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.

favourite italian city

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

Cosenza Vecchia

favourite italian city

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.

favourite italian city

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.

Castello Normanno-Svevo

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

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.

Thanks once again to the Dolce Vita Blogger hosts – Kelly of Italian At Heart, Jasmine of Questa Dolce Vita and Kristie of Mamma Prada for organizing this great link up!

You can check out the other bloggers taking part in this month’s blog link up by clicking on the image below!

Dolce Vita Bloggers

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.

 

15 Comments

  1. Fkasara

    January 20, 2018 at 12:37 am

    Yay, thanks for writing about Cosenza, people need to discover Calabria! I don’t know much about Calabria myself, I’m still learning about it and I love doing that through Karen’s posts. Now that I have discovered your blog through DolceVitaBloggers, I’m sure I’ll have another trustworthy source!

    Wow, those alleys are amazing and that fig tree is a powerful image! I’m always amazed by how resilient Nature can be!

    1. LuLu

      January 22, 2018 at 9:07 pm

      Calabria is a beautiful region (even if I’m a bit biased). A friend and I searched quite a bit for the fig tree and it was such an incredible thing to find! Very inspiring! I’m so glad we’ve been able to connect! 🙂

  2. Alison

    January 16, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Yet another city I now want to visit! I particularly love that photo of the narrow building with the lower level and the path leading up behind. I’m a sucker for those kinds of buildings! I also love the outdoor art museum. It reminds me of a street in Utrecht that was lined with sculptures.

    Thanks so much for sharing all of this, even though you weren’t feeling well. Hope you’re over the cold soon!

  3. Jasmine

    January 15, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Lulu, I’m glad you chose to feature your adopted home as your fav city although it’s making me have serious wanderlust for Calabria. I need to come see you and we can have a little Canada party. Thanks for joining us and for including all the fantastic photographs!

    1. LuLu

      January 15, 2018 at 11:58 am

      You definitely need to come to Calabria! It has so many gorgeous places, I can show you around or give you some suggestions of places to visit! 🙂

  4. Kristie Prada

    January 14, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Hi Lulu, Apologies my comments keep not showing up for some reason! Thank you for sharing this lovely post about your home town. It’s looks beautiful. I love the little narrow houses! And there’s a lot to see there. I need to look it up more I think and add it to the list of must see places! There are so many great suggestions this month! I hope you’re feeling better now? Thank you for taking part again and supporting #DolceVitaBloggers xx

    1. LuLu

      January 15, 2018 at 11:56 am

      Thanks Kristie, I think this cold is finally on the tail end!

      Calabria is a beautiful region in Italy that often gets overlooked. It has so many incredible places to offer travellers!

  5. Kristie

    January 14, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    This looks incredible! I love the tiny narrow houses! There seems to be so much to see here. I’ll have to look into it more I think it looks gorgeous! My favourite places have changed over time as well. It’s funny how that happens as you start seeing something less as an outsider looking in. Thank you for joining again Lulu! Hope you’re feeling better as well? X

  6. Melanie

    January 14, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Great blog post!

  7. Kelly

    January 13, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Ciao Lulu! Thank you for joining us this month and I hope that you feel better soon! I totally agree that my favorite city has changed over time and I’m sure it will change again 😀 I haven’t been to Calabria (yet), but it’s my goal to explore all of Italy and I will make sure to add Cosenza to my list! I absolutely love that tree that grew threw the crack in the wall…what a great symbol of thriving where you’re planted!!!

    1. LuLu

      January 13, 2018 at 9:57 pm

      Thanks bella….better late than never! 🙂 Don’t you love the fig tree? It’s not the first one I’ve seen but it’s certainly the one that’s left the biggest impression on me. We are all more resilient than we give ourselves credit for!

  8. KareninCalabria

    January 13, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Complimenti for your excellent choice! And what a treat to be able to live in your favorite city! (Hope you’re feeling 100% soon.)

    1. LuLu

      January 13, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks so much! Cosenza has done so much for me, it’s hard for it not to have a special place in my heart! 🙂

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