Dolce Vita Bloggers: My Favourite Italian City
Happy New Year, everyone!
So, I’m a little late with this month’s Dolce Vita Blogger post. But over the Christmas break, I got what is probably the worst cold I’ve ever had in my life – and, if you’d believe it, I’m still getting over it.
I’m not off to the best start this year, but I’m not going to let this slow start to the new year set the tone for the rest of this year!
With that said, let’s get into this month’s Dolce Vita Blogger topic: My Favourite Italian City!
If you’ve been to Italy, or know anything about Italy, then you know that this is NOT an easy topic! Italy may be small in size but it is bursting at the seams with inspiring, dreamy, incredibly amazing places. So, how can you possibly choose a favourite city?
If I had been asked this question years ago, I probably would have responded by saying that Rome was my favourite city in Italy. I visited Rome with my dad about 20 years ago and it was incredible. I have always loved the Fontana di Trevi and have fond memories of that trip as we wandered the streets of Rome looking for this magnificent fountain tucked away in a small piazza.
However, fast forward to the present day and I have to say that my favourite city in Italy would have to be the place that has truly become home to me – Cosenza.
Cosenza isn’t a popular tourist destination that you’ll find in “must see” lists or featured in travel magazines. And that is part of its beauty. It’s a small city that has all the charm of old style Italy while at the same time has the luxuries that you would expect in a modern city. It’s not overrun with tourists and there is always some interesting event happening; many of which I write about here on the blog.
A Bit About Cosenza
Cosenza is an ancient city that has seen many different populations come through leaving their mark on the intricate history of this area. The city sits in a valley between the Sila mountains and the mountain ranges of the Calabrian coast. The city is divided into two parts by two historical rivers – the Crati and Busento Rivers. These two parts make up the old town (Cosenza Vecchia) with the newer more modern Cosenza.
Along with its beautiful architecture, it’s also becoming increasingly known for its arts and culture scene. It was actually on the short list of nominees for the coveted title of “Capital of Culture” for 2018 which is selected by the Ministry of Tourism in Italy.
What To See
The historical centre of Cosenza is picturesque with its narrow streets and alleys. As you walk up the cobblestone street of Corso Telesio and admire the tall antique buildings towering over either side of you, you come to a piazza dominated by the Duomo.
Continue your way up Corso Telesio to Piazza XV Marzo. In the center of this elegant square stands a statue of Italian Philosopher and Natural Scientist, Bernardino Telesio.
Surrounding the statue are many historical buildings like the Rendano Theatre and the Accademia Cosentina (Cosentian Academy), one of the first academies to be founded in Europe in 1511, which also houses the Biblioteca Civica (Civic Library) and Museo Civico (Civic Museum).
And, why not explore and look for the “A Ficuzza” – a very old fig tree that sprouted from a crack in a wall and has grown to full size. Many locals don’t even know where it is – but you can read about my adventure and how to find it by checking out my walking guide.
High atop Pancrazio Hill overlooking Cosenza sits the ruins of a castle originally built sometime in the 10th century by the Saracens. A couple of years ago the castle was restored and renovated.
From the castle, you get an incredible view of Cosenza. It’s also been used for interesting cultural events like the Festival delle Candele.
Corso Mazzini is a long pedestrian area that is, without a doubt, the heart of modern Cosenza with its shops, cafes and restaurants. As you make you way along Corso Mazzini towards Piazza Bilotti, you can enjoy a wide range of art sculptures that make up the “Museo all’Aperto Bilotti” (MAB) or the open-air museum.
Corso Mazzini has a wide selection of restaurants to satisfy anyone’s palate. If you are looking for traditional Calabrian food or a delicious pizza, stop into Tartufo Nero. If pub fare is more your thing, then head over to People Pub for a delicious burger.
Whenever my friends and I want an aperitivo, we always go to Kennedy Caffe, which also offers up great coffee, tea and hot chocolate selections as well as delicious pastries.
You can check out the other bloggers taking part in this month’s blog link up by clicking on the image below!
Have you ever been to Cosenza? What’s your favourite Italian city? I’d love to know, so let me know in the comments below.