Bivongi is a town and the municipality in Calabria ( the province of Reggio Calabria ). This small medieval town was founded by the Greeks 3,000 years ago. Its historic center preserved many ancient houses, courtyards and churches. Also Bivongi is famous for its excellent wine , the secret of which lies in the climate, as the grape and ancient traditions. Indeed, the tradition of winemaking in Bivongi was laid by the ancient Greeks who knew a lot about wine elixir. A few kilometers from the medieval Bivongi is situated the Greek Orthodox Monastery of San Giovanni Theristis. The monastery was founded in the XI century during the Byzantine rule in Calabria. Those days, southern Italy has been a mecca for the Byzantine monks who came from the east. Across Calabria Greek Orthodox monasteries were organized, especially a lot of them were in the valleys and Amendolea Stilaro. Just the last lived and worked for St. John the Reaper. John was born in 995. His father was killed during the invasion of the Saracens and his mother having John in the womb, was taken as a slave in Palermo , where he was born and grew up surrounded by Muslims, but in Christian faith. The life of St. John is surrounded by legends and traditions, it is difficult to say which of them is true and which is not. When the child grew older, he fled to his native land, crossed the Strait of Messina on the boat and then he told me that the Holy Cross helped him in this. Reaching Stilo , the boy came to Bishop John and asked him about the baptism, the bishop gave him a test and only then baptized and gave him his holy name. John was attracted to the monastic life, and showing great perseverance, despite his young age, was admitted to the monastery and later was elected abbot. Near the monastery was a cave, in which the source beat and in winter John prayed, standing in ice water. One day during the harvest, St. John suggested bread and wine to the peasants, which he had with him. At this time there a great storm arose, which threatened to destroy the crop, but a whirlwind heeded the prayers of the saint, squinted bread and put them together in bundles. Since that time St. John was nicknamed Theristis, which means reaper. St. John died in 1054 . The fame of St. John's began to grow after his death, the place where he lived and the holy spring, where he prayed became a mecca for pilgrims. At the source of the holy place in the XI century was elevated a monastery, dedicated to St. John the Reaper. In the Norman period, the monastery grew and was one of the most important of the Byzantine monasteries of Southern Italy . Its power and magnificence retained until the XV century. His monks were highly educated. There was an extensive library in the monastery, great art and rich treasures.
But the XV century began to decline and all the Greek monasteries of Calabria escaped this fate and the monastery of St. John. When, in 1579 in Italy, formed a new Order of the Basilian Order, the revival of the monastery of St. John became the main monastery of the Order in Calabria. In the XVII century, the quiet life of the monastery prevented the attacks of robbers. In 1662 the monks left the monastery walls moving to a new larger monastery of St. John the Reaper behind the wall (San Giovanni Theristis fuori le mura) in Stilo and moved to the same holy relics of St. John, St. Nicholas and Ambrose. At the beginning of the XIX century the monastery was abolished and became the property of the commune Bivongi. In the 1990 the revival of the monastery was restored in 1994 and monks began to live in the monastery. In 1995, it officially belonged to the monastery of the Orthodox bishoprics in Italy . In 2001 the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I came to visit the monastery. He gave a relic of the monastery of St. John of the same name of the church in Stilo . In 2008 the monastery of St. John the Reaper gave the Romanian Orthodox Church, as Calabria was home to about 60 thousand Orthodox Romanians. The monastery church was built in the XI century in the Byzantine style.
Near Bivongi is anotherplace of interest , this time a natural attraction - Marmarico Waterfall, which is the highest waterfall in Calabria and southern Italy . Its height is of 114 meters. The Falls got its name because of the "slow" or "heavy water" («marmarico» - a dialect of "slow" or "heavy"). Indeed, it seems that the water does not flow and stopped. The directions to the waterfall can only SUVs (shuttle service available to the waterfall in the Bivongi) and then 20 minutes on foot.
By Romanelli Ana
The Best Places to Visit in Calabria, Italy .
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Details of Calabria
The coastal landscape alternates beaches and rocky shores. The poet Gabriele d'Annunzio called the seafront in the town of Reggio di Calabria, "the most beautiful kilometer in Italy". Underdeveloped industry and the lack of big cities for a long time, left the sea not polluted and Calabria is still considered a natural paradise. Reggio Calabria, situated on the shore of the strait between Italy and Sicily is the largest and the oldest city in Calabria, numbering 3,000 years of history . Here are the Botanical Gardens, the National Museum of Magna Grecia and the Aragonese Castle. Also on the shores of both the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas there are a number of smaller but picturesque cities with beautiful attractions. In Tropez is the Santa Maria dell' Izola. Siderno is known for its comfortable hotels. Gerace attracts visitors for the Norman castle and its old cathedral. Skuillache is a beach resort and a place of archaeological sites. Style is home to the famous philosopher and the utopian Tommaso Campanella, the Norman castle and a Byzantine church. The main resorts in Calabria are Tropea, Soverato and Scalea.
