Let’s go to Castrovillari in Calabria?
Castrovillari is an Italian town located in the region of Calabria, in the region of Pollino National Park. It is a charming city that offers its visitors a unique experience, combining a rich history with natural beauty, delicious cuisine, and local crafts. Let’s go to Castrovillari in Calabria? Stay with us and make the best of the boot country! Here at Traveling to Calabria you make the trip of your dreams!!! Are you staying in Calabria? LOOKING FOR A HOTEL IN CALABRIA? Check our suggestions! Click here!
Watch this video with images of Castrovillari and be enchanted!
Source: Ernesto Picardi
Castrovillari is a town in the province of Cosenza, in Calabria, southern Italy. It is located in the mountain community of Pollino, at an altitude of 755 meters above sea level. It is the largest town in the Pollino National Park and the center administrative body of the Association of Cities of Pollino. Also read: How to find your ancestors in Italy?
The city has an ancient history, dating back to Roman times, and was home to several great characters in Italian history. Nowadays, Castrovillari is known for its natural beauty, its cuisine, and its crafts.
A bit of Castrovillari History
The history of Castrovillari is ancient and rich. The city was founded in 1269 by the Byzantine General Niccolò Guiliano and called Villa Castronovo, in honor of his founder. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, it was occupied by Arabs and Normans. In 1504, the Spanish took control of the city and renamed it Castrovillari. Read also: When is the Best Time to Travel to Calabria?
The village was the scene of many historical events, including the War of the Little States and the Italian Revolution of 1848, and has several historic monument sites, including the Cathedral of San Pietro, Palazzo Vigliotti, and Palazzo Venice. In addition, it houses several museums, such as the Regional Museum of Calabria and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Calabria.
The Attractions in Castrovillari
Now let’s get to know the attractions of this charming Calabrian village. In addition, departing from Castrovillari, you can visit other beautiful villages within easy reach. Come on? Read also: How about visiting the most beautiful villages in Calabria?
Santuario della Madonna del Castello
To start your itinerary, we’ll visit the Santuario della Madonna del Castello, located in the historic center of the city, on a hill that also works as a point to view the beautiful Monte Pollino. Santa Maria del Castello is the main patron saint of the city of Castrovillari and the people of Pollino. Recently, on January 3, 2022, the Sanctuary was elevated to Minor Basilica by Pope Francis.
A little more about the Santuario della Madonna del Castello
The Sanctuary is composed of two different architectural styles, called the “old” church and the “new” church. Its origins say that, still in 1090, count Rogério, son of Roberto Guiscardo, ordered that it to be raised on the top of the construction of a castle, a project rejected by the citizens. Rumor has it that, mysteriously, the walls built during the day came crashing down during the night, but the construction continued, until they found, during the excavations, a wall frescoed with the sweet image of Mary.
The discovery increased the rejection of the construction of the fortress and the count ordered to build of a church in the place of the castle with the image of the Madonna in the center, baptized del Castello.
The structure and history of the Santuario della Madonna del Castello
From its original construction, dating from 1109, the buttresses, the crypt, portals, and the lower part of the bell tower. In 1300, there was the first reform to expand it, where a Gothic portal was added – the current main entrance. In 1769, there was a new change, which gave the Sanctuary a style baroque, enhanced by elegant marble altars.
The main altar
On the main altar, there is a beautiful altarpiece by Pietro Negroni, representing the Assumption of Mary. The artist is also responsible for the table that represents the Madonna. In the same nave, we find other dazzling works by F. Oliva and Genesio Gualtieri.
The middle of the central nave
In the middle of the central nave, there is the chapel of the Virgin, with one of its walls completely covered in inlaid polychrome marble. In the center we see two angels in white marble, holding a crown. A semicircular balustrade, of geometric design and marble, completes the vision.
The main painting offers a sense of fascination with the eternal expression of Madonna, warm and welcoming. After granting Castrovillari the title of “City Faithful”, it was established that every illustrious citizen, having arrived in the city, must make a solemn entry into the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Castello.
Then, discover Tenuta Celimarro, a still young winery – its plantation started in 2006, and only in 2013 did the winery start working. Despite their young age, the quality of the wines is exceptional and recognized by the award in the guide Vini Buoni d’Italia (“good wines from Italy”;).
The focus of the winery is precisely the concentration on typical Calabrian wines, such as Magliocco and Greco Bianco. Magliocco was the first wine to be awarded at the 2019 edition of the Vini Buoni d’Italia (“good wines of Italy”) guide. Today, winemaker Valerio Cipolla manages the winery and has 20 hectares of vineyards. The grapes are selected manually, in a process that ensures all the flavor and beauty of the drink.
Time to learn more about the history of Castrovillari: let’s go to the Protoconvent Franciscan. It was the first Franciscan convent built in Calabria, still in 1221, and, during its history, it housed a lot of history: in 1808, it was taken over by the French, then it became a military hospital and, later, a barracks. In 1845, it became a theater and, around 1880, an infirmary.
During World War II, it was bombed and suffered damage to its beautiful structure. It is currently owned by the municipality of Castrovillari and houses the Sybaris Theater, the Civic Archaeological Museum, the Municipal Art Gallery, the Saletta Paonessa, and the municipal multimedia classroom.
To end your tourist itinerary, be sure to visit the Castello Aragonese, dating from 1490, when King Ferdinand of Aragon ordered the reinforcement of strategic points, aiming to protect their possessions.
Used as a prison between 1495 and 1995, it still preserves all its grandeur. There is only one entrance, where there was once a drawbridge. Inside the Castello Aragonese, there is a large airy patio where the entrances open to the inside. On the portal, we can see a stone plaque from the 15th century where it says: “Ad continentos in fides cives”- To keep citizens in the faith, in free translation. This same inscription was found in other castles in the region that also were built or renovated by Ferdinand of Aragon.
A true fortress that remains one of the best-known Aragonese castles preserved from Calabria. All these points are very close to each other, demanding just a 20-minute walk between them all.
Are you staying in Castrovillari?
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Where to stay in Castrovillari? Il Laghetto
- Rating: 8.7 (Fabulous!)
- Average daily rate: BRL 340.00*
- Location: 2 km from the city center, 15 km from Pollino National Park
- Address: Via Timpone della Capanna 12A, 87012 Castrovillari, Italy.
- Services: air conditioning, desk, and a flat-screen TV. All include a private bathroom. It has on-site parking.
- Breakfast included: Yes.
- (*) the value is an average of the daily rate for two people; values may vary according to the season, without prior notice.
Where to eat in Castrovillari? Origini Ristorante
Located between the slopes of Pollino, it offers a touch of comfort and modernity to your ride. Bet on the boss’s suggestions, which are choices right!
- Address: Viale Padre Francesco Russo, 11a, 87012 Castrovillari CS, Italy
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/Originiristorante/
- Opening hours: 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm and 7:30 pm to 11:45 pm – closed on Tuesdays and opens only at 7:30 pm on Saturdays.
- Phone: +39 324 090 4312.
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