Art and religion’s travel destinations: Cosenza and Paola

Cosenza - Tour - Visita guidata - Escursioni - Guide Turistiche Associate Calabria - Italy
Cosenza - Tour - Visita guidata - Escursioni - Guide Turistiche Associate Calabria - Italy
Paola - Tour - Visita guidata - Escursioni - Guide Turistiche Associate Calabria - Italy
Paola - Tour - Visita guidata - Escursioni - Guide Turistiche Associate Calabria - Italy
Paola - Tour - Visita guidata - Escursioni - Guide Turistiche Associate Calabria - Italy
Paola - Tour - Visita guidata - Escursioni - Guide Turistiche Associate Calabria - Italy
Paola - Tour - Visita guidata - Escursioni - Guide Turistiche Associate Calabria - Italy
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Cosenza - Cattedrale
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In this touristic itinerary is scheduled the visit of Cosenza, the city is located in the North of Calabria, built upon seven hills on the valley of the river Crati. The old town center, better known as Cosenza vecchia, reflects the common building scheme of settlements upon a hill: small houses and buildings in contrast with big mansions castled on rocks, that overlook a web of steep and narrow lanes. The tour will start in piazza dei Bruzi, seat of the city hall, and will go through the San Domenico complex, with its homonymous church dated back to XV century. The complex is an extraordinary example of gothic architecture with baroque superstructure. Crossing the Mario Martire bridge, we will observe the Crati and Busento rivers confluence. According to a legend, the Busento river bed hides the treasure of Alarico, king of the Goths. From Piazza dei Valdesi we will go to the Arenella parking area, after a short walk we will join the cathedral, which has been acknowledged as UNESCO heritage “witness to a culture of peace”. The visit will go on to Piazza XV Marzo, one of the most beautiful and important in the old town: surrounded by mansions and monuments, a visible sign of the city’s heritage and beauty. From the square, a bus will take us to the castle, which is built on the Pancrazio hill. According to the tradition, it was built in ancient times, and many times renovated or modified during the centuries by the Normans, Hohenstaufen, Angevines and Aragonese. For lunch we will taste some of the typical products, before moving to Paola, a coastal little town, famous as one of the most important destinations of religious tourism in Calabria. It is, in fact, the birthplace of San Francesco da Paola, patron of the region, seat of his sanctuary and headquarters of the Franciscan Order in Calabria. The visit will start with a short guided tour in the old town center, where we will be able to admire different artworks and historical buildings like the XVII century fountain in Piazza del Popolo, the old clock tower, the baroque façade of the Madonna di Montevergine church, and the baroque Chiesa del Rosario. The Sanctuary is located in the gorge of the Isca stream, in the place where Francesco had established a chapel dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi. On the big square in front of the modern façade of the Basilica, there is the miraculous cucchiarella spring of water, where all the pilgrims in visit to the sanctuary usually drink. Going on we enter the so-called “devil’s bridge” with a walking path that brings to a place where the Saint found shelter during his youth. The old basilica, in Romanic style, dates back to the XVI century and keeps some relics of Saint Francis. In the cloister, built between 1400 and 1500, we will find Saint Francis rose garden and important frescos; adjacent to the cloister there is a hermitage, located narrow subterranean rooms which was the first coenobium for Saint Francis and his first brothers. On the way back we will stop by a local sweets’ producer to taste some of his specialities.

For more information about this itinerary, please contact us!

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