THE MUSEUM OF ANCIENT PARCHMENTS IN BIANCHI (CALABRIA, ITALY): A SPACE FOR MEMORY AND HISTORY

History and memory are important, because they not only communicate to us what we have been, but they open windows on the future. This is the meaning of the Museum of ancient Parchements  which the Municipal Administration of Bianchi (Cosenza, Calabria, South Italy) intends to increasingly enhance and promote, as confirmed by the mayor prof. Pasquale Taverna, and the deputy mayor, Rino Pascuzzo.

Mayor and deputy mayor accompanied me on a visit to the Museum, which is a full part of Bianchi’s history and originally formed thanks to the noble Accattatis family, to which it is named. The origin of Bianchi – around the year 1600 – is linked to the arrival of some families, including the Accattatis, who had moved from nearby Scigliano to the territory of Bianchi.

Exactly 200 years ago, in 1820, Bianchi was recognized as an autonomous municipality with its own civil status registers. And it is significant that the Municipal Administration, precisely in coincidence of this anniversary, has decided to revive and redevelop the spaces of the Museum of the Scrolls, which was established in 1984 on the proposal of the deceased cav. Luigi Elvio Accattatis, grandson of the famous academic Luigi Accattatis, author among other things of the Calabrian dialectal vocabulary. In 2004 the private writing scheme was approved for the donation of the historical archive of the Accattatis family to the Municipality of Bianchi and the “Museum of Scrolls and Historical Documents” was established.
In the Civic Museum of the Municipality of Bianchi it is possible to admire ancient parchments that are of considerable historical value. The most important documents date back to the 17th century and others even to the 16th century; there are also some scrolls signed by Charles V of Spain, others by Frederick II and Frederick IV of the Aragonese, a papal bull signed by Benedict XII. Among the historical documents, some notary deeds of 1198 and 1221 of the empress Constance are very interesting.

The Museum offers an excursus on local history and past events through the testimonies contained in the parchments of the protagonists of the time. It is an interesting historical documentation that testifies to the cultural trace in Bianchi’s history. Some parchments have been exhibited at the “Exhibition of the ancient books in Calabria” set up at the National Library of Cosenza. Rare bibliographic and artistic works that have contributed to enriching the historical value of the exhibition.

VIDEOCLIP: THE IMPRESSIVE ABBEY OF CORAZZO (CALABRIA, ITALY). A PLACE OF ART, HISTORY AND CULTURE

© Roberto Alborghetti 

On the slopes of the Sila, in Calabria (Italy), in the province of Catanzaro, there is an extraordinary place, representing great pages of history and  culture. It’s the ancient abbey of Santa Maria di Corazzo, founded by Benedictine monks in the eleventh century, near the river Corace. It was mentioned in papers since 1060-70! It appears today in the particularity of its ruins, which give a charm to the surroundings. Almost a destiny that it was destroyed several times. It was firstly rebuilt by the Cistercian monks in the twelfth century. It was later damaged by the earthquake in March 1638, and again after another earthquake in 1783. The monastery was then slowly abandoned and stripped of his artistic works. Today, as I said, the ruins remain as wonderful tracks of the past. The abbey is located in the village of Castagna (Chestnut), in Carlopoli territory.  Why the Abbey of Corazzo is so important? Not only for the fact of being an ancient Benedictine building, but also because its story intersects with that of a great man and author, Joachim of Fiore, also mentioned in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”. He took the monk’s habit,becoming abbot. Then he moved to Pietralata, before settling in Sila in the spring of 1189, in San Giovanni in Fiore where he founded a new religious order, the Florence Congregation, approved by Pope Celestine III in 1196.  Santa Maria Corazzo was now “adopted” by the volunteers of the “Progetto Gedeone – Gideon Project” for the creation of a “Social Enterprise” animated by different purposes. 

VIDEO BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI; SOUNDTRACK: “APOLLO’S TRIUMPH”, AUDIOMACHINE

Abbazia S.M. Corazzo - Photo Roberto Alborghetti (1)

Abbazia S.M. Corazzo – Photo Roberto Alborghetti (1)

THE IMPRESSIVE ABBEY OF CORAZZO (CALABRIA, ITALY). IT WAS DESTROYED SEVERAL TIMES AND ITS RUINS TELL A GREAT STORY  

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© Roberto Alborghetti Photos

On the slopes of the Sila, in Calabria (Italy), in the province of Catanzaro, there is an extraordinary place, representing great pages of history and  culture. It’s the ancient abbey of Santa Maria di Corazzo, founded by Benedictine monks in the eleventh century, near the river Corace. It was mentioned in papers since 1060-70! It appears today in the particularity of its ruins, which give a charm to the surroundings. Almost a destiny that it was destroyed several times. It was firstly rebuilt by the Cistercian monks in the twelfth century. It was later damaged by the earthquake in March 1638, and again after another earthquake in 1783. The monastery was then slowly abandoned and stripped of his artistic works. Today, as I said, the ruins remain as wonderful tracks of the past. The abbey is located in the village of Castagna (Chestnut), in Carlopoli territory.

 

I discovered it a few weeks ago, during my tour in Calabria for lectures and launches of my new book “Nessuno resti indietro”. I met there the guide Antonio Mangiafave – he dressed a medieval monk suit  while explaing history and facts about the place – and Maria Antoinetta Sacco, councilor of Carlopoli, who led me visiting the ruins, which seem to evoke a Stonehenge atmosphere in the land of Calabria . Why the Abbey of Corazzo is so important? Not only for the fact of being an ancient Benedictine building, but also because its story intersects with that of a great man and author, Joachim of Fiore, also mentioned in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”. He took the monk’s habit,becoming abbot. Then he moved to Pietralata, before settling in Sila in the spring of 1189, in San Giovanni in Fiore where he founded a new religious order, the Florence Congregation, approved by Pope Celestine III in 1196.

 Santa Maria Corazzo was now “adopted” by the volunteers of the “Progetto Gedeone – Gideon Project” for the creation of a “Social Enterprise” animated by different purposes. They provide opportunities for job placement to people living in social-economic hardship and / or psychic, experimenting with new career paths, in forestry agriculture, social tourism and enhancement environmental goods but above all, as a place of integration and reference for the community where the disadvantaged subjects play a leading role, thus breaking down the prejudices inherent in distress. “Gideon Project” also aims to encourage activities directed to mediate and mitigate the relational and emotional problems that people encounter in their daily family life. The volunteers welcome the visitors of the ancient abbey providing informations while they lead them through the amazing ruins of an impressive place.