Between Melicuccà and Seminara, alongside the creek Torbido, there is a small agricultural town surrounded by the majestic and ancient olive trees: Sant’Anna. To reveal this story was a writer, Paul Albanian, as well as his photos.
The origins of Sant’Anna, even if they seem antique, are little known. To give it that name, as reported by De Salvo, were the Basilian monks who, coming from the East, spread the cult of St. Anne, the wife of Joachim and mother of Mary. Previously, the village was called Decastidium or Decastadium and was one of the stages of the route traced by the Emperor Antoninus Pius, which included also Vibona, Nicotera, Mallia, Columna (Column Reggina). The old name is due to the abundance of water in this area and to the famous ten sources that have since disappeared.
Testimony of that ancient wealth are the Basilicò source, and the source Martara “Acqua Lontana,” the latter being situated near the oldest church in the country, that of St. Louis. To reach it you must cross a very steep road. Deserving the “distant” name, just a reminder of the difficulty perceived by men and women who travelled there in the past. This source has a history dating back to the Roman Empire. As told by Antonio De Salvo “Acqua Lontana,” was a reference point for those who, coming from the ancient Via Popilia, built in 130 a.c., had to divert to Melicuccà or other Aspromonte towns. Here once the women of the village went to do laundry. The country’s elders tell that this water has miraculous properties of, as it is warm in winter and cool in summer.
The source, today restored thanks to the synergy of Tarramala associations and “Amici Della Grotta” with the city administration, is a symbol of the life of the past, as well as a precursor of the new renewable energy systems: the water was in fact used to operate the old mills that dotted the area.
Sant’Anna also offers a living testimony of what the traditions are of these places. Every Sunday, girls, ladies and grandmothers come together in this village to take part in the Salotto di Penelope, organized by Terramala, to learn the ancient art of embroidery and crochet.
How about a Sunday trip to this place of history and tradition? Or maybe taking to road to to Seminara, to buy some of the famous local pottery.