The southern Italian region of Calabria (the toe of Italy’s boot) is surrounded on three sides by the splendid crystal waters of Mediterranean Sea: the Ionian Sea is to the east, the Tyhrrenean to the west and the Strait of Messina to the south. As such, the sea is a big part of the region’s culture and cuisine.
Calabria in the south forms the ‘Toe’ of Italy and has borders with the region of Basilicata, the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas and lies a short distance from the island of Sicily. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro. Calabria is a stunning and mainly un-discovered part of Italy boasts dense forests, amazing waterfalls, crystal clear lakes and, unusually, snow-capped mountains. The whole region is less altered for the tourist trade than other regions and in parts is rugged and wild and exciting. There are beautiful unspoilt beaches to discover, with the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas washing the shores. With winter temperatures reaching 18°C, it is possible to go skiing in the morning and sun-bathing and swimming in the afternoon. There are many charming villages to be explore, and a wealth of historical sites to enjoy, as the whole area is steeped in legend and history.
Catanzaro is the capital city of the Calabria region.
Main sights to see in Catanzaro:-
- Catanzaro Bridge, a well-known, one-arch bridge (Viaduct Morandi-Bisantis)- one of the tallest in Europe.
Duomo (Cathedral). Built over a Norman cathedral built in 1121, in the 16th century it received a Renaissance façade which was however destroyed in 1638. The church was almost entirely destroyed by the bombings of 1943, and was later rebuilt.
Church of the Santissimo Rosario (15th or 16th century), with a Renaissance façade and a single nave interior.
Church of Sant’Omobono (11th or 12th century).
Byzantine small church of Sant’Omobono (11th century).
Chiesa dell’Osservanza, or Santa Teresa. In the interior is the 16th century Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre and a statue of “Madonna delle Grazie” by Antonello Gagini.
Remains of the Norman Castle.
Porta di S. Agostino and Porta di Stratò, two gates which are the last remains of the medieval walls, demolished in 1805.
Palazzo de’ Nobili (15th century), now Town Hall.
Piazza Grimaldi, a town square named in honor of the House of Grimaldi, who had branches that traded heavily within Catanzaro.
The Cathedral of Catanzaro
The original church was built at the beginning of the 12th century, then it was re-built at the end of the 16th century and restored in 1665. It was destroyed by an earthquake and was rebuilt in the 19th century and following the Second World War was again restored. It is dedicated to ‘Madonna dell’Assunta’, a statue by Giovanni Rito sits atop the Cathedral, and the Saints Peter and Paul. The interior is worth visiting and there is the 19th century painting ‘La sacra famiglia’ by Angimeri and ‘Tela del sangue di Cristo’ by De Tommaso. In the square in front of the Cathedral is the statue of ‘Madonna col Bambino’ from 1595.
The huge bridge, linking downtown Catanzaro to its western suburbs, was constructed in 1962. The bridge is 1,536 feet long and is 360 feet high. The bridge is the second largest concrete arch bridge in the world and has the second largest arch in Europe. In 2001 it was named Il Ponte Bisantis after Fausto Bisantis, a ‘Repubblica Italiana senator’ and native of Catanzaro.
The waterfall Marmarico is the highest waterfall in Calabria , and of the ‘ Southern Apennines , is 114 meters high. It is the upper course of the Fiumara Stilaro , the valley Folea . The site has the same name as the surrounding of the waterfall, below it is a small pond. It is located in the municipality of Bivongi
Calabria is at the very southernmost tip of Italy and filled with magnificent, rugged mountains. Chestnuts, olives, lemon and orange trees, almonds and figs all thrive in this climate. Having the longest coastline in Italy and breathtakingly beautiful white sandy beaches the waters around Calabria give fishermen the perfect place to bring tuna, swordfish, sardines, lobsters, shrimps and anchovies in, which are simply cooked or preserved in the wonderful olive oil of the region.
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