Roseto Capo Spulico is an incredibly charming medieval village on the Ionian Coast in the province of Cosenza. The village was actually founded during the Magna Graecia and was one of the 25 colonies that were situated around ancient Sibari. It gets its name, Roseto, meaning rose garden, from the flourishing production of roses during ancient times. The prestigious rose petals were used to fill the pillows of Sybarite noble princesses.
The hamlet, as you see it today, dates to the 10th century when it was fortified with a castle and defensive walls that surrounded the entire village. You can still see many remnants of this enchanting ancient hamlet, making it worth a visit.
Roseto Capo Spulico is a great choice for a day trip and is close to many other great Calabrian destinations. Less than an hour away are some great villages of the Pollino National Park, such as Civita and Morano Calabro. It’s also about an hour away from Corigliano (home to the breathtaking Ducale Castle) and Rossano (home of the famous Amarelli Licorice Factory and Museum).
The Medieval Village
The best way to access the old town of Roseto Capo Spulico is by heading up Salita del Castello which takes you to a Piazza in front of the Castrum Roseti. Castrum is the Latin word for castle. Here you pass through a “porta” or entrance to the village known as “Porta della Terra”. Once you’ve passed through the thousand of years old fortified walls, it’s time to wander and admire all the beautiful angles this old town has for you to discover. To your left, you will find an alleyway leading to an even smaller alleyway known as “La Strettarella” or “Vico degli innamorati”. It is said to be the smallest alleyway in Europe. Take the hand of your loved one and walk through it, and don’t forget to give each other a kiss at the halfway point!
You’ll also want to keep your eyes open for another important entrance to the village with the still intact fortified village walls, which is called “Il Pertugio del Pizzo”. You can access it from Via Garibaldi or Via Giuseppe Verdi. There are many beautiful lookout points around the village as well that give you an amazing view of the coast and surrounding land.
The Seafront Castle
Once you’ve taken in the beautiful historic center, it’s time to head down to the seaside and get a close-up look at the magnificent Castrum Petrae Roseti or the Roseto Capo Spulico Castle. The castle sits on the rocky cliffs of the shore on the remains of what was once a sacred building. Throughout the centuries it underwent many changes, however, it gained the most prestige in the 13th century when it came into the hands of Frederick II of Swabia who fortified the castle (much like the other castles that he possessed). Today the castle is privately owned and houses a restaurant and banquet facility. There is also a luxurious Imperial Suite which you can book if you want to live like royalty.
The beach that sits around the castle and along its expansive coastline has won a number Blue Flag Beach awards. The beach is made up of pebbles and gravel which continue into the crystal-clear sea. It’s quite a treat to bask in the glorious Calabrian sun while you can admire the castle in the distance.
If you are interested in travelling to Calabria and including Roseto Capo Spulico in your vacation, contact us for more information!