San Giorgio Morgeto

Trip Start Jun 10, 2007
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Trip End Ongoing


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Monday, September 15, 2008

OK so San Giorgio Morgeto may seem like an obscure place to visit.  After all it is in the middle of Calabria and not the easiest place to find.  However, it is also the place where the Ferraro family has its roots (along with most of the rest of the Italian community in Guelph).  Right away we must thank the Raso family for all of their help and kindness in getting us there.  We called a family friend who was born there to ask about a good hotel to stay in.  Not only did we get a great place, but George called his brother Mike (who was back visiting San Giorgio di Morgeto) who with his niece ended up picking us up from the train station, driving us to our hotel to leave our bags, drove us up the mountain to San Giorgio, and showed us around town!  Oh and they picked us up at our hotel the next day and drove us back to the train station!  Amazing people.  It was only fitting after our experience in the motherland. 
San Giorgio Morgeto is a quiet village on the side of a mountain in the Aspromonte National Park.  Although it is a town of about 3,000 people, they all seem like family.  It was amazing to walk the streets and not only get a very pleasant 'Buon giorno' from people, but on a number of occasions we were asked in to peoples homes for coffee, a glass of wine, lunch, and even some grappa.  It was wonderful hospitality. 
 We saw a couple of teenage girls sitting in their chairs outside their homes doing lacework just chatting away and we couldn't help but comment about how young they were.  We expected to see older ladies sitting there doing that, but we suspect tradition is fully imbued in their normal daily activities in San Giorgio.  We walked all of the way up to the medieval castle at the top of the town and noticed an incredible amount of construction work.  It seems as though much of the town is getting a face-lift.  Streets, churches, town walls, piazzas, and even the castle are being renovated and improved. 
We spent hours simply strolling through the narrow streets (occasionally getting lost as they were quite confusing) taking note of the names on the doors.  It was fascinating to see all the names of families that we know from home here at the source of their family roots.  We came across, Sorbara, Furfaro, Mammoliti, Carere, Vadala, and even Ferraro to name just a few.  It was a wonderful feeling to be so far away from home, but feel like you were just around the corner.  We sat and drank from the fountain in the main square that I had heard stories about from relatives playing there as kids, and we got to see the balcony behind that fountain where my grandfather grew up.  After hearing tales about San Giorgio Morgeto for 30 years, it felt absolutely wonderful to be there and see what so many people talked about for so long. 
We will never forget it nor the reception we received not only from the locals, but the Raso family that made it so easy for us to enjoy ourselves and make the most of it.  This visit was something that we were looking forward to for a long time.  It did not disappoint and will not soon be forgotten.  Thank you Thank you Thank you!
Now we head to the Amalfi coast!
Kevin and Megan
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