Wine and Popes

Wine and Popes

Foria di Centola
Suitable for:
3 hours

The small village of Foria, with its amazing location on the ridge of the hill overlooking the river Lambro’ Valley on one side and the river Mingardo’ Valley on the other, holds small treasures: craftsmanship, gastronomy, history.

It’s the birthplace of General Pietro Imbriaco, a talented surgeon, author of detailed studies of traumatology, surgery of war and general surgery. He was appointed personal physician to King Vittorio Emanuele III.

The name Foria comes from Greek and means market, emporium, and in Roman times the Fora were precisely the squares where the markets took place.

In medieval times, when it was part of the dominions of the powerful Norman Sanseverino family, it was the site of the important Santa Margherita Fair. A series of palaces still inhabited today are the trace of this period.

Worthy to visit also the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, built around 1600.

Mentioned in the Aragonese Maps of the fifteenth century, the name of the town appears in a Spanish fiscal document of 1532 as "fertile land for wheat and wine".

 And wine has made the history of Foria.

In the fifteenth century, prince Antonello II Sanseverino, one of the instigators of the Conspiracy of the Barons against King Ferrante of Aragon, bought it for his court.

But Foria for centuries sold wine to the Popes: Sante Lancerio, cellar master and wine steward of Pope Paul III, defined it as truly perfect wine, a gentleman's wine. The clinician Alessandro Traiano Petroni, friend of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, personal doctor of Pope Paul IV and archiater of Gregory XIII, appreciated its therapeutic qualities. Andrea Bacci, clinician, botanist and archiater of Sixtus V judges him "to be preferred among wines ”. The geographer Giuseppe Antonini, baron of San Biase, mentions it in“ La Lucania, Discorsi ”, 1745. And the great Miguel Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, talks about it in one of his most famous short stories,“ The Lawyer of Glass”.

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