Achaean colonies

4 days - 3 nights




What lands did the Greeks who came to the coast of southern Italy cross to found the ancient Achaean colonies? 

Which rivers did they navigate and which peoples did they encounter on their explorations of the new land?
Imagine reliving all this in an epic experience that, between past and present, will lead us in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks on a journey that, starting from the opulent city of Sybaris, will take us all the way to Praia a Mare, along routes that traverse millenary places.

Our journey will start Trebisaccewhose name derives from the six victories (tres bis acies) that the Roman legions won over the Carthaginian army. After settling in at the hotel, a tasty seafood dinner will conclude our day. We will arrive at the archaeological site of the opulent Sybaris: the city-state (today Sybaris) in the Upper Ionian Sea of Cosenza, founded by colonists of Achaean stock in the 8th century B.C. and soon to become one of the most flourishing colonies of Magna Graecia; we will reach Rossanoa city with a glorious Byzantine past, where we will visit the Romanesque Pathirion Abbey and see the exquisite Codex Purpureus Rossanensis, an illuminated gospel book dating back to the 6th century, stopping at the Giorgio Amareli Liquorice Museum. We will visit the Arbëreshë village of Civitaamong the most beautiful in Italy and we will travel along the banks of the Akalandros river (now known as Raganello). We will cross the Massif del Pollino (according to the ancient Greeks, the abode of Apollo). We will reach Praia a Mare in the footsteps of Aeneas at the scenic Arcomagno beach, where we will reach the famous Dino Island, which we will explore among caves and picturesque coves.




Day 1

The Journey Begins

Our journey begins in Trebisacce, whose name derives from the six victories (tres bis acies) that the Roman legions won over the Carthaginian army. After settling into the hotel, a welcome drink awaits us in the company of our tour leader, who will explain the main stages of the journey. This will be followed by a tasty seafood dinner at the hotel, which will conclude our day.

Planned hotel for day 1
Albidona Tower or equivalent
Arrival at the hotel and accommodation
Evening: seafood dinner prepared by chef Pietro Acciardi

Day 2

Greek and Byzantine cities

The first stop of the day will be the Archaeological Park of Sybaris, where we will see traces of the urban layout of one of the richest and most flourishing colonies of Magna Graecia. After visiting the archaeological site, passing through the fragrant orange groves of the Piana di Sibari, we will arrive at Civita, an 'Arbëreshë' (Italo-Albanian) village listed by the Touring Club as one of the most beautiful in Italy. After settling into our hotel, we will have lunch in a local restaurant, and then take a walk to discover the village. Here we will discover the 'gijtonie', the typical neighbourhoods made up of narrow streets, stairways and subways, and we will be able to admire the typical 'Comignoli' and Kodra houses, ancient architectural legacies that the Arbëreshë imported from the Balkans when they arrived in Italy at the end of the late Middle Ages fleeing from the Ottomans. A stop at the famous Devil's Bridge over the Raganello canyon cannot be missed. In the evening we will take part in an ethnic dinner at a typical tavern, and finally return to the hotel for an overnight stay.

Hotel planned for day 2
The Belvedere or equivalent

Agora or equivalent

At dinner
The Host of Arberia or equivalent
Morning: departure for Sybaris, visit to the archaeological site and arrival in Civita
Lunch in a local restaurant
Afternoon: visit to the village and tour to the Devil's Bridge
Evening: ethnic dinner

Day 3

The Great Pollino Crossing

Following in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks who passed through these still unspoilt lands on their way to the Tyrrhenian Sea, we will embark on an excursion along the Pollino Massif. Along the way we will discover the variety of local vegetation characterised by a large number of plants and herbs. We will understand, therefore, why Mount Pollino was called by the Achaeans 'the mountain of Apollo', god of the Sun and Medicine. At the end of the excursion we will transfer to Praia a Mare at our hotel, where a tasty dinner awaits us.

Hotel planned for day 3
Garden or equivalent
Morning: hike through the great gateway of the Pollino
Packed lunch
Afternoon: transfer to Praia a Mare
Evening: dinner and overnight stay

Day 4

In the footsteps of Aeneas

Arriving on the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea, we will embark on a short trek along a path carved into the rock that will lead us to a picturesque viewpoint and then past the imposing Aeneas Arch. According to legend, the Trojan hero, having fled from his city, came to this spot during his long pilgrimage: that is why this small stretch of coastline is also known as Aeneas' Beach and the magnificent natural arch above it is called Aeneas' Arch. Once on the beach, we will embark on a motorboat that will take us to discover the island of Dino, a small pearl of wild beauty, which emerges in front of the village of Praia a Mare, full of suggestive inlets and caves. After the excursion we will have lunch in a restaurant and those who wish can book a visit to the Cedar Museum or to Diamante, the city of murals. In the evening, we will say goodbye and rendezvous for the next adventure.

La Rondinella Osteria Pop or equivalent
Morning: trekking Arcomagno Beach and boat trip to Dino Island
Lunch in a tavern
Afternoon - Free time and end of our journey
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