Immersed within the forests which cover the hills and valleys in the centre of the Calabrian Peninsula is the small town of Serra San Bruno - 'San Bruno's Greenhouse'. The town grew up alongside a beautiful Carthusian monastery, hidden away within the nearby forest. La Certosa di Serra San Bruno was established here in 1091, although it was most recently rebuilt in 1900 in its current Gothic style, having been destroyed by a series of devastating earthquakes which hit the region. The most severe and destructive earthquake occurred in 1783, when much of Serra San Bruno and the monastery was ruined.
The town and monastery are named after St Bruno of Cologne, founder of the Carthusian Order in 1054 and the Grand Chartreuse near Grenoble. St Bruno died in Serra San Bruno in 1101. The Old Town of Serra San Bruno, known as the Terravecchia ('Old Land') has a collection of pretty 18th century Baroque churches and delightful two-storey houses.