EXCURSION from Amendolea Nuova to Amendolea Vecchia
Elevation difference: 217 metres
Elevation: Amendolea Nuova (142 metres above sea level), Amendolea Vecchia (359 metres above sea level)
Time: outward 1 hour, return 30 minutes
Water: at Amendolea Nuova
Ordinance Survey Map: F° 615 I Bova
The hike is along what used to be the old public highway between Amendolea and Bova.
Paradoxically, the coming of civilisation and, therefore, of tarmacked roads, has created a distance between these towns, something which has happened also to many other places in the Aspromonte area. The age-old mule tracks and country pathways that once connected towns and villages directly have now been abandoned. Today, one has to go down to the coastal SS 106 and then travel uphill and inland again. This has caused an interruption of communications between the mountain communities, to the sole advantage of the coastal towns. The old public highway has been paved. However, the panoramic landscape, the ruins of old Byzantine churches (some with frescoes we can still interpret), the imposing thirteenth-century castle and the hamlet, abandoned after flooding in 1953 (but still lived in by a handful of families until the following flood of 1971) make this area quite interesting. Over the years, numerous conservative restoration and archaeological campaigns have been carried out in the hamlet on behalf of various local bodies, but these have not valorised the place sufficiently.
Arriving by car
You arrive at Amendolea having left the SS 106 at Condofuri Marina.
Take the road leading to up to Condofuri Superiore and after about five 5 kilometres you reach the hamlet of San Carlo. At the crossroads near the church, take the right turning; a short detour of 300 metres will take you to piazza della Torre [the square of the Tower], the Customs’ Tower which actually stood partially in the bed of the Amendolea River. From here you can catch a glimpse of the village and its castle. Having taken the road for Condofuri Superiore again, drive on for about two kilometres and then, leave the car at the first bridge you meet. Cross the bridge and walk down the pathway along the river bank which, after a few kilometres, will take you to houses belonging to Amendolea.
The hike is very simple. Follow the little uphill pathway in cement which after about 2 kilometres leads to the ruins of the old hamlet of Amendolea. However, if you wish to take a circular route one may follow the ancient trail climbing to the entrance to the hamlet (the so-called sea gateway) just after the last of the houses of Amendolea Nuova, after a left-hand bend. Entering the hamlet you will be facing the church of the Santissima Annunziata [Our Lady of the Annunciation]on the side opposite the castle. Once you have finished the visit to the hamlet take the cement pathway back to Amendolea Nuova but not before visiting the little extra moenia churches at the foot of the castle.
Source: Guida Naturalistica della Calabria Greca– Alfonso Picone – Rubbettino Editore – Collana Parco Culturale della Calabria Greca.