Ionio Cosentino

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Ionio Cosentino

CATROVILLARI

Castrovillari is the capital of the Pollino National Park. As the largest center in the area, it boasts a series of structures worth visiting in person. The first is the Aragonese Castle, built in the second half of the 1400s by order of King Ferdinand of Aragon, concerned about the revolts in Calabria. It is said that its prisons were terrifying. They were indeed characterized by narrow and long tunnels and cells devoid of light. In the “Tower of Infamy”, unspeakable tortures and punishments were inflicted on the prisoners. Castrovillari also hosts the Franciscan Protoconvent, built in 1220 and the first of its kind to arise in our region. It was built by the Blessed Pietro Cathin, a disciple of St. Francis of Assisi, whom he never departed from. After the French ordered its closure in the 1800s, it reopened in modern times to host the Archaeological Museum of Castrovillari, the Pinacoteca, and the Sybaris Theater. While the museum preserves, in particular, the skeleton of a warrior from 300 BC, the Pinacoteca collects all the paintings by the master Andrea Alfano.

CIVITA

Civita is a fascinating place, guardian of enchanting landscapes, beauties of historical interest, and a crossroads of different cultures. It is not by chance that it is included among the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy”. The presence of the Arbëreshë population is marked on the spot, an Italo-Albanian ethnicity that proudly displays colorful costumes and traditions linked to the Greek-Byzantine rite for centuries. Even the dialect is a child of a different stock compared to that of the rest of Calabria. The houses have their roots in the mists of time, so much so that they are called “talking houses”. They are equipped with special chimneys with a dual purpose: the classic one to disperse smoke and the protective one to keep spirits away. When visiting the village, a stop at the balcony is mandatory, from which you can see the famous “Devil’s Bridge”, also called the “Grand Canyon of the Riganello River”, with its gorges. It is also easy to come across owls, barn owls, hawks, and a magnificent golden eagle. If you see it, its name is Abel… 

CASSANO ALL’JONIO

Cassano all’Jonio traces its roots back to the presence of the Enotri in the territory. It was founded together with Sybaris and destroyed by the Crotoniates. Of particular interest is the Cathedral of the Nativity of Mary and the Episcopal Palace that stands next to it. The historic center stands between two rocky outcrops. The first is called “Pietra Castello” because of the ruins inside, the second “Pietra San Marco”. If you are looking for some relaxation, the ideal place is the Sibarite Thermal Baths, which boast medicinal waters. These are sulfur waters that come from five different natural sources. At a constant temperature of 25°C, they are a true biological rarity.

SIBARI

For lovers of Magna Graecia, Sibari is ideal. Founded by the Achaeans in flight, it was an enormously important center. The archaeological park, covering 50,000 square meters, collects what remains of the three Greek cities that controlled the territory: Sibarys, Thurii, and Copia. In particular, it is easy to find traces of the street network of the Hippodamian plan, the ruins of a theater, and the foundations of buildings from that era. The collection of artifacts, relics, clothing, weapons, and objects from the period ranging from the Bronze Age to the late Roman period can be contemplated at the National Archaeological Museum of Sibaritide. Visitors are offered the opportunity to understand customs and traditions of the time thanks to the numerous finds found in the necropolises of Sibari and the slab of Kleombrotos, son of Dexilaos, which tells of the victory of a citizen of Sibari at the Olympic Games in the 6th century BC. Changing genre, the Sibari Adventure Park offers the opportunity to try your hand at routes between suspension bridges, climbing, and scaling in an uncontaminated environment. For those who make extreme sports a must, you must not miss the Gorges of Raganello on an organized expedition along a 13-kilometer canyon. You will be able to admire a fantastic landscape live, the signs of water erosion in the rocks, and a living nature.

ROSSANO

Rossano is called “The Byzantine” because it represented a fairly well-rated political center in the Byzantine Empire. It is also called “the Ravenna of the South” for the quality of the works present because the historic center is rich in noble palaces, and the Cathedral of Mary Most Holy Achiropita (11th century) is in pure Baroque style. The Diocesan Museum preserves the Codex Purpureus Rossanensis. It is an ancient Greek Gospel from the 6th century of Byzantine origin, named a UNESCO Heritage. The Amarelli Factory carries on one of Calabria’s historic activities since 1731: the production of licorice. The headquarters houses the Licorice Museum, which is recognized by many as the best in the world. 

CORIGLIANO

The Ducal Castle of Corigliano is among the “best-preserved castles in southern Italy” and has dominated access to the southern part of the Sibari area since the 11th century. The majesty of the fortress has gradually turned over the years from a military outpost to an elite residence. Recently restored, it houses the Magna Graecia Library, the Image Museum (the Sanseverino-Saluzzo-Compagna Archive), and the Museum of Human Adventure in the Sibaritide.

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