From Jesse's Journeys in Italy
In the mountains,
kilometers from the sea,
Buonvicino (or “The Good Neighbour”
as the village would be named in
English) perches in a precarious
position, overlooking a
sprawling valley blanketed in
vine-yards and olive groves.
The valley and town, both of which
overlooked by the enormous
statue of San Ciriaco, are an
near what is now Santa Maria del Cedro, is
one of the most interesting
villages on the
historically and culturally.
It once served as an important
and strategic Sybarite (Greek)
colony and as a key holding point
for commercial goods between Sibari
in Calabria’s south and Laos
further to the north.
The villagers here also claim
that Buonvicino is the home of
"pastasciutta" or spaghetti with
tomato sauce. Today, there
are many restaurants on the way
to Buonvicino where visitors can
taste authentic home-made pasta
from its place of origin.
There have been numerous
archaeological excavations in
and around Buonvicino,
which have revealed numerous
Greek artifacts, some wrought in
gold, including vases and
pointing to the fact that Buonvicino was once a very rich
and regal town.
All the empires that have been
through Calabria have occupied
Buonvicino, from the Greeks to
the Romans to the Byzantines.
Not surprising, a walk through
the town, brings visitors face
to face with numerous testaments
from history which speak to
empires nearly forgotten.
The Cedri Riviera
is a few kilometers inland from Diamante.
Follow the mountain highway, for 12 kms
and you should have no problem arriving.
Church interior, Bounvicino, Calabria
by Jesse Andrews
patron saint of Buonvicino, known in
Catholicism for his generosity,
wisdom and kindness. Today,
his statue overlooks the entire
valley and town.