PAOLA

Paola is situated on the Tyrrhenian coast near to Cosenza and is an important religious tourist destination of Calabria.

History

The centre was active since the Hellenistic era and later became an important stop-off point along Via Popilia which linked Capua to Reggio Calabria.

Various hypogeum churches were founded on its territory during the Byzantine era, and the centre continued to take on more importance, making it an object of Saracen conquest; having been allocated in Sicily since the IX century.
Francesco d’Alessio, founder of the Minimi Order was born here. He was better known as San Francesco of Paola (1416-1507), patron saint of Calabria. Following a life spent as a hermit, which saw him forever taking the part of the weak, Francesco was proclaimed Saint on 1st May 1519.
From this moment on, the centre changed aspect and became enriched with new churches and monastic buildings, characterising Paola as one of the main religious centres in the region.

In 1555, Paola was besieged and devastated by the Turks, and following this event, was fortified under the wishes of the Spinelli family, who stayed in power uninterruptedly from 1496 to end of feudalism (1806).

On 24th July 1943, Paolo suffered aerial bombing by Anglo-American alliance troops, who destroyed part of the historical centre.

A visit to the City

Paola is among the main destinations of religious tourism in Calabria, but is capable of also offering services in the seaside tourism sector.

Entering through Porta San Francesco, one can immediately admire the Torre dell’Orologio (Clock tower) to the right, adjacent to where the façade of the Montevergine Church stands out. It was built on the place where a painting of the Black Madonna was found. Not too far from here, one can also visit San Franceschiello, birthplace of San Francesco of Paola.

Moving to the left, Corso Garibaldi leads to the SS. Rosario Church with the Collegio desi Gesuiti annexed to it. Nearby, one can also visit the San Giacomo Church, rebuilt in a Neo-Classical style.

The Duomo, positioned at the top of a beautiful flight of steps, is dedicated to SS. Annunziata and preserves Baroque altars and noteworthy paintings from the Neapolitan school, in its interior.

The Fontana dei Sette Canali (Fountain of Seven Channels) stands out for its beauty in the City. It is the work of craftsmen from the XVI century.

The Sanctuary, dedicated to the patron Saint of Calabria, is located in the higher part of Paola and is a destination of important pilgrimage. Next to the sanctuary one can visit the Collegio dei Frati Minimi, which is linked to it by a bridge.

Wandering outside the centre, one can visit the following noteworthy buildings: the S. Maria di Valle Josaphat Monastery, founded during the first years of the XII century and the San Michele Arcangelo Church (XI century).

Place of interest

- Castello Normanno-Aragonese
- Chiesa della SS. Annunziata ('400)
- Chiesa della Madonna di Montevergine
- Chiesa del SS. Rosario ('600)
- Chiesa dell'Addolorata
- Convento e Chiesa di S. Agostino
- Chiesa della Madonna del Rosario
- Chiesa di S. Giacomo Minore
- San Franceschiello (Casa Natale del Santo)
- Collegio dei Gesuiti
- Chiesa di San Giacomo
- Chiesetta Madonna delle Grazie
- Fontana dei Sette Canali (XVI sec.)
- I Pisciariddi (1739)
- Palazzo Scorza
- Porta S. Francesco ('600)
- Santuario di San Francesco
- Monastero di S. Maria di Valle Josaphat (XI sec.)
- Marina di Paola
- Torre del Soffio (1530)
- Chiesa Madonna del Carmine
- Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo (XI sec.)

Museums

- Nessun Museo segnalato

Events

- La Befana il 6 gennaio
- Carnevale di Paola
- Festa della donna l'8 marzo
- Settimana Santa
- Festa di San Francesco di Paola il 2 aprile
- Festa di San Francesco il 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 aprile
- Estate paolana in luglio e agosto: sagre, spettacoli di artisti di strada
- Festa della Madonna del Carmine il 16 luglio
- "A Vulata" il 21 luglio
- Festa dell'Assunta il 15 agosto
- Madonna di Montevergine il 6, 7, e 8 settembre
- Festa di San Martino l'11 novembre
- Festa dell'Immacolata l'8 dicembre
- Festa di Santa Lucia il 13 dicembre
- Natale di Paola

PAOLA
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Calabria region of Italy

 

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