PORO

testo di Francesco Vecchio

prodotti poro
Overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, between the Angitola, the Mesima and the Serre, Poro tableland is to be considered a peculiar small world.That’s because of the nature of its soil, composed by different kinds of crystal rocks-mainly granite ones-its mild weather, vegetation and dense population distributed in many small towns: all elements which make this tableland different from the other Calabrian massifs.

Poro moderate altitude-the homonymous mountain top reaches 710 metres and almost 600 with Coccorino’s one and with Vibo Valentia Castle eminence-allows people to live even in the higher place.
Going through Poro’s top, you can see many houses spread all around; on the contrary, if put together they would create a real town. Here, few not emigrated paisants live, cultivating the fertile soil and breeding cattle and sheep.
The tableland extends with a level area and at the edges it slopes down towards Mesima and more evidently towards the Tyrrhenian Sea, with many characteristic terraces, which represent man’s great efforts to transform earth into a vital land, during past centuries.

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Among the different juts existing in the Tyrrhenian, Capo Vaticano, the Tower Front overlooking the sea and the small top on which Joppolo Tower rises.
In those places, few rests or nothing still remains of the ancient monuments and buildings, because of the earthquakes occurred in the past, which destroyed small towns, in great part rebuilt in safer places later.

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Though landslides, earthquakes and periodic deadly pestilences, Poro inhabitants always stood up again, working hard and transforming the tableland soil. Today, the same land doesn’t give growers enough means to live: it’s a waste land, which takes to the woods day after day.
Owing to its moderate altitude, the tableland could be crossed everywhere.
But ancient people preferred to go through the internal valleys at the edges and through a pass in the middle, all of them joining Mesima valley, close to S.Demetrio; from this point, once crossed Serre ridge, it was possible to reach the Ionic shore, following Ancinale deep wake. Northern People penetrated into Calabria, going through Angitola Valley.

Among the various Calabrian passes,connecting sides each other and shores to the hinterland, the most important was certainly the one between Joppolo and Mesima. In fact, this one put in touch Emporion port (where today there is Nicotera Marina) with Ipponio.
In past times, Tyrrhenian cost inhabitants made use of that pass to develop their land communications, not only with hinterland inhabitants, but also with Squillace and other small towns of the Ionic cost ones.Foreign people used to throng into that cost, in order to reach via Aquilia or Popilia,which allowed to move to north or south easily, being itself located in the middle of this tableland.
nicotera
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The mule-track road connecting Emporion port with the roman road and the hinterland towns, most probably passed through Moladi, whose inhabitants lived transporting goods and passengers on mules. In fact, Moladi means" muleteers town".
During the domination of Byzantines, basilian monks, sheltered in that zone, built important monasteries;some of them kept in touch with Ionic shore towns,particularly with Satriano city, where basilian monks founded some buildings and convents.

Refugees coming from Sicily, invaded by Saracens,penetrated the wooded Calabria through Poro road and gave birth to new towns,which dedicated to Greek or Sicilian saints,worshipped by themselves.
After many raids, Saracens distroyed Nicotera, which prevented them from pillaging ,being in the middle of that pass.
First, the place was called Poro Mount, that is to say Poro Pass, then, simply Monte Poro.
Also ancient people noticed its wonderful position facing the Tyrrhenian Sea. About Eolie islands Strabone writes:…they are seven and all of them face whoever looks from Sicily and whoever looks from the continent close to Medma".
Observing Calabria from Poro highest points,it seems like Lacconia village with the rests of its tower, S.Eufemia Plain and Nicastro mounts on one side and many towns spread on the slope extending from Palmi to Serre on the other side , are very close to each other.
In ancient times, Calabria zone included between Aspromonte and Nicastro was a centre lit up with spiritual life:the Mercurio.
Thanks to Poro soil nature, its physical aspects and terraces conformation,people never had problems to settle there, since the Iron Age, as the Torre Galli necropolis ,explored by Paolo Orsi ,shows.
During the Classical Age, some towns stood in that area, after a movement of people and goods, as we can know by the Greek or Latin names of those places and few objects found there.
But it was during the Middle Age that the tableland became densely populated.People from coastal towns refugeed on mountains, because of Saracens continuous raids, in Tropea as well. On those mounts, they founded some of the modern towns; others were built close to basilian monasteries.Later, the following invaders built castles in the main places,where new small towns developped.The most important places founded during the Middle Age are no doubt :Mesiano, Mileto and Monteleone.