The Grotto Sanctuary of Monte Stella

May 4, 2015 / Places
Pazzano, Calabria

This small village situated between Mount Stella and Mount Consolino overlooking the Stilaro Valley, was founded by miners who worked in the iron rich mines of the valley and was once the most important mining centre in all of Southern Italy. The 18th century Fontana dei Minatori (Fountain of the Miners), which was used by the miners to quench their thirst after a long day in the mines, is the symbol of Pazzano.

“Fontana dei Minatori” also knowns as “Fontana Vecchia” (Old Fountain)

From the fountain, an ancient mountain trail leads you through the beautiful countryside to the Sanctuary of Monte Stella located in a grotto. As you descend the stairway of about sixty steps carved into stone, you will be left awestruck.

Looking down from the top of the staircase.
Descending deeper into the grotto.

Within this small refuge once used by monks to contemplate and pray, there are two medieval frescoes, a marble sculpture of the Virgin Mary created in 1562 and a 17th century marble altar.

Quite remarkable, like so much in Calabria, isn’t it?

Image Credits: Carmen Guarascio, marcuscalabresus

Cherrye Moore

by Cherrye Moore

Cherrye Moore is owner of My Bella Vita Travel, a boutique tour operator specializing in custom vacations and heritage tours in southern Italy. Join her in June or September for the Small Group Heritage Tour of Calabria – a unique small group tour that combines group travel with a private heritage tour, or in September for the Undiscovered Southern Calabria and Eastern Sicily Tour.


6 Responses to “The Grotto Sanctuary of Monte Stella”

  1. Bob Lemon

    Just read “The Grotto Sanctuary” and as writers, you must know how important proofreading is.

    • I’m usually a pretty good proof-reader and it is not unusual to find me reading and grabbing for a pen to “mark” mistakes. I skipped right over this one but did go back and find it! Like you, I won’t say what it is so that others can challenge themselves to find the mistake!
      My family came to America from Catona, Reggio Calabria and some settled in Pennsylvanian and were miners. I wonder what their profession was when they were in Catona. It looks too far to travel on a daily basis (especially back in the early 1900s).
      I enjoyed the article and learning of another “wonder” in Italy.
      Thank you, Cherrye!


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