San Giovanni in Fiore

San Giovanni in Fiore

Cose da fare - generale

San Giovanni in Fiore , is an Italian town of 17,505 inhabitants [4] of the province of Cosenza in Calabria.

It is the oldest, largest and most populated inhabited center of the Sila [7] [8], located a few kilometers from the Alta Val di Neto and the Montenero mountain area, as well as the most populated of the 282 Italian municipalities located over 1,000 meters slm [9] [10] San Giovanni in Fiore is about 70 km from the provincial capital and about 50 km from Crotone [11]; it is the largest municipality in Calabria.

The town is linked to the figure of the abbot Gioacchino da Fiore, an exegete monk from the 12th century [12], who founded the monastery of San Giovanni in Fiore and the Florense congregation here. The monastery was endowed with the tenimentum flori, formed by the Sila territories that constituted the Badia Sila that were later given in commenda and ruled by the commendatory abbots until 1530, when at the request of the abbot Salvatore Rota, the town was recognized civic entering the royal heritage . In 1844 the florense center took the honor of national news for the events related to the capture of the Bandiera brothers, Italian patriots, and all the components that were part of the expedition.

It is the administrative headquarters of the Sila National Park, located near the village of Lorica, part of the Silana Mountain Community. It also houses the International Center of Gioachimiti Studies, a body recognized by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, which collaborates with prestigious Italian and foreign universities in the research of the publications of the abbot florense.

Provincia Cosenza

Storia e cultura

The story of San Giovanni in Fiore is divided into five phases. The first phase is called florense, since it is governed by the regular abbots of the order, from Gioacchino da Fiore to Evangelista de Gaeta from Caccuri. This phase goes from 1189 to 1500, from the rise of the abbot Gioacchino in Sila to the establishment of the commandery of San Giovanni in Fiore as an ecclesiastical fiefdom. The abbot Gioacchino da Fiore was initially favored by Tancredi in 1191, followed by the great concessions of Henry VI in 1194 and the recognition of the Florentine congregation by Celestino III in 1196. The second phase began on 13 September 1500 [29] when the abbey of San Giovanni in Fiore was commended in favor of ecclesiastical vassals appointed directly by the Holy See and ended in the spring of 1530 when the emperor Charles V sent the commendatory abbot Salvatore Rota to found the farmhouse of San Giovanni in Fiore . Salvatore Rota, fourth commendatory abbot then founded the hamlet of San Giovanni in Fiore, which was governed by ecclesiastical vassals until 1783, the year in which the ecclesiastical fief was suppressed and the fiefdom was introduced. The first and last secular Commendatore, nominated by the royal court, was the knight Luigi de 'Medici of Ottajano, and no successor was named after his death, the form of the fief having fallen and the government of the communes introduced. From 1860 onwards it followed the fate of the Kingdom of Italy, led by the Savoy, then of fascism led by Mussolini and finally those of the Republican Italy.

San Giovanni in Fiore as an urban institution, has a relatively short history, in fact despite being founded at the end of 1100, with the construction and construction of the Florense Abbey, from the end of 1100 up to the beginning of the sixteenth century, it was governed according to the ecclesiastical dictates and privileges granted to the monastery and to the lands around it, by the emperors of the time. The village then became "civic" only in 1530, when Salvatore Rota, the then abbot, took over the monastery and the surrounding area, commencing the development of the town of San Giovanni in Fiore [30].

From 1500 to the end of the nineteenth century
In the sixteenth century considerable changes took place which conditioned the history of San Giovanni in Fiore. Pope Alexander VI Borgia, in 1500 entrusted to the notary Ludovico de Santangelo di Valenza, the Abbazia Florense. After that proclamation, another 17 commendatory abbots (all chosen by the Holy See) will have fostered the Silan monastery. The last commendatory abbot was Giacomo Filomarino, after which he was proclaimed a layman chosen by King of Naples Ferdinando IV Borbone, who thus attested to the ecclesial end of the "Flower Monastery", which became the pertinence of the royal heritage [31]. The following centuries strengthened the role of attractor that the country had in the rest of the region. Those who went to the Sila were people attracted above all by the riches of the forests and the land. Since 1600 are the first documents of great landowners. In 1700 and 1800 the role of noble families was strengthened in the social and economic fabric of the country, which influenced political events. [32] In 1844 San Giovanni in Fiore was highlighted internationally for the story of the Bandiera Brothers, revolutionary patriots who were captured in the country's countryside [33]. 1848 was the year of the "agrarian uprising", and the beginning of the first mass emigration to the Americas [34].

20th century
In 1900 the political situation and economy underwent profound transformations. The wave of emigration continued and San Giovanni in Fiore returned to the international limelight, as one of the countries that paid the greatest losses in the mining tragedy of Monongah. The first prospects for development began to be seen, thanks to the energy industry resulting from the creation of artificial silane reservoirs [35]. Fascism also left a profound mark on San Giovanni in Fiore, a country which, since the unification of Italy, formed a strong left-wing political fabric [36], confirmed even more after the war. After the birth of the Republic, the country suffered other strong waves of migration. The industrial energy perspective did not seem to keep promises and the local economy wavered. The government to remedy the disaster situation of the economy, approved the agrarian reform in 1950, which affected the whole territory of Sila. The "problem of illegal building" (born in the sixties, it will end only in the nineties), was a socio-economic phenomenon that invested throughout the country in every sector, and that years later will be studied by architects, planners and sociologists [ 37].

