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Grisolia Calabria Region

Grisolia

Cities and Towns in Cosenza

Grisolia is one of the most spectacular towns in the region of Calabria, close to the coast and popular towns like Scalea and Diamante, it is definitely worth a visit and walk around. 

The town's people of the town of Grisolia like to debate the origins of the town's name. Some say, it comes from the Greek word "Chrousolea", while others insist it comes from the Spanish word "Chrisena".  In either case, the word means "gold", which used to abound in the valley below, and attracted the area's fair share of warring armies.

Then, as now, Grisolia overlooks the immense and mineral-rich valley from a precipitous height, offering stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area, and the coastal towns that sprinkle the banks of the Mediterranean in either direction. 

During the last 30 years, in the valleys below Grisolia, historians have uncovered coins and other artefacts, such as burial cases, that date back to pre-Roman tribal groups such as the Enotrians, Brutians and Lucanians.

The location and composition of the coins, which are believed to date to at least 1300, BC suggest to archaeologists, anthropologists and historians, that Grisolia played a very important  military and economic role among the first Italic tribes in the area during Pre-Roman times.

Its position as a major town is due to the fact that Grisolia occupies an historically strategic position on the hem of high cliffs more than 450 meters above the sea.

As difficult as it must have been for an attacking army to overtake it, the town, like others in Calabria, has been occupied at one time or another by Greeks, Romans, Barbarians, Spanish, Normans, Byzantines, Albanians, and Turks, all of whom have left their mark on local culture, language, food and architecture.

The village of Grisolia has a distinctively medieval feel, with small doorways and stairwells sized to fit the inhabitants, with alleys and streets that unexpectedly converge making the town a stone labyrinth.  A lack of government money - which is spent more lavishly on the tourist-thronged coastal towns - ensures that the town will retain its rustic and weathered look for some time to come.

Wandering around the village a visitor will be struck by the Norman castle at the height of the town, with an ancient church behind, reminding everyone through the ages, who was in charge.

Poor though it may be, Grisolia is worth a visit, to see its gravity defying houses carved into the golden cliffs, the women who carry most everything on their heads, and to soak up the long and rich history that is embedded in every brick and stone.

 

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