Resorts in Italy: Calabria (Tyrrhenian Sea)
The ancient, harsh land with a rich history, Calabria in the 40-ies of the XX century was practically empty. Most of the residents had left their native land and went to seek their fortune in northern Italy, America, Canada and Australia. Italy's entry into the EU initiated the revival of Calabria. And today, this is a very popular tourist destination. Best time to visit is from June till September. Calabrian coast is washed by two seas: the Ionian and the Tyrrhenian. It has enough beaches for every taste: you can spend time in deserted hidden bays among rocks or hang out in crowded, well-equipped beaches, in the evening transformed into noisy discos. The beaches on the Tyrrhenian coast are sandy, rather long, surrounded by small cliffs. Ionian coast is solitary, small and rocky. Besides the usual beach activities and water sports, you can do "historical adventure" diving. Fans have the opportunity to examine the remains of 50 sunken ships off the coast, some of which relate to the IV century BC.
The Gioia Tauro
It is a 3-mile sandy beach with small patches of gravel. If you have sensitive feet, it is better to walk on the beach in flip-flops. There are several bars, restaurants and showers on the territory. Near the beach there are a few parking lots. This is a rare beach not closed by rocks, so there is always a refreshing sea breeze blowing. The Lipari Islands and the Cape of Capo Vaticano are visible from the shore of the island when the weather is fine . The water is very pure. The beach is not too crowded and very convenient for families.
Just as the Gioia Tauro, the Palmi beach is sandy and full with pebbles, sometimes not very pleasant when barefeeted. The length of the beach is 1 km, the width 50 meters. In summer it is literally dammed up people. Free parking cars cannot contain all comers. Palmi is surrounded by cliffs and approached by coast mountains, overlapping access to the wind, so the hot season here is too hot.
The beautiful sandy beach is included in the top 10 beaches in Italy of 2004. It has fine, soft sand. The length of the beach is of 500 meters, the width is of 30 meters. During the season it is difficult to park nearby.The coastal cliff overlooks the beach breeze from the sea.
The Capo Vaticano
This is a 500-meter-long beach covered with soft clean sand. Also, as Tropea, it is very crowded, not enough parking spaces. Here come a couple and single holidaymakers, hoping to meet new people. There are bars, restaurants, showers on the territory.
The classic sandy beach stretches for kilometers along the aquamarine waters. Scilla is surrounded by cliffs, so here are extremely rare refreshing winds. To escape from the heat, the sea or a few local bars can only be a solution. On clear days you can see the coast of Sicily from here.
Reggio di Calabria
This is a new bulk beach sand which was brought to the Gioia Tauro. Rather narrow (25 meters), it stretches for kilometers and it is not too crowded. The beach is opened to the breeze in bars, restaurants, showers, there are places for free parking.
The picturesque fishing village of Soverato is stretched by snow-white sandy beaches for a kilometer. Here there is are "civilized" areas with bars, restaurants, lounges and showers, as well as more secluded corners where you can admire the sunset in the sea with an "intimate" setting. Scenic views stretch along the beach promenade.
Plan to find housing?
If we calculate the average prices for hotels, Reggio Calabria preserves an ancient Italian city. This point is located in the southwest area of Calabria ( Reggio di Calabria ), at a distance of about 120 km from the town of Catanzaro . Reggio Calabria is one in the far west of the city in the region. This ancient city has a long and a rich history. Obviously, the most important tourist attraction it is the Museo Nazionale Della Magna Grecia. The Mediterranean Sea for tourists, of course, is a strong argument to choose the purpose of travel. The number of inhabitants is about 180,000 people. Reggio Calabria is an important port city. From the terminal Metromare you can get to other interesting places on the Mediterranean cities, it appears that the Reggio Calabria is one of the five most expensive cities in the region. Currently, the city can offer its customers a number of hotels and resorts. Famous areas of the city are : Ravagnese , Pentimele , Archi and Gallico . The reservation of the rooms is better done in advance.
Reggio Calabria Cheap hotels and accommodation in the district
To navigate, you can see other cities in the vicinity. Table of reference prices for accommodation in selected cities (average price per person per night).
Reggio Calabria and leisure opportunities
Are you looking for ancient monuments? Milazzo Castle belongs to the most interesting objects. Here you will be able to expand your knowledge of history.
Castello Ruffo Recreation and Relaxation
Spiaggia di Scilla refers to such places in the county that can make your vacation unforgettable. Enjoy water fun for your pleasure. And if you look at the map, nearby you will still find other places perfectly suited for swimming.
Spiaggia di Scilla Reggio Calabria - Transport
Removed from the City, the Airport Reggio Calabria (REG) at 4.3 km: the road will take you only a few minutes of steam. These constants are flying airlines, for example, from these points: International Airlines Reggio Calabria Airport.
What services do you provide here? If it happens that you get tired, take a break and will find for itself a cafe. A nice little holiday will not hurt for sure ! Park your car and you will get no problems. Services in the city and surrounding areas Reggio Calabria - rent, car rental, vehicle rental services Sure, it makes sense to rent a car, because everywhere in the district there are a number of places where you can go. And what's more, so you save time. Arrange in advance online a booking car. Very often it comes money is more profitable than a service purchased on the spot. Here you can see prices.
What is the best time to visit?
This place is situated in the temperate zone. The weather is usually very pleasant, with no large jumps in temperature.
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Bivongi - Interior of the Monastery
Bivongi - Ancient Monastery
Bivongi - Monastery of St. John
Bivongi - Monastery of St. John