Catanzaro is the capital of the Calabrian region and, contrary to what one might think, it is a historically and geographically interesting city. IS' it was in fact inhabited by different peoples including Greeks, Byzantines and Normans of which today there are churches and monuments to be discovered, and 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" since on clear days you can admire both the Ionian that the Tyrrhenian. The icing on the cake Calabrian cuisine, to be savored in the best taverns in the city.
Here is a guide of Catanzaro: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening!
- 10 things to see in Catanzaro in a weekend
- What to see in Catanzaro in one day: recommended itinerary
- Where to eat in Catanzaro: the best restaurants
- What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Catanzaro
- Plan your stay in Catanzaro: info and useful tips
- User questions and comments
10 things to see in Catanzaro in a weekend
1 - Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta
The Cathedral Santa Maria Assunta is the Cathedral of Catanzaro, located in the historic center. It was erected in 1121 in the Norman period, which recalls the architectural style despite the many renovations it underwent over time and the near destruction during World War II.
Inside there is a beautiful pipe organ and various wooden works saved from bombing.
The visit is free.
2 - Mediterranean Biodiversity Park
A natural oasis in the middle of the city which allows you to escape from the chaos and traffic and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. The Mediterranean Biodiversity Park is a project curated by the agricultural institute of Catanzaro and developed on an area of 610.000 square meters. Inside it is present a great variety of flora and fauna characteristic of the Mediterranean climate area, various routes suitable for all ages, a cycle path, an ice rink, a pond, a labyrinth and a small amphitheater.
- in via Cortese Vinicio, 1; 15 minutes walk from the historic center following Corso Mazzini - Get directions
- every day 6: 00-24: 00
3 - Piazza Matteotti and the Statue of the Cavatore
Located in the historic center, Piazza Matteotti is the main square of Catanzaro, colorful and animated, a historic meeting place, both day and evening, for workers, students and groups of friends. From the square you can admire the imposing statue of the quarryman, a few steps from it, which symbolizes hard work. It was made of bronze in the first half of the 900s and is located in the context of a fountain, set between the walls of the complex of San Giovanni.
4 - San Giovanni Monumental Complex
The San Giovanni Monumental Complex is today, after a long history of restorations and different uses, an exhibition complex of great prestige which offers in its 20 rooms a wide range of ever changing temporary exhibitions. It was initially used as a hospice, later as a prison and military office, and finally as a church, before becoming what it is today.
- in Piazza Garibaldi, in the historic center, reachable in a few minutes on foot following Corso Mazzini - Get directions
- every day 9: 00-13: 00 and 16: 00-19: 00
- full € 4,00, reduced € 2,00
5 - BRAND
MARCA indicates the Museum of Arts of Catanzaro, a multifunctional museum center that houses artistic collections, both pictorial and sculptural, from different eras ranging from ancient to contemporary art, with permanent and temporary exhibitions. Inside there are works by important artists such as Mattia Preti, Francesco Jerace, Battistello Caracciolo and Antonello de Saliba.
- in Via Alessandro Turco 63, in the historic center, reachable in a few minutes on foot from any point of the city following Via Alessandro Turco - Get directions
- Tue-Sun 9: 30-13: 00 and 15: 30-20: 00, closed on Mondays
- full € 8,00 - reduced € 6,00
6 - 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 800th century on the occasion of the visit to the city of Margherita di Savoia. Inside there is a 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.
- in Via Tripoli 36, in the historic center, reachable in a few minutes on foot following Corso Mazzini - Get directions
- Villa Margherita every day 8: 30-18: 00 / Provincial Museum Tue-Sun 10: 00-13: 00, closed on Mondays
- Villa Margherita free / Provincial Museum full price € 4,00, reduced € 2,00
7 - Church of the Mount of the Dead
The Church of Monte dei Morti is a secondary church of Catanzaro built in 1712. It is however a fine architectural example in the Baroque style with a simple external facade but surmounted by a statue of the Madonna, while inside there are several paintings from the 1600s.
- in via Educandato, in the historic center, reachable in a few minutes on foot following Corso Mazzini - Get directions
- always accessible
8 - Corso Mazzini and Bellavista
Corso Mazzini is the main street of Catanzaro, which crosses the entire historic center starting from Piazza Matteotti. It is flanked by splendid and elegant well-preserved nineteenth-century buildings among which all kinds of shops, old shops and many bars and night clubs alternate.
The course ends with Bellavista, an overhanging view which offers a wide view over the lower part of the city, the surrounding hills and the sea.
9 - Catanzaro Lido
As anticipated, Catanzaro is not only a city but also the sea and Catanzaro Lido, or Marina di Catanzaro, is its coastal neighborhood, located about 15 minutes drive from the city center. Of particular interest in Catanzaro Lido is his waterfront, enriched with colorful mosaics, with an extension of 2 km, which starts from the large port and flanks the whole town and the wide beach, partly pebble and sandy, bathed by an always clear and crystalline sea.
On the seafront there is a succession of artisan ice cream parlors and pastry shops (some of which have been awarded many awards), restaurants, clubs of the Catanzaro nightlife that do not know seasonality and are open all year round, regardless of the summer period. There is no shortage of fishmongers, some with an adjoining restaurant, to eat freshly caught fish.
