Rugged mountain ranges completely encircle this ancient village, where medieval ruins and Renaissance churches nestle into the foothills of Pollino National Park.
Experience an awe-inspiring panorama of snow-capped mountains in Castrovillari, a town on Calabria’s northern border. A village has stood within this arena of mountains since prehistoric times. Historic relics speckle the countryside. Explore the winding medieval-era town center or cross the bridge to see the town’s modern district. The two major peaks of Pollino and Dolcedorme appear to loom over the township. See the town’s eclectic streetscape set against an arena of mighty mountains.
Get familiar with Castrovillari by visiting its Centro Storico (historic district). A maze of winding alleys and narrow streets contain some of the town’s most significant historic landmarks. Follow cobblestone lanes opening up to pretty piazzas lined with terraces and cafés. Grand old houses, such as Palazzo Salituri via Roma, Palazzo Pugliese and Palazzo Salerni are within a few blocks’ radius.
Among the town’s religious landmarks are the 11th-century sanctuary Santa Maria del Castello, the Church of San Giuliano, Convento Benedettini and a Renaissance convent devoted to St. Francis of Assisi. Visit the crumbling Castello Aragonese, which dates back to the late 1400s.
Walk across the Ponte della Catena, which links the two sides of the city. From the bridge, admire pretty views of verdant forests toward the Tyrrhenian coast, as well as canyons tumbling down toward the Ionian Sea.
Stroll along the two main boulevards intersecting in the modern part of Castrovillari and check out the town’s series of shops and cafés. If you feel like escaping the city, head to the nearby Pollino National Park and explore the reserve’s peaks and trails.
Castrovillari is located in the province of Cosenza, a 1-hour drive north from the provincial capital of the same name. The town is also accessible by regional train. Come to Castrovillari in summer to experience the quaint medieval town during its most active period or arrive in winter to see snow-dusted mountains in the distance.