Catanzaro offers a wide variety of attractions and sites. For those who are interested in historical structures Catanzaro has structures such as the Ponte Bisantis and the Chiese di San Giovani. Alternatively, for those who enjoy sunbathing and the beach, Catanzaro lies in close proximity to some world class lidos. Whatever your taste, this beautiful city has something to offer!
Catanzaro also known as the “City of the two Seas”, is an Italian city of 91,000 inhabitants (2013), the capital of the Calabria region and of its province and the second most populated comune of the region, behind Reggio Calabria.
The archbishop’s seat was the capital of the province of Calabria Ultra for over 200 years. It houses the University “Magna Græcia”, the second-largest university in Calabria.
Catanzaro is known as the city of two seas and has a population of 91,000 – this city is the capital of the Calabria region of Italy and is located on the eastern side of the “dog leg” of the country. Catanzaro is known for its illustrious silk and velvet production and is also a popular destination for Italians to frequent during the summer months.
In ancient times, it is believed that Catanzaro was a Greek settlement and has had influences from the Byzantine Empire. Due to its high location, the city has been an important defensive stronghold and was always easy to defend. During the Middle Ages, Catanzaro was involved in various wars and feuds between the Kings of Sicily and Norman invaders such as the War of the Vespers. Today it remains an important place in the southern region of Italy for both the country’s economy and as a tourist destination.
Catanzaro is an urban centre, with much activity, including some coastal towns, such as Sellia Marina and Soverato, and the municipalities of Silas, with a total of 156,196 inhabitants. Catanzaro is being consolidated to form a greater metropolitan area, by the Region of Calabria, and in connection with the town of Lamezia Terme, comprising 10 municipalities. This will lead to the creation of an integrated area involving over 200,000 inhabitants.
During the summer months, the Ionian coast from Catanzaro to Soverato is an important tourist attraction, especially for the youth, and is in the presence of several important structures located in the coastal districts of the city and the towns of Copanello and Soverato.
Catanzaro is also known as the city of the three V’s, referring to the three distinct features of the city, namely Saint Vitalian, the patron saint; velvet, because the city has been an important silk centre since Byzantine times; and wind (vento in Italian), because of the strong breezes from the Ionian Sea and La Sila.
“VVV” was the symbol by which Catanzaro’s silk industry was known, identified for both its domestic and foreign markets, and iconic for the finest fabrication of silks, velvets, damasks, and brocades from the city.
- 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.
- Basilica dell’Immacolata.
- 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 of 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 honour of the House of Grimaldi, who had branches that traded heavily within Catanzaro.
Scolacium Archaeological Park
If you travel towards the coast near the town of Roccelletta you can find the magnificent Scolacium Archaeological Park.
This park showcases the remains of various ruins from eras including Byzantine, Greek and Roman.
The buildings are situated in a vast olive plantation containing over 3000 trees which sets the scene perfectly.
Orme nel Parco
If you love the outdoors and adventure, you are sure to love Orme nel Parco – located within the Sila National Park and surrounded by beautiful forests and natural expanses of greenery this is a true haven.
The Orme nel Parco association promotes outdoor activities and you can travel here to experience such things as outdoor camping, jeep tours, mountain biking and hiking excursions.
This beautiful coastal resort is a fantastic place to go to relax, enjoy the sun, and the stunning landscape of the Ionian Sea.
The beach is split by a charming harbour that fishing and sailing boats frequent, and although the sand contains some pebbles, it is still inviting.
Aside from the long stretch of beach, the lungomare Stefano Pugliese promenade is lined with hotels, bars, restaurants and amenities.
The Matteotti Square is one of the main squares in the city and has several important landmarks.
Located in the centre of Catanzaro, the piazza is not far from the Ponte Bisantis.
Notable buildings on the square include the Corte D’Appello (The Courthouse) with its yellow façade and the town hall.
Parco della Biodiversita Mediterranea
ocated in the centre of Catanzaro, this attraction is undoubtedly one of the most popular in the region and is dedicated to the flora and fauna of this region of Italy.
Covering approximately 700,000 m2, the park has an extensive botanical garden, a military museum, a skate park, a children’s playground and a restroom and restaurant.
Within the botanical gardens you can find over 20,000 species of plants, 2,000 trees from 200 different species, and over 100 species of aquatic plants.
You can find this natural phenomenon approximately one hour to the north east of the city in-between the towns of Zagarise and Cipino.
Although surrounded by forest and luscious greenery, the waterfall is easily accessible and you can find a range of different hiking trails and well maintained footpaths.
The main waterfall is approximately 22m high and cascades down into a shallow pool and stream; it is truly beautiful and the noise from the water is spectacular.