Visiting Cosenza in Calabria: A City Rich in History and Tradition

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Cosenza is one of the most beautiful and important cities in Italy’s southern region of Calabria. Ancient traditions and rich in history, let’s find out more about this magnificent place!


What to See in Cosenza

Cosenza is known for its unique ancient village located in the upper part of the city. You can start your tour from Piazza dei Valdesi and head towards Corso Telesio. This main via is intersected by many narrow streets that climb up the hill where you can admire beautiful, old buildings and small houses.

All along Corso Telesio, you’ll find ancient craft shops and you’ll come to the famous Piazza delle Uova and Piazza dei Pesci. These two squares were once where the egg market and fish market were held. If you continue uphill, you will arrive in Piazza Duomo also known as Piazza Grande.

The Duomo, or the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, was built in 1222 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has different architectural styles, given its millennial history.

Near the Duomo is the Civic Library, one of the most important monuments of the city. Its architectural complex extends over two buildings: one older and the other dating back to the fascist era. The building overlooks the central Piazza XV Marzo, near the Rendano Theater and is flanked by a series of ancient buildings that surround the most beautiful square in the city in a semicircle. In the center is the monument of the philosopher and scientist Bernardino Telesio.

In front of the Rendano Theater is the Prefecture building and, next to it, the entrance to the municipal villa where you can take a pleasant break in the greenery. Above this area is the Porta Piana district with the church of St. John the Baptist dating back to the 11th century, located at the foot of the Swabian Castle, which dominates the city from above.

In the Surrounding Area

Near Cosenza, the renowned natural area known as Sila offers many leisure opportunities. Starting from walks in the woods, to visits to the most characteristic villages, to shopping for local products. The Sila also has many lakes that are surrounded by a luxuriant and still partly unspoiled nature.


When to Visit

Spring and autumn are the best times, but Cosenza and its surroundings are welcoming all year round. In March, the famous St. Joseph’s Fair is held with an infinite number of stalls throughout the city offering everything from flowers, trees, clothes, and locally-crafted items.

What to Eat

Typical cured meats (soppressata) and caciocavallo with a good local red wine and stuffed vegetables are certainly the traditional dishes of Cosenza. The cullurielli (fried donuts) sold in Piazza dei Valdesi and the mazzacorde (lamb entrails) are delicious dishes to taste in the typical restaurants of the city. Some favorite spots are Calabria Bella in Piazza Duomo and Vecchia Cosenza near the church of San Gaetano.