One of the main cities in Calabria, Cosenza, offers excellent tourist infrastructure, but its neighboring cities are also equally amazing! Today we will know what to do around Cosenza. So, let’s do it! Here at Traveling to Calabria you make the trip of your dreams!!! Are you staying in Calabria? Looking for a hotel? Click here and discover best accommodation options in Calabria!
A little more about Cosenza
The ancient city of Cosenza, known as the city of the Bruzios, is one of the oldest cities in Calabria and gently slopes down on the seven hills that surround the valley of the Crater. It is located in a natural environment at the confluence of the river Busento that divides the modern part of the city of the old one that is on the slopes of the Pancrácio Hill. Thanks to its cultural past, it was known as the Athens of Italy. What Are The Ten Places You Must See In Calabria?
The cosentine area is mixed, characterized by a prevalence of mountains and hills, although flat areas with vast stretches of coastline and 155 towns that form the first province of Calabria. Less than an hour’s drive, from the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Sea and the mountains of Sila and Pollino, the city of Bruzi, with its 2,500-year history, is an essential stop to relive the history of Alaric and the life of Frederick II of Swabia. When it comes to taking a tour in these areas, it is a must stay near the town of Cosenza which, definitely, offers interesting things to do. In this text, let’s look at some places that are worth seeing. The best must see places near Cosenza! Enogastronomic Itinerary In Calabria
1) What to do near Cosenza? TO VISIT ROSSANO CALABRO
We start the tour in the surroundings of Cosenza, visiting for the first time the city of Rossano Calabro. It stands on the sea and is located on the Sibari Plain, between the beautiful coast of the Ionian Sea and Sila. In addition to the numerous buildings scattered throughout the city, it is in the old town of Rossano where you can visit many ancient works left by the Greek settlers. In the old town you can admire the Cathedral of the Maria Santissima Aqueropita (Rossano’s Cathedral), where inside you can find the Our Lady painting and the famous ‘Codex Purpureus Rossanensis’, one of the oldest and most precious Byzantine gospels, dating from the century V, with gold and silver uncials on a purple parchment; the document contains writings in Greek and 15 miniatures, representing the gospel, a true masterpiece.
Besides the Cathedral, the St. Mark’s Oratory is, perhaps, the oldest monument of Rossano and it was, originally, dedicated to St. Anastasia; is one of the best preserved Byzantine churches in Italy. Then there is the church of San Bernardino, in late Gothic style, which was the first Catholic Church in the city and houses the tomb of Oliverio de Somma. Thus the Church of Panagia, which is a Byzantine church of the tenth century and was called in honor of ‘Mary Most Holy’; finally there is the 16th-century Church of St. Francis of Paola with a Renaissance portal and a very beautiful cloister.
2) What to do near Cosenza? TO VISIT CORIGLIANO CALABRO
A few miles away we find another center to visit, which is the town of Corigliano Calabro. It is a city in the province of Cosenza whose origins, they say, came with the Arab invasion of 977. This city is located in the foothills of Sila Grega and has an old quarter, the district of Saints; it’s a barred construction arranged in layers of a hill, with narrow and charming streets. The fertility of agricultural areas, clear crops and citrus, has determined a strong development of the city. The city has an old castle where was placed a construction of Roberto, il Guiscardo, around 1073 as a military post. In the middle of the fourteenth century, it was transformed into a noble residence by the Count of Corigliano, Roberto Sanseverino. The castle was sold in 1971 to the archbishop of Rossano and from it to the city of Corigliano, in 1979.
It is one of those buildings where history has increased the town beauty. Corigliano also houses the only commercial fishing boat port of the upper Jonio Cosentino, located on the Gulf of Corigliano and is the wider part of the Gulf of Taranto.
3) What to do near Cosenza? TO VISIT SYBARIS
We stayed nearby to admire the famous colony Sybaris, the famous colony of Ancient Greece, on the Ionian Sea, overlooking the Gulf of Taranto, between the rivers Crati (Crathis) and Coscile (Sybaris). A small town that, today, is only a fraction, but still retains traces of its great and atavistic past, where it was dominated by the founding of a flourishing empire, as well as the important colony of Poseidonia, which for the Romans became Paestum. Today it bases its economy, predominantly, on tourism. Sybaris was founded between two rivers in the late eighth century by a group of Akhaians from the Peloponnese.
As was the fate of all the great empires of history, even Sybaris, unfortunately, saw its decay through the work of the city of Crotone. The archaeological remains of the ancient city are now kept in the Sybaris National Archaeological Museum. The growth of the city was due to the recovery of land, through the action of the consortium Opera Sila, which brought to light the plain of Sybaris, the largest in Calabria. In the 80’s and 90’s, it underwent a seaside and cultural tourism development. Sybaris is a famous tourist destination for the Nautical Center, ‘Sibari Lakes’, with its amazing lagoon, an engineering work and an example of requalification of the land in harmony with nature.
4) What to do near Cosenza? TO VISIT ALTOMONTE
Another place that is nearby and you need to visit is the village of the province of Cosenza, called Altomonte, which is member of the club of ‘The most beautiful villages in Italy’. It lies on a promontory, about 455 meters above sea level. Its territory is very fertile: part of the plain, bathed by rivers Esaro, Grondi and Fiumicello and part of the hill, from where there is a fabulous pure air and a vast panorama. The village has seen, in the course of its history, the passage of peoples and civilizations. It is assumed that between 800 and 1000 AD its inhabitants moved to the current location.
The territory was dominated first by the Normans and then by the Suevi, but it was under Anjou’s rule that the village became a center of art, culture and faith of extraordinary importance. There are many witnesses from various churches and buildings that still represent the artistic and cultural heritage of the village. To visit, we have the open-air Theater, now home to numerous festivals and events, or the charming medieval lanes, as well as the Church of Our Lady of Consolation, a rare example of Gothic art-angina with a large window and a beautiful portal.
How to get there?
1) How to get there? BY PLANE
The nearest airport is Lamezia Terme, which is 75 km away, connected to Cosenza by trains, buses and taxis. Another nearby airport is Crotone, where there are buses and trains to Cosenza.
2) How to get there? BY TRAIN
It is possible to arrive directly, from the stations of Rome or Naples, with the Intercity or Expresso to Cosenza; another option is the Intercity Express Rome-Naples-Reggio Calabria: stops at Paola (35 km from Cosenza), then leaves for Cosenza. Once at the station there are several buses to the old town.
3) How to get there? BY CAR
Cosenza is easily accessible through the A3 Salerno-Reggio Calabria highway; take the exit to Cosenza Norte or Cosenza Sul.
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IMPORTANT TO KNOW!
Remember that to drive in Italy it is MANDATORY to have the International Driving License, the famous IDP (International Driving Permit). The certificate is not issued in Italian, but it is accepted in English! The IDP lasts 180 days (it depends where you live) and is issued by the Traffic Department of your country (if you have the European Driver License, you don’t need to worry about it!).
- Check with your country’s Traffic Department which documents are required and the rates for issuing the IDP. If you chose to travel by car, be sure to read our Post “Driving in Italy“. It is very important to avoid winning fines for lack of information.
As for the scenic beauty, it is impossible not to be fascinated by the numerous places overlooking the coast of the Ionian Sea, where nature seems to have been especially generous. In addition to the sea, in these areas, you can also be seduced by the mysterious charm of the ancient ruins and archaeological remains of Sybaris and, again, by the beauty of Corigliano Calabro, Rossano and the village of Altomonte.
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