From Catanzaro center it can be reached by a special train or by car (15 min). Various parking spaces are available on site, both free and paid (average cost € 1,50 / h)
10 - Basilica Minore Maria SS Immacolata
Another church in Catanzaro is the ancient Basilica Minore Maria SS Immacolata, dating back to 1254. the predominant style of its construction is the neoclassical but, given the numerous restorations that have taken place over the years, it also has notable baroque influences. Outside it is dominated by an octagonal dome, while inside a series of sculptural works of art are perfectly preserved.
- in the historic center, reachable in a few minutes on foot following Corso Mazzini - Get directions
- always accessible
What to see in Catanzaro in one day: recommended itinerary
It starts from Mediterranean Biodiversity Park and then continue on Via Greco until you arrive in Piazza Matteotti where is the statue of the quarryman. Finally we move on from Monumental Complex of San Giovanni to visit the library and the underground galleries. Lunch in one of the many typical Catanzaro restaurants.
Stop for lunch at Fazzari's and then walk along Corso Mazzini where you will meet the Basilica Minore Maria SS Immacolata and then Piazza Duomo with the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Reach the Bellavista viewpoint and finally head to Villa Margherita to relax in its immense gardens, then in the late afternoon move to Catanzaro Lido.
Once in Catanzaro Lido, you can't miss it a walk along the seafront and a fish-based dinner at the Officina del Pesce restaurant. Finally, spend the rest of the evening in one of the many nightclubs.
One day itinerary at a glance
- Biodiversity Park - opening hours: every day 6: 00-24: 00 - ticket price: free
- Piazza Matteotti and the Cavatore Fountain
- S. Giovanni Monumental Complex - opening hours: every day 9: 00-13: 00 and 16: 00-19: 00 - ticket price: full € 4,00, reduced € 2,00
- Lunch at Fazzari's restaurant - Get directions
- Corso Mazzini
- Basilica Minore Maria SS Immacolata - opening hours: always accessible - ticket price: free
- Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta - opening hours: always accessible - ticket price: free
- Villa Margherita - opening hours: every day 8: 30-18: 00 - ticket price: free
- Catanzaro Lido
- Dinner at Officina del Pesce restaurant - Get directions
Where to eat in Catanzaro: the best restaurants
- Fazzari's 18: a very well-kept and good-quality restaurant, it offers an elaborate cuisine based on quality raw materials
Average price per person: € 20,00
Address and contacts: Corso Mazzini, 18 - 88100 (Get directions) / tel: 3913683344
- Fish workshop: fishmonger with adjoining restaurant, cuisine based on fresh fish and an excellent selection of local wines
Average price per person: € 30,00
Address and contacts: Via Stromboli, 49 - 88100 (Get directions) / tel: 096134369
- Old Catanzaro: historic trattoria with an informal atmosphere, offers typical homemade cuisine and excellent pizzas
Average price per person: € 30,00
Address and contacts: Discesa Cavour - 88100 (Get directions) / tel: 0961022310
What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Catanzaro
Like the city, too the nightlife develops along the line from the historic center to the maritime area. Full of pubs, clubs with live music and discos, Catanzaro can offer entertainment for all tastes. Here are the best places to spend your Catanzaro evenings!
The best pubs, clubs and discos
- Mallard Pub: in the historic center, it is one of the most renowned pubs in the city, open until late at night, offering an excellent selection of craft beers
Address: via XX Settembre, 85 - Get directions / Facebook page
- Atmosphere: it is the historic nightclub in the city, the most famous and popular, with 3 rooms and different types of music, entertainment and a rich calendar of events and famous guests
Address: via Donnici, 18 - Get directions / Facebook page
- Miraya Experience: elegant open-air disco with a lineup of events offering various kinds of music
Address: Via Lungomare Catanzaro Lido - Get directions / Facebook page
Plan your stay in Catanzaro: info and useful tips
How to reach us
- By plane: the nearest airport is Lamezia Terme (40 km). It is connected to the city by the buses of the Romano company and has daily flights to and from the main Italian cities - For Lamezia Terme from € 70,00 -
- By car: Calabria is served by the Mediterranean motorway (Salerno-Reggio Calabria) on the Tyrrhenian side and by Statale 106 (Reggio Calabria-Taranto) on the Ionian side. Traveling on the motorway you have to exit at Lamezia Terme and continue to Catanzaro, while the state road crosses Catanzaro Lido and from there you go up to Catanzaro city - Get directions
- By train: to the central station of Lamezia Terme, then change with a regional one for Catanzaro Lido and finally board the train that connects the seaside resort to Catanzaro center
- By bus: the low cost company Flixbus connects Catanzaro to many Italian cities. Prices from € 19,90
How to move and where to park
- Getting around: the best way to visit the center of Catanzaro is on foot. Between Catanzaro and Catanzaro Lido, as anticipated, there is a well-organized and punctual train that travels every 30 minutes
- Where to park: Musofalo car park (Get directions) just outside the center with shuttle service (€ 1,50 one way) to the main sites of interest. In Catanzaro Lido the municipal parking in piazza Venezia is very convenient (€ 0,70 / h)
Where to sleep and what to see nearby
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 40,00 per room -
- What to see in the surroundings: Sila Park (about 40 km) for walks and trekking in the middle of nature, on foot, on horseback or by bike. Scolacium Archaeological Park (20 km), the most important archaeological site of ancient Greece on the Ionian coast. Stilo (75 km), one of the most beautiful villages in Italy located 386 meters above sea level to admire legacies of the Byzantine era, the Cattolica and an amazing view