What To Do in Catanzaro

Catanzaro is the capital city of the province of Catanzaro. It is often called the “windy city” because there always seems to be a breeze (most welcoming in the hot summer months). The province of Catanzaro has the privilege of overlooking the two seas or “due mari”: Ionian on the east coast and Tyrrhenian on the west. As a matter of fact, the central part of this province is where you’ll find the narrowest part of Italy.

Catanzaro, the capital city of the region of Calabria, is an extensive urban center that stretches all the way to the seaside area of Catanzaro Lido on the Ionian coast. It has both a buzzing urban center as well as a lovely old town that offers many great experiences to its visitors.

If you’re planning a trip to Calabria, we definitely think you should consider choosing it as your home base while traveling the region or stopping by for the day. If you decide to spend some time in Catanzaro, here are some things you certainly don’t want to miss:

Il Cavatore
This large fountain located in Piazza Matteotti is very symbolic of this city. The fountain is embedded in the old walls of a Norman Castle and features a strong muscular man with a pickaxe in hand. He represents the strength of this population. The fountain sits in the center of the town just above the historic center.

Old Town
The historic old town of Catanzaro is the perfect size to wander around aimlessly and immerse yourself in the small alleyways of this once medieval village. The main street, Corso Mazzini, is lined with small shops and coffee shops but if you venture down one of the many side streets you will find yourself enchanted by the charming corners that seem to have been frozen in time. Head back to Corso Mazzini and follow it to the very end where you’ll find the Church of Saint Francis of Paola (the patron saint of Calabria). Continue a bit further to Via Nuova for an incredible panoramic view!

Stroll the Parks
There are two impressive parks in the city of Catanzaro. The first is Villa Trieste (however many still call it by its older name – Villa Margherita) which is the oldest public garden in Catanzaro. It opened in January of 1881 during a visit by its original namesake, Margherita of Savoia, the Queen consort of the Kingdom of Italy. The gardens sit on a hillside overlooking the city and the Ionian coast in the distance. Take a peaceful walk through the grounds and enjoy the numerous species of vegetation and flowers as well as various sculptures.

calabria travel - catanzaro

The second park that is worth visiting in Catanzaro is the Park of Mediterranean Biodiversity. This massive park sits on 150 acres of land creating a true oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city. Within the grounds, you’ll find lakes, ponds, a large botanical garden, skate park, and children’s playground. It’s offers something for everyone and is a truly unique experience.

Give Morzello A Try
A stay in Catanzaro wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of its traditional foods. In particular “il Morzello” – a fiery tripe dish often served up with pitta bread. You’ll find this on many menus in local restaurants and trattorias. If you’re not adventurous enough to try morzello, we suggest trying soppressata (Calabrian salami) or patate e pipi (potatoes and peppers).

We will be staying in Catanzaro Lido on both our June and September Small Group Heritage Tours. You can find out more about these upcoming tours here!

If you are interested in traveling to Calabria and including Catanzaro as part of your vacation, contact us for more information!

Image Credit: Aquila giallorossa, Nicholas Gemini