Art & Craftsmanship
Although southern Italy was shut out of the Renaissance, the creation of art continued here and is preserved in cathedrals and churches, which feature frescoes, paintings, sculptures, carvings, and mosaic work, as well as in centuries-old techniques for pottery, engraving, goldsmithing, iron working, carpentry, and weaving.
Taverna (CZ), for example, has four churches featuring the work of its native son, Mattia Preti–Calabria’s preeminent 17th century painter. The museum and Santuario di Santa Maria nel Bosco in Serra San Bruno (VV), site of an ancient Carthusian monastery founded by Saint Bruno of Cologne, holds paintings, carvings, sculptures, and more done by its monks over the years; some are for sale in the museum gift shop.
Today, about 20% of Calabria’s working population is in the craft sector, making it a crucial component of this region’s economy.
Many small village shops house wonderful products of Calabrese artisans: pick up a shawl from Tiriolo (CZ), pottery from Squillace (CZ), a carved wooden pipe from Brognaturo (VV), or a vase from Seminara (RC), known for its babbuini pottery featuring grotesque figures of animals and flowers said to have influenced the work of Pablo Picasso.