Grimaldi, Calabria

Grimaldi, Calabria

Infobox CityIT
official_name = Grimaldi
img_coa = Grimaldi (CS)-Stemma.png img_coa_small =

image_caption = Panorama of the old town
region = RegioneIT|sigla=CAL
province = ProvinciaIT (short form)|sigla=CS (CS)
mayor =
mayor_party =
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 650
area_footnotes =
area_total_km2 = 24.4
population_footnotes =
population_as_of = 2001
population_total = 1870
pop_density_footnotes =
population_density_km2 = 76.6
coordinates = coord|39|08|33|N|16|14|3|E|region:IT_type:city(2392)
gentilic = Grimaldesi
telephone = 0982
postalcode = 87034
frazioni = ----
saint = Saint Peter and Saint Paul
day = 29 June
mapx = #expr:39 + 8.5 / 60.0
mapy = #expr:16 + 14 / 60.0
locator_position =
native_name = Grimaldi (local dialect: Grimaudo)
name = Grimaldi
website =

Grimaldi is a town and comune in the province of Cosenza in the Calabria region of southern Italy. Grimaldi is referred to as "Grimaldo" in historic documents. In the local Calabrian dialect (a variation of Cosentino), the town is called "Grimàudu" or "Grimàuru", and the residents "Grimaudisi", although the Italian versions (Grimaldi and Grimaldesi) are today prevalent.


Grimaldi is located 29 km (18 mi) from Cosenza and rises to 650m above sea level. [ comune] The territory of the municipality lies between 150 and 1,256 metres (492 and 4,120 ft.) above sea level. The comune extends from the Santa Lucerna mountains to the Savuto river valley to the south.


It is likely that Grimaldi owes its origins to the devasation experienced by the ancient territory of Pandosia, after the year 475 CE. [ [ Comunità Montana del Savuto ] ] The first settlement in the area may have been a small casale (hamlet) named Santa Caterina, around the year 872, when much of Calabria was experiencing the battles between Lombards, Byzantines and Saracens. Other "casali" appeared, such as at San Pietro and Santo Stefano. According to some scholars, the name Grimaldi evolved from Grimoald I, duke of Benevento and king of the Lombards, and whose domains included Puglia, Calabria and Ancona. The name was originally applied to the entire territory. [ Saccomanno, Storia di Grimaldi] Thus, while there is no certainty that Lombards founded the city, there is no doubt they were present and integrated with the population, well before their defeat at the start of the XI C.

The actual town may have been founded between 1027 and 1034, on the heels of the Norman invasion, when due to natural calamities and pestilence all of the Grimaldesi moved to the slopes of the Santa Lucerna mountains. [ Saccomanno, Storia di Grimaldi] During the period of Angevin, Aragonese and Spanish rule of the Kingdom of Naples, Grimaldi found itself in isolation, the main routes from Cosenza to Aiello being along the Savuto river to the south (then navigable). In 1369, Joan I of Naples sent a royal delegation to nearby Tinisi to divide the territories of "Grimaldo" and Mendicino from the territory of Aiello. [ Franco Vercillo, Grimaldi] From this time, until 1510, there were a series of disputes and battles between the "casale di Grimaldo" and the count of Ajello, Francesco Siscar, who had intentions of occupying Grimaldi. In 1481, Paolo Siscar, count of Cirella, became the lord of "Grimaldo", but the "Grimaudisi" avoided feudal obligations by paying 1000 ducati. [ Franco Vercillo, Grimaldi]

In 1638, the original "Grimaldo" was destroyed by an earthquake, and the town was rebuilt in an area known as “Chiata” (from where the district "'mpedichiati" developed, meaning literally "at Chiata's feet"). In 1639 the rebuilding of the original Grimaldi began ("vecchio Grimaldo").

As with most towns in Southern Italy, Grimaldi contributed significantly to the Italian diaspora. The most recent wave of migrants, from the post-war years to the early 1970s, saw residents migrate to northern and central Italy, and many immigrated abroad, primarily to Canada, Germany and Belgium. In Canada, there is a large population of descendants from Grimaldi in Vancouver, Toronto and Thunder Bay, Ontario. [John Potestio, In Search of a Better Life: Emigration to Thunder Bay from a Small Town in Calabria (2000)]


In 1991 Grimaldi's population was 2,055 residents; however, in 2001 this figure dropped to 1,870, showing a decline in the decade 1991 - 2001 of -9.00%. At its peak census figure, in 1951, Grimaldi had a population of 3,786. [ISTAT]

The residents are distributed amongst 714 households, with an average of 2.62 persons per household.


*"Chiesa Matrice" (dei SS apostoli Pietro e Paolo), central church
*Sant’Antonio Church and Convent
*"La Foce" church and viewpoint

Adjacent communities

Aiello Calabro, Altilia (including the "frazione" Maione, which is very near), Domanico, Lago, Malito, Martirano (Province of Catanzaro)

See also

* Savuto river
* Savuto wine

External links

* [ Official website (in Italian)]
* [ communità montana (in Italian)]
* [ Unofficial site (in Italian)]


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