Macchia. The small medieval hamlet of Spezzano Piccolo in the province of Cosenza is entered to be among the “places of the heart” in the 2016 census promoted by the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI) [Italian Environment Fund], together with agency Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, aimed at raising awareness among citizens and institutions on the theme of Protection and enhancement of the country’s historical, artistic and natural heritage.
We have already spoken about this small but charming town in a previous article, visible here – qui . A treasure trove of history and culture that with its almost unchanged architecture, due to few restoration efforts, still manages to convey the fascination of the past in the present. Macchia was in fact an ancient Cosentino farmstead, founded in the 10th century, around 985 and 986, when the Aymulus Abulcasimo invaded the Crati valley for the second time forcing the inhabitants of Cosenza to leave the city to find shelter on the Presilian mountains. After having been recruited into the Spezzano Piccolo magistrate and then proclaimed a “University” by the administration of Spezzano Grande, it was then relegated to Villaggio Spezzano Piccolo.
The Palaces of Tricarico, Benvenuto and Gullo, and some palace homes still testify today to the domination of noble families who formed the history of the village. Among these, the Gullo family, and the important role played by barrister Fausto Gullo on a national level. Inside the Palazzo Gullo, whose main façade is an ancient Meridiana and a memorial plaque dedicated to the minister, it’s possible to visit the Gullo Library open to the public, made up of the original nucleus of the library dating back to the early nineteenth century with books contributed by Alfonso Gullo and now the most extensive section of the Library and Archives added to by Fausto Gullo and his son Luigi. Around 15,000 volumes added to the National Library Service (SBN WEB), in cooperation with the Cosenza National Library. Info and contacts at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also noted by historian Gabriele Barrio is that Macchia houses several ancient houses of worship, including the Church of Sant’Andrea Apostolo, dating back to the 14th century. The façade maintains the original tuff portal with delicate columns.
Inside the village is also the alleged residence of Pietro Monaco, the bloody brigand of the eighteenth century, which, it seems, Macchia gave birth.
Between history and legend, between silence and the call of nature, the charming village is able to perpetuate an ancestral tale. So much so that the playwright and scenographer Rocco Chinnici, after visiting the village, decided to organize a live nativity scene in 2013, entitled “Il Sogno di Maria.” A true work of art that has been chosen as the most beautiful live nativity in Italy this year, giving rise to the tradition of nativity scene art that began in 1981.
To vote for Macchia among the Places of the Heart, we invite you to go to the site: http://iluoghidelcuore.it/luoghi/83496
For more information on the activities carried out in the village, please refer to the facebook pages “Noi Che Crediamo Nel Bene di Macchia” “https://www.facebook.com/BorgoMacchia” e “Associazione Culturale Macchia Antico Borgo” “https://www.facebook.com/Associazione-Culturale-Macchia-Antico-Borgo-748058208620592/?ref=ts&fref=ts”