Wild places of Calabria – Pentedattilo

Wild places of Calabria- Pentedattilo 

Driving dow south, in one of the southern corners of Italy. All the way to the very toe. Only 250 m from the sea. You can spot an incredibly fascinating place. 

For there rises Monte Calvario and the ghost village of Pentedattilo

The place goes all the way back to the ancient Greek, later occupied by the Romans, Byzantines, Normans and more. 

It stood up as a fortified stronghold for more than two thousand years until, in 1686 the castle was defiled and later, the very village was struck by the earthquake of 1783. 

But why is this picturesque place called the five fingers of the devil

It has to do with the events that took place at the end of the 17thcentury. 

Back then, the area was under the control of Marques Domenico degli Alberti, father of the beautiful Antonietta and brave Lorenzo degli Alberti. 

At a wedding, lady Antonietta had the chance to get to know Don Alberto Cortez son of the Viceroy of Naples. The two young and lighthearted fell in love and a wedding was planned. 

Unfortunately, the nearby Baron Bernardino Abenavoli was a very fierce man and also desperately infatuated with Antonietta. 

On the night of the 14th of April 1686, he led 40 of his closest guard within the lands of Alberti family and, thanks to a traitor within the castle, was able to infiltrate the stronghold of Domenico, Antonietta and Lorenzo. 

The Alberti family, although caught by surprise tried to fight back, to no avail. All members of the family, but Antonietta had fallen that night. 

Lorenzo degli Alberti didn’t give up his sister so easily but, unfortunately, fell after being stabbed 15 times. 

Legend has it, that Lorenzo touched the five fingered rock with his bloody hand and cursed the place. In the early dawn, the stone of Pentedattilo can, sometimes, be seen turning blood red and people swear to have heard the desperate screams of the Alberti in several nights. 

In the End, Baron Abenavoli married Antonietta and held Don Alberto Cortez captive as a hostage. Later Antonietta was granted the annulment of such foul wedding and retired among the nuns to pray for her family’s salvation 

Now the place offers itself for a beautifull trekking in a very wild and picturesque area. The red rock outcrops resemble those of the western American deserts. The abandoned village is extremely lively for being a ghost tow. Filled with tourists, art labs and exibitions. It has become a place of expression and freedom for those that want to live in a quiet place sharing their artisanship.

So, enjoy this very special place of Calabria, it’s history and beware of any fiendish screams you might hear, for they could be the lost souls of the Alberti Family and Lorenzo’s wrath for the loss of his beloved sister.

Giuseppe Perrotti