Monument dedicated to Nino Martino

Monument dedicated to Nino Martino

The brigand Nino Martino is one of the most famous Calabrian characters, whose life is steeped in history and legend. He was cruel with the riches and the bullies and he was generous with the poors and weaks. He dominated with his gang the Tyrrhenian side of the Aspromonte that overlooks the wonderful Costa Viola and the Strait of Messina. The brigand’s incurtions took place in this strip of the harsh Calabria in the late sixteenth century, when the Bourbons governed the region. In this land he was feared and respected and here he built his refuge. But here he also found death because of his own companions, whom he had abandoned, because he was reformed or maybe he was tired of a life of battles and fear.

Many stories are told about the figure of the brigand and his tragic life. He was also protagonist of some miracles after his death and he was remembered by later generations. Many points of this harsh and fascinating territory are dedicated to him, such the ridge of Serra and the square.

The track that from Gambarie, the main city center in the heart of Aspromonte, leads to Nino Martino square is called Sentiero Azzurro.

A naturalistic itinerary that starts from the Piani Quarti goes up at 1838 meters above sea level, where it is possible to admire what is improperly called "Piazzale" or monument named after the brigand. It actually is composed by agglomerated overlapping rocks that seem to be randomly throw one above the other: it is a particularly suggestive natural formation.

In fact, a legend tells that he used to play "righinèddha", a kind of draughts, and that the brigand’s companions killed him thinking that he has betrayed them and that they buried his body under a pile of stones. Another more common legend tells that the travellers throwed stones at the burial site in memory of the popular hero.

From this masterpiece of Calabrian nature, you can admire the stretch of sea that separates Calabria from Sicily, the disseminated Aeolian Islands, the Etna volcano that dominate them and the top of Montalto that rises at the opposite side, in the highest of the Aspromonte, and also the Vasì wide valley and the area of ​​Materazzelli.

The Nino Martino square is a symbolic place of this territory where history and nature are inextricably intertwined and where popular culture consecrates its epic made up of earth, rocks, trees, but also of anger and struggles.

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Work Patronized by th Aspromonte Park Institution.
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