Catanzaro (Calabria): what to see in the city between the two seas


What to see in Catanzaro, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including the Duomo, the Immaculate Basilica, the Rosary Church and the Provincial Museum.

Tourist information

The origins of Catanzaro are probably Byzantine, subsequently passed under the rule of the Normans, assuming greater importance as a military fortress placed in a strategic position.

It was formerly known as the City of the three "V", with reference to the V of San Vitaliano, the patron saint, to the V of wind, for its persistent exposure to strong winds from the Ionian Sea and from Sila, and to the V of velvet , being an important silk center in the Byzantine era.

The processing of silk and velvet, carried out by local artisans starting from 1072, caused the growth of the city economy, up to a period of decline triggered by a serious plague epidemic.

Over the centuries the historic center of Catanzaro was destroyed several times by earthquakes, the current appearance of the city dates back to the late nineteenth century.

It is nicknamed the "City between two seas", being located in the isthmus of Catanzaro, which represents the narrowest strip of land in Italy, only 30 km wide, which separates the Ionian Sea from the Tyrrhenian Sea.

This particular geographical position allows you to see the two seas and the Aeolian islands at the same time, in clear weather and in the absence of mist.

What see

The Cathedral of Catanzaro stands in the same place where the previous cathedral was, built in 1121 in the Norman era and dedicated by Pope Callisto II to Santa Maria Assunta and the Apostles Peter and Paul.

In 1309 the Chapel of San Vitaliano was erected, located close to the left side facade, near the entrance known as the "door of the elm" and, in 1588, it was built in the space in front of the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

The altar of the chapel of San Vitaliano preserves, in three distinct niches, the relics of San Vitaliano, city patron, San Fortunato and Sant’Ireneo, patrons in the Byzantine period.

In 1511 the church was remodeled creating a Renaissance facade, which collapsed in 1638 due to an earthquake.

Recommended readings
  • Corigliano Calabro (Calabria): what to see in the medieval village
  • Lamezia Terme (Calabria): what to see
  • Calabria: Sunday day trips
  • Nicotera (Calabria): what to see
  • Rossano Calabro (Calabria): what to see

Following the serious damage reported following the bombings suffered during the Second World War, the Cathedral of Catanzaro was rebuilt in the first post-war period, but its original structure was completely upset.

The Church of the Most Holy Rosary, located behind the cathedral, has a Renaissance facade on the outside while the interior has a single nave covered by a barrel vault with lunettes, with a transept and four chapels on each side, also at the crossroads between nave and transept rises a dome without a drum.

The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, a place rich in spirituality and considered the main place of worship in the city, dates back to 1254, when it was built as a Trinity church.

Following the renovations carried out between 1750 and 1763, the side aisles and the dome were added while, between 1783 and 1833, it assumed the role of cathedral, since the Cathedral had been damaged by the earthquake.

The facade was rebuilt in 1913 and, with the occasion, the bell tower was also modified.

In the Provincial Museum, which is located inside the public garden of Villa Trieste, the archaeological material recovered during the excavations carried out in the area is exhibited, as well as various works of painting including the Landscapes of Salvator Rosa.

"CATANZARO" Top 17 Tourist Places | Catanzaro Tourism | ITALY (December 2022)

Tags: Calabria