Comune di Gerace
Located within the territory of the National Park of Aspromonte, the town of Gerace has retained its typically mediaeval appeal to our days. The old part of town, which is officially recognized in the list of the most beautiful villages of Italy,
Officially recognized as one of the most beautiful Italian villages, the old town is rich in churches and old buildings. One of the most interesting architectural features in town is the presence of several hollows dug directly into the rock; most of them are now empty, but in older times they were used as either houses or shops.
Gerace presents a rich patrimony of artistically and historically important monuments, such as the town castle, the Main Cathedral, the church of Saint Francis, a group of small churches (probably of Byzantine origins), and many other civil buildings from different periods sporting a wide range of architectural styles. The beauty of most of the luxurious palaces that can be admired in town is heightened by stone portals sculpted by local stonecutters.
The gastronomy of Gerace is quite varied: most of the typical recipes are still frequently cooked, and the tradition of fried food has proved to be especially enduring. Some of the typical dishes are the alatucia (pork rind and eggs) and the curcudia, a kind of local polenta.
Goat meat, ricotta and other cheeses are also among the typical foods, all prepared following the oldest cooking methods, and so are the maccarruni, a traditional kind of hand-made pasta.
The most renown cold cuts are capocollo and soppressata, but desserts are what Gerace is richest in: there are petrali and zeppole at Christmas time, n’gute and cuddhuraci at Easter, as well as isciaruni, pitte and iscaddatheddi, which are cooked all year long. Dry figs are also particularly tasty, stuffed as they are with almond nuts, mulberries and bits of dry pears.
The wine industry is also important: the Cuvertà and the Palazzi are two of the most prestigious labels, whereas the Mantonico and the Greco di Bianco, two renown quality wines, are ideal to go with desserts. The production of home-made liquors is also particularly deep-rooted.
Furthermore, the presence of many olive groves and oil presses on the territory of Gerace has allowed the production of a very refined quality of olive oil, by now one of the pillars of the economy of Aspromonte.