Larderia is the name of one of Messina‘s suburbs. The frazione has about 2,500 inhabitants. The biggest event of the year is the festival of the Madonna di Dinnamare, which starts on 3 August with a procession to the church of the same name at the top of 1130-metre-high Monte Dinnamare.
Larderia and the Monte Dinnamare Messina
The suburb consists of an “upper” (Larderia Superiore) and a “lower” (Inferiore) part. The first nucleus was founded around the beginning of the 13th century. When Messina revolted against the Spanish rulers between 1674 and 1678, the latter destroyed Larderia. After this, the village was sold by the Spanish viceroy to the principality of Calvaruso. In 1727, the Senate of Messina bought it back. Unlike many villages in the area, including Messina itself, Larderia weathered the major earthquakes of 1898 and 1908 reasonably well.
What to see in Larderia
The Santi Giovanni Battista and Giuseppe Church dates back to the 18th century. The bell tower had to be completely rebuilt after the last major earthquake. There are frescoes by Letterio Paladino. The “Madonna and Child” by Girolamo Alibrandi is older than the church itself (16th century).
The former Sant’Anna Hermitage is now an agriturismo.
The San Sebastiano Church was built in the 16th century.
The Santa Maria della Misericordia Hermitage is now privately owned.
Many other attractions are badly maintained. Palazzo Moncada was the principality’s residence and also served as a prison for some time. The Forte Cavalli managed to withstand the earthquakes, but has become rather dilapidated over time. The mills formerly used to produce flour are also all in poor condition.
Madonna di Dinnamare Church
The Madonna di Dinnamare Church stands atop the mountain of the same name. Every year on 3 August, the painting of the “Madonna and Child” is carried from Larderia to this church. The procession starts towards evening and ends by sunrise. It is one of the oldest traditions on the whole island.
Monte Dinnamare or Monte Antennamare is part of the Peloritani mountain range. From the summit, there are stunning views of both the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas. It is a popular spot with birdwatchers. Just below the summit begins the Dorsale dei Peloritani, a 70-kilometre trail that follows the mountain range at an altitude of 1,000 metres.