Piazza Dante Alighieri is the main square. The town has a bell tower, churches, restaurants and tourist accommodation.

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Olive and grape cultivation

Farming, olive production, grape cultivation and government offices are the main economic activities.

What is genealogical tourism? Check the statements you believe are true.

1). A vacation people take to their ancestral home.
2). A component in the genealogical research process.
3). A growing travel sector.
4). A travel experience popular with baby boomers.
5). An excellent tool in helping solve family mysteries.

These statements are all true.

How has genealogical tourism impacted your life?

The Inheritance was inspired by genealogical research to solve family mysteries associated with my paternal Calabrian ancestors. My grandmother was my starting point. She was born in the mountain town of Mottafollone, Cosenza Province, Calabria, southern Italy in 1889. My grandmother lived there until 1913 at which point she immigrated to North America via Ellis Island, New York and eventually settled in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.

The Inheritance is fiction threaded with fact. It is the result of considerable research and the information I learned about life and Calabrian society during the time my grandmother lived in Italy fundamentally shaped my story.

Genealogical tourism was an important component in my research. I travelled to Cosenza Province, Calabria in June 2004 and spent time in Mottafollone. My efforts helped solve some outstanding family mysteries as well as add authenticity to The Inheritance.

Where has your interest in solving family mysteries taken you?

Have you ever travelled to Italy?

Italy is a popular vacation destination. Lazio, Tuscany and The Veneto are well-visited regions with Rome, Florence and Venice on most people’s lists of “cities to visit.” Calabria is one of southern Italy’s six regions. There are many beautiful small towns in this part of Italy worthy of your time and attention and I’ve posted pictures from my visit to Mottafollone to introduce you to one.

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What places have you discovered in your travels? I’d welcome your comments.

I hope you enjoy my photographs of Mottafollone.

Comune di Mottafollone
Piazza Dante Alighieri
87010 Mottafollone (CS)


Mottofollone on the Tyrrhenian coast

Mottafollone is about 30km/18 miles northeast of Cetraro on the Tyrrhenian coast and accessible by a winding mountain road.


Centuries old homes and the abandoned ruins of a medieval castle once the fortified residence of a feudal lord are here.

Abandoned stone cottage

This is the abandoned stone cottage that inspired the book cover of The Inheritance.

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Local man sitting by street sign

Southern Italy’s population is @14 million; Calabria’s @2million; Cosenza Province’s @730,000 and Mottafollone @1,300.

Mottafollone town cemetery

Sant’ Antonio Abate is the patron saint. I discovered no family connections in the town’s cemetery.

Marianne at Mottafollon Sign

Mottofollone is at an altitude of @385 metres/1100feet and located within The Pollino National Park.