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"At a distance, then, of six miles, within a large valley, but high up on a hillside, ten miles away from the sea, Zagarise can be seen...
With this beautiful description, the esteemed preacher Father Giovanni Fiore da Cropani, a writer of the early 1600's, begins to talk of Zagarise in his famous historical work: 'Della Calabria illustrata'. Today, examining the ancient town centre of Zagarise, one immediately realises how it is composed of two distinct nuclei: the first which has developed around the Norman Tower and the Chiesa del Ritiro church, including the present streets, via Marconi, via dei Filippini and via Paolo Emilio Tulelli; the second, much smaller than the first, centres around the Chiesa Madre church.
Things to visit are: the Norman Tower, whose origins date from around the XIIIth and the XIVth centuries. The imposing cylindrical tower represents the logical consequence of the famous fortifications which the Normans, invaders from Normandy lead by Roberto il Guiscardo, constructed throughout Calabria. The Chiesa del Rosario church dating from the XVth century, formerly named San Domenico del Ritiro. The Monastery of San Giorgio presso Barbaro (XIVth century). The Monastery of S. Angiolo di Frigillo of the Florense order at Castellace, close to Zagarise (XIIIth century). The Monastery Basiliano dei Tre fanciulli and the Chiesa di S. Maria Assunta church.
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