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A view of Orsomarso
by Jesse Andrews

A street scene, Orsomarso
by Jesse Andrews

A holy grotto at Orsomarso
by Jesse Andrews

An old man at Orsomarso
by Jesse Andrews

Most photos on VisitsItaly are by Jesse Andrews. Please Contact VisitsItaly.Com for reproduction of any kind at:

This is Orsomarso 
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 1,505 (2003)
Official site:

Orsomarso is often described by the Calabrese as the "soul of the mountains." Upon entry to the town, it is easy to see why, for the ancient town seems to breathe, as if it was part of the verdent mountain on which it resides, like a colorful fungas of houses and edifices. The conglomeration of man-made constructions in Orsomarso, appear as though, they themselves a part of the nature, rather than distinct from it. 

The peaceful rythm of town life within the magnificent limestone carved valley, in which this town resides, is evident upon first entry.

Orsomarso is navigable following the SS18, from Scalea.  There are signs pointing to Orsomarso which the traveler needs to keep a sharp eye out for. However, following the signs in blue for Parco Pollino and Orsomarso, the visitor with caution, should have little problem arriving from Scalea at the coast, in under 25 minutes.

Points of interest travelers should take into consideration in Orsomarso include the Church of San Giovanni  Battista, which contains paintings from the 16th C. AD and hundreds of frescoes constructed by an ancient local master, Colimodio upon various walls and the celing of the church.

The clock tower, built in the oldest part of the town, orginially for defense purposes, which visitors can climb up and view the entire town from, may also be of interest.

Some visitors, may feel a sense from the town's inhabitants that everyone is watching their every movement.  This is true.  The locals have a very tight community and they often fear what they don't know.  However, a simple "buona sera" or "buon giorno," will have the guests smiling and offering to show you one of their many shrines or even the interiors of their houses.  If you're not interested, a simple "no grazie" will do just fine.  Don't worry about the local culture, the people are all extremely religious and God-fearing.  They are however, un-used to a lot of tourists, so keep this in mind in your travels through this region.

In addition to the historical monuments and intrigues within the town, visitors with time, may be interested in exploring the lime-stone carved riverbed which Orsomarso overlooks. 

The river which runs through the valley "Argentino", passes through mysterious and secluded areas and plays host to woods rich in flora and fauna.  The lush vegetation within these woods include: orchids, primrose, lillies and gentian with bright blue flowers, which make the entire valley floor  itself look as if it were enchanted, particularly in the spring, summer and fall seasons.

The valley floor also contains a unique tree, "Il Pino Loricato", a pine tree choses as the symbol of Orsomarso.  It has a twisted shape and forms long large plates that are very similar to the armor "lorica", worn by the Romans.  It is from this ancient purpose the tree served, where it takes it's name.

Finally, Orsomarso serves as the gate-way to Italy's national "Parco Pollino" and the information centre they have in the centre of town, can help visitors interested in exploring the park.

Region of Calabria

The Cedri Riviera



Osomarso serves as a gateway to the national "Parco di
."  A stop here at the information office within the centre of town, can help  orient visitors and provide further information about the area.



A home in Orsomarso
by Jesse Andrews





Tell us about your trip to Orsomarso.  What were your favorite places to visit, stay, and dine.  Talk Italy Forum