Comune di San Luca
Located at the foot of the Aspromonte mountain range, the territory of San Luca is crossed by the Bonamico torrent and covers a wide area of the Park, offering one of the most beautiful and characteristic landscapes in the whole of Aspromonte. Some of the most interesting natural landmarks in it are lake Costantino and a group of conglomerate rock formations, such as Pietra Lunga, Pietra Castello and the majestic Pietra Cappa, one of the biggest monoliths in Europe.
The town centre was re-built in 1590, after the old site was destroyed by a landfall caused by the overflowing of the Bonamico torrent. It hosts the Church of Our Lady of Piety, an old Byzantine structure rebuilt in the 17th century, where “The Deposition of the Cross”, a big 17th-century canvas painting, is kept together with the 18th-century wooden sculptures of Saint Anne and Saint Mary Our Lady of Piety, both coming from the Church of Saint Sebastian in Potamia. In the surroundings of San Luca are the remains of the Church of Saint Nicholas from Butrano, a Norman Greek-plan three-apsed Abbey of Byzantine origin. The remains of another Byzantine church dedicated to Saint George can be seen in contrada San Giorgio, about 10 kilometres away from the inhabited area. Furthermore, a15-kilometre road beginning in San Luca runs west through a typical Aspromonte scenery to reach the Sanctuary of Holy Mary of Polsi, one of the favourite pilgrimage sites in Calabria. According to a legend, it was founded after the chance discovery of a Byzantine cross unearthed by an ox while digging with its horns. The late-16th-century icon of Holy Mary with the Baby that is kept there is a very popular object of worship. San Luca was also the birth-town of Corrado Alvaro, the author of “People in Aspromonte” as well as one of the most prestigious names on the 20th-century Italian literary scene. His house has now been turned into a Museum and included among the attractions of a Literary Theme Park dedicated to him.