On October 11, the festival of orange-flag villages

Morano Calabro and Gerace will be cast in a national initiative to promote tourism potential and environmental quality

October 11 is going to be the 2015 Organge Flag Day, an initiative of the Touring Club of Italy for the promotion of the cities and villages that have been awarded the prestigious orange flag. In Gerace and Morano Calabro, there will be plenty of guided tours and cultural events to celebrate the beauty of these two villages. The featured events and activities will be for free and open to all visitors.

The Orange Flag” is a symbol of environmental quality and high tourism potential, awarded by the TCI to those small inland villages (all with a population of less than 15.000 inhabitants) that have managed to stand out for the quality of their cultural offering and their culture of hospitality.

The criteria for selection are: promotion of cultural heritage, environmental protection, hospitableness, availability of resources,  high-quality tourism reception, a good restaurant and local food industry. The orange flag label is meant to encourage social and economic growth to be achieved through programmes of sustainable tourism development. The means to achieve this purpose are the promotion of local resources, enhancement of territorial identity, support to the hospitality industries and to business initiatives (particularly those set up by local craftspeople).

The programme of events in the two Calabrian villages is particularly interesting

Castello Normanno - Morano Calabro
Castello Normanno – Morano Calabro

In Morano Calabro (province of Cosenza, already a 2003 orange flag), a quaint village in the Pollino National Park area, there will be a guided tour of the village: the locations included in the visit are the Swabian Norman Castle, the Museum of Sacred Art, the Minerals Museum and the 11th-century Church of St. Apostles Peter and Paul. Two events are scheduled at the Cloister of Saint Bernardino: a convention on the phenomenon of banditry, featuring the presentation of Rocco Giuseppe Greco’s book ” L’ultima brigantessa – La vera storia di Ciccilla” about female bandit Ciccilla, and the inauguration of an exhibition titled “Echoes from the past” and curated by Luisella Sava, a photo report of the Flag Festival  with iconographic religious items. A tasting of local product will close the programme.

La Cattedrale di Gerace
La Cattedrale di Gerace

In Gerace, an old village on the Jonian coast of Reggio, an Orange Flag since March as well as one of “the ten most beautiful Italian villages” since April, there will be a guided tour of the village,including its monuments and the Archaeological Museum where the items found in the pre Hellenistic Necropolis of the Stefanelli district are kept. The itinerary, also featuring a musical background, will be completed by the inauguration of the new Diocesan Museum, whose rich patrimony include a 17th century tapestry by Jan Leyniers, which is coming back to its habitual location after a long restoration process.