Religious architecture
San Giovanni in Fiore, which owes its foundation to a monastic community, is an active Calabrian religious center, especially thanks to the Florense Abbey, but also to the other historical churches of the community, realized when the town became "civic" and the Abbey he was entrusted in command to the abbots. After this historic event, the city center has been enriched with numerous religious buildings and is the urban area in which there are the major buildings of worship, some of which concentrated in a few tens of meters of the first urban core that developed.
The Florense Abbey, around which the first inhabited nucleus was built, is the largest ecclesiastical building and the only one left of the "domus religionis" complex organized and planned by Abbot Gioacchino da Fiore, who also traced a symbolic pattern in the table XII of his Liber Figurarum. The Abbazia Florense was built near the confluence of the Arvo and Neto rivers by Abbot Matteo I, Gioacchino's successor, after the death of the master (30 March 1202). The works began in 1214 and ended in 1234, following the indications left by Gioacchino da Fiore, who wanted to realize precisely in that precise place a religious house for the "contemplating spirits". Hence the dedication of the Abbey to St. John the Baptist, the holy hermit with the gift of prophecy and contemplation. From the patron saint of the abbey the village then took its name, in 1530, when it was constituted "civic house" by an edict of the emperor Charles V. Despite the many alterations, the Florentine abbey preserves the austerity of the Romanesque style. On the façade there is a portal in Gothic style formed by bundles of thin columns, with capitals decorated with palmettes and leaves, dating back to the year 1220. At the main altar is the crypt that houses the urn containing the remains of Gioacchino da Fiore, and the sepulchral niche. The Abbey, in recent years has been in the spotlight of the news, since the last extensive restoration work, which should have returned to its original splendor [41], were initially blocked by the police headquarters, with provision for seizure of the works area [42], and then reapplied after the seizure order [43]. The news of the work and the abduction of the abbey reached the Parliament [44] [45].

Archaeological sites

In the town of San Giovanni in Fiore there is the archaeological site of Iure Vetere, where the first florense foundation was built by Abbot Gioacchino da Fiore [66]. The site was subject from 2003 to 2005 of an archaeological campaign conducted by the Specialized School in Archeology of Matera, in collaboration with the municipality of San Giovanni, the Gioachimiti Study Center and under the Scientific Direction of the Superintendence for Architectural Heritage and Landscape of Calabria and of the Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of Calabria.

The location of the Florentine Protomonastery is told in an essay published in 2003 [67]

The results of the excavation campaigns have been reported in a text published in 2005 [68].

Among the main monuments located in the municipal area, it should be mentioned:

The Norman Arch of 1200 [69] is, together with the Florense Abbey, the symbol of the town. The Norman Arch is located near the Forensic Abbey. There is no certain information regarding this singular monument. According to recent studies, it is supposed that the arch was part of a series of different arches built along the walls that surrounded the abbey complex and some buildings used by the religious. The perceptions of these assumptions are based on the discovery of the remains of some "bindings" in the walls near the medieval arch [70]. The Norman arch is in the shape of a sixth ogival, and certainly dates back to the time when the monastic village was under Norman domination, in the twelfth century. The walls and above all the arches had been erected around the monastic village, and as well as acting as security gateways, they certainly had the function of extra-territorial urban boundaries, beyond which they were immune from any punishment imposed by the Court. Judicial Norman.
Monongah's War Memorial is the last monument to this day, erected in the municipality of San Giovanni in Fiore. Built by local master stonemasons, under the proposal and direction of the Calabria Region, to commemorate the centenary of the tragedy, the monument was then delivered to the city of San Giovanni in Fiore, as a Calabrian country with the greatest loss of citizens suffered in the disaster of December 6 of 1907. Many of the 956 deaths in the worst mining disaster ever occurred in the United States of America (Monongah, West Virginia, December 6, 1907) were in fact emigrants from San Giovanni in Fiore, as well as from other towns in Calabria, Abruzzo and Molise [71]. The monument was visited by the governor of West Virginia, Joe Manchin III, in 2004 who placed a wreath of flowers there [72].
On the site of the capture of the Bandiera brothers, in 1909 a stone in silane granite was erected, commonly called Cippo della Stragola, commemorating the heroic deeds of the Venetian brothers. The cippus is located in the locality "Stragola" about 10 km from the town of the town. The monument, built entirely with silane granite, was erected by the "Fratelli Bandiera" cooperative, on behalf of the Lopez family, the family that housed two of the rioters captured in 1844. With the erection of the stone, the families intended to silence , the polemics that followed the Unification of Italy, and which were promptly fomented by local politicians [73].

Vaglio della Cona
Of strong symbolic impact are the monuments related to the fallen of the wars whose participation of sangiovannesi was always consistent [74], represented by the winged angel (Monument to the fallen) and by the War Memorial in Via San Francesco d'Assisi.

Ponte della Cona
The Municipality of San Giovanni in Fiore, due to its mountain nature, is crossed by numerous bridges, the vast majority, small in size, some of which, built near the old city, are aesthetically pleasing and of exquisite workmanship. The only bridge that deserves to be mentioned for its value, historical and natural features, is the "Ponte della Cona". Built at the end of the eighteenth century, it is a two-arched structure with two stone vaults interlocked and "welded" by a light layer of lime-based mortar [75]. Once the only access between the urban center and the first connecting roads between the other countries, the bridge of the Cona was then supplanted by the construction of new roadways and relative bridges. It is remembered in the story, since from this passage the Bandiera Brothers transited after their capture [76].

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