Walking Guide: Finding “A Ficuzza” in Cosenza’s Historic Centre
It was probably two or three years ago when I first heard about “A Ficuzza”, a very old fig tree in the historic centre of Cosenza.
I can hear you asking, what’s the big deal about a fig tree? Fig trees are everywhere around here but this particular fig tree is different. You see, many years ago, and I mean many, it sprouted from a crack in a wall and has grown to full size.
I love the historic centre and have been more than a few times, but I’ve never seen this so-called fig tree. So, I began asking around to find out where exactly in the historic centre I could find it. But, no one knew!
I asked everyone I could think of and came back with nothing, not even a bread crumb. I thought to myself, if people who live here don’t know where this mysterious tree is, then I doubt I’ll find anything on the internet, but let’s give it a try anyway.
A few keywords in Google Search and voila, something came up. The tree does exist; it’s not an urban legend. But as I clicked link after link I couldn’t seem to find anything that would help me pinpoint its exact location.
Then, just as I was about to give up, I saw a street name in a search result. Could it be true? Had I found the location of the infamous ficuzza?
There was only one way to find out. I had to go and see for myself. So, along with Nilla of Image Earth Travel and Nilla’s Photography (check her out, she’s awesome!) we set out on a mission to find “a ficuzza”.
Before we made our way to the historic centre, I put in the rough location into Google Maps. But, after almost of an hour of walking in circles, we realized that the GPS on Google Maps wasn’t going to be very helpful. The signal was not accurate at all.
I was beginning to think this tree was just a figment of my imagination! But Nilla wasn’t ready for us to call it in just yet. We found ourselves in front of the Duomo and decided to venture down one more street. And that my friends, was when we found what we were looking for.
And now that I know where it is, I’m sharing it with all of you in this small walking guide so you too can find a ficuzza!
Walking Guide: Finding ‘A Ficuzza’ in Cosenza Vecchia
Here is a Google Map that highlights as accurately as possible the route you’ll need to take. I do suggest that you use the images in this guide to help keep you on the right track.
Piazza Dei Bruzi
I’m going to start the walk from Piazza dei Bruzi because it’s a good meet up point and most people staying in Cosenza will be staying in the city centre.
Make your way across the Busento River towards Piazza dei Valdesi. You may already be familiar with this part of the walk from my History of Fascism in Cosenza Walking Guide.
Corso Bernardino Telesio
Take the narrow Corso Bernardino Telesio into the historic centre. This street is named after Italian Philosopher and Natural Scientist, Bernardino Telesio. You can see a statue of him in front of the Rendano Theatre at the end of the street in Piazza XV Marzo. This street was once the main road for the ancient city of Cosenza.
Follow Corso Telesio until you reach the beginning of Piazza Duomo. Turn around and face the direction you just came from. You’ll see this interesting street.
Follow the street on the left of what I like to call the “half-building”.
Via Abate Francesco Saverio Saffi
Follow this small narrow street, which will take you through old archways.
It may seem a bit like a maze, but it’s actually quite simple. You will find yourself at a corner that looks like this.
On the wall is the street sign Via Abate Salfi (although on Google it has a different name – no wonder it was hard to find!)
Keep following the street that you are on. You’ll see some stairs leading up further into the historic centre, you don’t want to take those.
As you continue to follow the road, you’ll notice this on your right-hand side.
Keep walking ahead and you’ll come across another painting on the wall.
Once you see this painting, you know you are very close. Because, just past this painting is another corner and as you make your way around the bend, you’ll find the fig tree waiting for you.
“For a tree to become tall it must grow tough roots among the rocks.”
That’s pretty cool, don’t you think? It was certainly worth getting lost in the historic centre for!
Hope you enjoyed this walking guide, be sure to follow my blog for more.