Catanzaro is the capital of the Calabrian region and, contrary to what one might think, it is a historically and geographically interesting city. We have written this article about all the things to do in Catanzaro Italy. It was inhabited by various peoples including Greeks, Byzantines, and Normans of whom churches and monuments remain to be discovered today, and it is known as the city of the wind, as it is beaten by the breezes coming from the coast and the Sila, and the ” city of the two seas ” because on clear days you can admire both the Ionian and the Tyrrhenian.
There are so many amazing places to visit and enjoy during a visit to Catanzaro Italy. You will also read about what to eat because the Calabrian cuisine is the icing on the cake, to be savored in the best taverns of the city. Here is a guide to what things to do in Catanzaro Italy.
Things to do in Catanzaro Italy
- Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta
- Mediterranean Biodiversity Park
- The Quarryman
- Monumental complex of San Giovanni
- Bisantis Bridge
- The waterfront
- Villa Margherita and Provincial Museum
- The historical center of Catanzaro
- Churches of Catanzaro
- Minor Basilica of Mary of the Immaculate Conception
1. Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Catanzaro
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is the Cathedral of Catanzaro, located in the historic center. It was built in 1121 in the Norman era, of which recalls the architectural style despite the many renovations it has undergone over time and the near destruction during the II World War. inside there is a beautiful pipe organ and various wooden works saved from the bombings.
2. Mediterranean Biodiversity Park
Entirely included within Catanzaro, the Mediterranean Biodiversity Park extends for almost 13 hectares. It was created in 2004 but has since undergone numerous transformations. In fact, in the first four years since the inauguration, there have been constant cultural, environmental, and technical interventions. For example, the Wild Animal Rescue Center was opened in 2005. Furthermore, in 2006, the park welcomed the International Sculpture Park and in 2007 the Military History Museum (MUSMI). The park allows you to visit Catanzaro and its surroundings easily, thanks to the installed structures.
3. The Quarryman Catanzaro
Symbol of the city, the Fontana del Cavatore (or Il Cavatore ) is a representation of the strength and tenacity of the people of Catanzaro. It is sculpted by Giuseppe Rito and is made of bronze on a granite base and dates back to the 20th century. Today it stands on what was then the grounds of an ancient Norman castle. It is also part of the monumental complex of San Giovanni and borders Piazza Matteotti, at the heights of the city. The quarryman is recommended as one of the places to visit during your visit in Catanzaro Italy.
4. Monumental complex of San Giovanni
Today, after a long history of restorations and different uses, the San Giovanni Monumental Complex is a highly prestigious exhibition complex that offers a vast choice of ever-changing temporary exhibitions in its 20 rooms. Initially, it was used as a hospice, then as a prison and military office, and finally also as a church, before becoming what it is today.
5. Bisantis Bridge of Catanzaro
In an environment governed by valleys and cliffs, the city of Catanzaro has nevertheless managed to develop on both banks of the Fiumarella River. To counter some road difficulties, the Bisantis Bridge was built in 1962. It was then the largest viaduct in Europe, with a height of 110 meters. Originally called Viadotto Morandi, it was renamed in 2001 in honor of Fausto Bisantis, illustrious Catanzarese, senator of the Italian Republic. It offers an immense view of the valley, both north and south, with magnificent panoramas of Catanzaro.
6. The waterfront of Catanzaro
During your visit to Catanzaro do not forget its seafront. Also present on the seafront, the city of Catanzaro amazes with its coasts. First start with the long, divided beach, as often happens in the Lidos, then discover the Ionian Sea. Then you can go to the port and its artificial dam where you can admire beautiful sunsets. Furthermore, you will have a breathtaking view of the entire seafront, the lower city of Catanzaro, and the valleys that rise in the background. Finally, don’t miss the Matteo Saliceti Terrace, a landscaped terrace overlooking the beach and sea.
7. Villa Margherita and Provincial Museum
Villa Margherita, also known as Villa Trieste, is the oldest public garden in Catanzaro, built at the end of the 19th century on the occasion of Margherita di Savoia’s visit to the city. Inside there is rich vegetation and long avenues lined with numerous sculptures. It also houses the Provincial Numismatic Archaeological Museum, the oldest Calabrian museum collection which includes archaeological finds dating from the Greek period to the modern age.
8. The historical center of Catanzaro
The historic center is the essence of a visit to Catanzaro. It is also the cultural center of the city. In fact, among the many places of worship, monuments, museums, and theaters, the historic center of Catanzaro is rich. The streets of the old city have kept the plan of the ancient era (Greek, Byzantine) and have been arranged around them. Despite some tragic events such as earthquakes, to which Calabria is subject, or bombings, Catanzaro has always been able to rebuild itself. Today, visiting the historic center, you can immerse yourself in these many eras, all infused into today’s culture. This is listed in our guide as one of things to do in Catanzaro Italy.
9. Churches of Catanzaro
Catanzaro is a city with many churches. Both in the historic center and on the seafront, churches abound, all with different architecture and charm. That said, some of them are worth a visit, both for their architecture and their history. So, if you can, stop by the fourteenth-century Church of San Giovanni Battista, one of the most important in the city for several centuries. Of course, you don’t always find old churches. Many of these buildings are quite modern, characterized by refined architecture: the Church of the Holy Family or the Church of the Observance.
10. Minor Basilica of Mary of the Immaculate Conception
Another church in Catanzaro is the very ancient Basilica Minore Maria SS Immacolata, dating back to 1254. The predominant style of its construction is neoclassical but, given the numerous restorations that have taken place over the years, it also has significant Baroque influences. Outside it is dominated by an octagonal dome, while inside a series of sculptural works of art are perfectly preserved.