place, impassable, to hide and protect themselves from potential adversaries or enemies. An alternative hypothesis is that the term should refer to the natural appearance of the area, such as a vegetable stronghold, in past centuries it appeared to man as a habitat waterproof, narrow and wild.


  • Pedace was known by the name "Toledo of Calabria" for the many blacksmith and grinders who worked in the country, producing a large quantity of blades and knives.
  • Pedace participated in the first edition (1996/1997) of the show "The Network Tuesday of Alpha", broadcast on television channel local network alpha.[6] The broadcast included a challenge between countries in various episodes with a jury and televoting system. Pedace turned out winner. Due to the success of the program, the country gained a great media coverage throughout the province and became interested in its history and its culture.
  • In 1621 there was an epidemic of mal cane which is a condition that affects the trachea and has various symptoms such as constant moaning, in dialect "ruocculi." The population invoked the help of San Rocco, the patron saint of plague, and dedicated a chapel to the side of the church. Behind the chapel, the site of the new town hall and church, in Pedace is still called "addietru santu Ruoccu" (behind San. Rocco).[7]

Persons linked to Pedace[edit]


  1. ^ All demographics and other statistics from the Italian statistical institute (Istat)
  2. ^ Cards on events and personalities in the history of pedace and Presila, John Curcio, page 17, available at the public library
  3. ^ G. Rohlfs. Dictionary and toponymic name day of Calabria. Longo Ravenna P.232 1974
  4. ^ a grave of 781 found at Grangia to San Martino di Giove to confirm this hypothesis Channel
  5. ^ Photo taken by Luigi Vencia
  6. ^ 20NETWORK% 20TEN.htm Alfa Network - The story of Tele Europe Network
  7. ^ Reconstruction by Luigi Vencia, based on "Pedace in written by Domenico Martire "p. publisher Fasano 83, 1977 Cosenza, and English dialect of Calabria