Galitsiano: The Sunday of Orthodoxy was celebrated in the Calabrian Greek village

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Athens Bureau

The Sunday of Orthodoxy was celebrated on March 5 by the Christian Orthodox population of the Italiot Greek village of Galitsiano (Γκαλιτσιανό, Italian: Gallicianò) in Kalavria (Καλαβρία, Italian: Calabria), southern Italy.

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Photos from We the South.

Galliciano is a village of about 60 inhabitants, frazione of the comune of Condofuri, of the Città Metropolitana di Reggio Calabria and is 621 metres above sea level, on the right bank of the river Amendolea.

The earliest documentary evidence of the village dates back to 1060. It is found in the "Brebion of the Byzantine metropolitan church of Reggio Calabria", edited by Byzantinist André Guillou. In this document the village is referred to as "to galikianòn".

Τhe name derives from Gallicum, a city close to modern Kilkis, from where the inhabitants recovered in southern Italy after the disasters that provoked Bulgarian raids. Another assumption is that it could derive from the Roman family Gallicius, which had land possessions (Gallicianum) in the area.

Until the modern age, it was a possession of the fief of Amendolea, and followed the affairs of that village. It was a comune at the end of the '700-early' 800, later becoming a frazione of Condofuri.

Severely damaged by the earthquake of 1783, it has maintained its primitive structure. The floods of 1951 and 1971 forced many people to leave the village.

As with the other (now very few) villages of Calabria and Puglia that are part of the Greek linguistic minority in Italy, (which once covered large areas of southern Italy and Sicily),

Gallicianò is called "Acropoli della Magna Grecia", since it is a village in which the Greek language is still spoken, although the Greek of Calabria is still used here in an increasingly domestic environment.

Linguistics provides elements for a very ancient chronological dating, the presence of vocabulary, syntactic forms and particular verbs, in fact, reports the origin of the village in the 7th century BC.

The village is known throughout this part of Calabria for the high conservatism of Greek traditions, not only in the linguistic but also musical, gastronomic and ritual contexts.


In the year 1999 the construction of the small Orthodox church of Panaghìa tis Elladas (Madonna di Grecia) was completed.

The Byzantine church, built by renovating a stone house in the upper part of the town, is open to worship and represents the testimony, in a renewed ecumenical climate, of a return from Orthodox pilgrims to Greek worship sites.

Panaghìa tis Elladas (Madonna di Grecia) in Galitsiano, Calabria.

The renovation is due to the figure of architect Domenico Nucera of Galitsiano. A few years ago, a small community of Greek Orthodox monks was re-established for centuries.

The name comes from the Byzantine church of the same name with its annexed monastery, whose ruins are located in a locality near Gallicianò, which is called "Grecia".

READ MORE: Grecanico, the Greek dialect of Calabria - "A fire is burning under the ashes."

Copyright Greek City Times 2024
Athens Bureau
Published by
Athens Bureau
Copyright Greek City Times 2024