Traditional Costumes of Calabria

We all are very curious about our ancestors and we all dream to find a photo of them in the streets near their house. Many readers, interested in Italian genealogy and heritage, ask us to show old photos from our collection about Italian towns and villages.
The queston is always the same: how were our ancestors? How was their life in their homeland before to go abroad?
Most probably we resemble them physically, but certainly they would look different for they way they used to dress.
In Italy, every town and every village owned different costumes, even if the traditional dresses of the same region resembled each other in some way.
That’s why with this post we start to add to a series of galleries collecting vintage images depicting people of each region in the local traditional costumes. The great part of these pictures are from the end of 1800 and the first years of 1900.
They will give us a better idea of the appearance of our ancestors.
Of course feel free to download the pictures and add them to your family tree! This is another way to help you to be more near to the culture and tradition of your italian heritage.

We start this series with Calabria region

Wild and sylvan in character, situated between the two seas that lap its coasts, and with abundant remains of the ancient Magna Graecia affording evidence of its remote civilization, Calabria retains intact all its old traditions, and in many areas is still unspoilt today.
The costumes worn at Tiriolo were among the most picturesque in Italy.
Over a full chemise, adorned with late at the neck and wrists, a long red cloth cape, bordered with ribbons, is draped over the shoulders of unmarried women.
Their skirts were of blue cotton with a band of different material running around them. Silk aprons as well as silk bodices were worn, the latter with detached sleeves tied to the shoulders by means of ribbons.
A long homespun shawl of wool is added to this costume.
The men used to wear suite of thick fluffy woollen cloth with metal buttons, a silk brocade waistcoat, a leather belt, a dome-shaped felt hat adorned with ribbons, and a shirt with an open turned down collar. Thick leather moccasins were worn over woollen stockings.
We hope you will enjoy this!

If you have roots in Calabria, feel free to download the pictures and add them to your family tree! This is another way to help you to be more near to the culture and traditions of your italian heritage.
If you would like to build your Italian genealogy tree, you can contact us at or fill this form
Our local experts are ready to help you!

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