The old norman Tower of Campana
Scritto da Carmine F. Petrungaro   
 The old norman Tower of Campana - This is an old norman tower. The most impressive building of our little town Campana. It was built by the Normans approximately by the year 1090-1100, on top of the old byzantine fortification, when duke Robert Guiscard invaded Southern Italy and Calabria by the late 1070s. Robert came to Italy from Normandy. The original function of the tower was intended as a bell tower, to protect Campana from the numerous maritime attacks of Saracens and to dominate the City physically and visually.
 
Come to visit our little town Campana (CS). Campana is a town and “comune” in the province of Cosenza, in Calabria, region of Southern Italy. The town of Campana is an agricultural and farming center, which sits on a promontory, in the Sila Mountains, in the middle of canyons and woods, and is approximately 35 minutes driving from the Ionian coast and 30 minutes from the National Park. The old part of the town, what most tourists come to see, spills on to an indented promotory jutting out into the canyon, which commands a fine view over the hills around Campana. A great place to keep a look out, as the byzantine vay (via bizantina) and the rest of the Hall (Porta della Trinità) suggests, although it did stop the Saracens eventual conquest. Tourism in Campana has increased over the years. The main tourist draws in Campana are the mountains, the rock of the elephant "Incavallicata" and the canyon. The flora and fauna around Campana are intact, and there is a good level of tourist accommodation for picnic. The primary mountain tourist draws is La Sila (Sila Mountains), with its national park and lakes (Lago Cecita). Some other prominent destinations include the old farming fair (Fiera della Ronza) in June, which does exist since the 16th Century. In addition, in August the Celebration of the holy patron S. Domenico di Guzman and the Madonna S. S. di Costantinopoli. 
 
The old norman tower of Campana
 
History
 
 Its name in ancient times, was Kalasarna and derives from the Greek for 'town on the rock', although it seems to has been inhabited since Neolithic times. At the beginnig of the 1st century, during the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Strabo, the geograph, has furnished arguments to the settlement of Kalasarna, in his manuscripts and historical maps. After the fall of the Roman Empire, in the middle of the 6th century, the territory of Kalasarna was devastated during the Gothic War, before it came under the rule of a local dux for the Byzantine Empire. In fact, after the war it was occupied by the Byzantines. Towards the end of the 7th century, the Saracens invasion forced the people from Ionian coast and low-lying areas, to take refuge in Kalasarna. The Saracens, the  Mediterranean pirates, were famous for terrorizing coastal towns along Italy's sea. Kalasarna efforts to contribute to the own defense with local urban militia.The organized militia has been commanded by the byzantine “Tagmata” meaning “army”. Urban armies played a decreasing role in Southern Italy during these centuries. Local defence in the Byzantine provinces had largely been the responsability of local militias and several of these transferred their allegiance to the Normans, helping them expel the Byzantine garrisons. The Normans were content to leave some citadels and fortified gates under the control of the local citizens, Kalasarna being one example. In 1064 AD Guiscard’s (Altavilla clan) norman forces took the empire’s last South Italian base, Bari, the Byzantine power was no more and Kalasarna was occupied by the Normans. Under the Normans the little settlement became a fortified town with a stone wall, a bridge, five towers and a big alarm bell. In fact, thanks to the bell, the town was given the new name ”Campana”, meaning in english “bell” or the other name “land of bell”. From that moment on, that was the new name given to the town and so it is today. During the Norman period most of the Byzantine institutions were reformed in the Latin rite. The Altavilla clan later formed the precursors of the Kingdom of Naples (Regno delle Due Sicilie), which ruled Campana until the unification of Italy in 1860. Campana itself came under many rulers: the Habsburg dynasties of both Spain and the Franco-Spanish Bourbon dynasty, Napoleon's brother Joseph Bonaparte, and then French Marshal Joachim Murat. In 1860, when the Kingdom of Naples  was brought into the union by the troups of the Kingdom of Piemont, Campana and the Sila Mountains experienced a series of peasant revolts, which was called the revolts of the “Briganti”. Until recently, Calabria was among the poorest regions of Italy and also Campana, impoverished was a main source for the Italian diaspora of the end of  19th Century. The people of Campana moved to the industrial centres of Northern Italy, the rest of Europe, Australia and especially to the United States, Canada, Argentina and Brazil. Today, there is increased affluence and a much improved economy based on modern agriculture, tourism, and a growing commercial base.
  
Language

The official language of Campana has been standard Italian since unification in 1861, but historical languages have left an imprint on the little town. The dialect of Campana is composed by two different language groups, which are considered as  dialects of the Neapolitan language and Sicilian language. In the period after the Gothic War cames the Greek (byzantine) influence which will during until the norman invasion by Robert Guiscard in the 11th century. Since Campana (as other parts of Calabria) were once ruled by the Normans, his dialect clearly exhibit also german influences. In addition, Spanish and French has had an influence on many words of Campana.
 
Cuisine

 The cuisine of Campana essentially is a typical southern Italian cuisine with a balance between meat-based dishes (pork, lamb, goat), vegetables (especially aubergine, cipolla di Tropea (red onion) and a little bit of fish (Sardella, Rosamarina, Baccalà) and fried sardines. Pasta (like in most parts of Calabria and the rest of Italy) is also very important in Campana. The people of Campana have traditionally placed an emphasis on the preservation of their food, in part because of the climate and potential crop failures. As a result, there is a tradition of packing vegetables and meats in olive oil, making sausages and cold cuts (Suppressata, Nnuja, Sazizza). The typical desserts of Campana are fried, as honey-sweetened pastries (Scadhille, Kjinudhille or Turdilli).The local specialties of cheese include the “Caciocavallo“ (casicavallu), ricotta and sciungata.The local wines are not well known outside the town of Campana. In ancient times some vinyards have origins dating back to the ancient Greek colonists.
 
Campana is waiting for You 
 
Carmine F. Petrungaro
 

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