If you think of Calabria, what immediately springs to mind is the beautiful sea, yet Cosenza also has a lot to offer. Culturally very lively, is full of museums and monuments that are worth the trip, as is the historic center and the gardens. Seat of the most important university in Calabria, hundreds of young people flock to it day and night, making it even more alive and interesting. All without forgetting that here, as in the whole region, you can eat very well! Here are tips on what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening in Cosenza.
- 10 things to see in Cosenza in a weekend
- What to see in Cosenza in one day: recommended itinerary
- Where to eat in Cosenza: the best restaurants
- What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Cosenza
- Plan your stay in Cosenza: info and useful tips
- User questions and comments
10 things to see in Cosenza in a weekend
1 - Cathedral
In the historic center of the city, this church was built in 1222 AD after an earthquake destroyed the ancient building. Dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, in Romanesque-Gothic style, was enriched over time with Baroque and Neo-Gothic inserts. The two mausoleums kept in the church are important: that of Isabella of Aragon and that of Henry VII of Germany.
- it is located in Piazza Duomo, in the historic center. Just 10 minutes walk from the train station, 3 minutes by surface subway (Ferrovie della Calabria, Cosenza Vaglio Lise - Cosenza Centro) or 10 minutes by bus (Navetta Centro Storico, Circolare Veloce Rende, Circolare Veloce Castrolibero). Cosenza has a bus line, managed by the AMACO company, which connects all the sites of cultural interest: the circular of museums (CM). The buses are all equipped for the transport of disabled people and with assisted access. Therefore, also for the Duomo, it is possible to take this line from the Cosenza Centro railway station. The cost of the ticket is € 1,50 - Get directions
- every day from 8:00 to 12:00 and from 15:30 to 19:00. In the summer period open until 20:00
2 - Museum Mab
Along Corso Mazzini, in the center of the city, this develops open-air museum, commissioned by local macenati and including important sculptural works by great masters such as Dalì, Rotella, De Chirico and Modigliani, just to name a few. A guide is available indicating the location of all the works, it can be downloaded by clicking here.
- it is located in Corso Mazzini, in the historic center. Reachable from the train station with the surface subway operated by the Calabrian Railways or by bus in about 5 minutes (Navetta Centro Storico, Circolare Veloce Rende, Circolare Veloce Castrolibero, CM) - Get directions
- always accessible
3 - Cosenza Castle
Erected at 383 meters above sea level on the Pancrazio hill, the Norman Castle it is the main and most photographed monument in the city. Construction began in the 2015th century, in the Norman style and then expanded to the current structure. A real military stronghold, over time it was also used as a prison. Since , the structure can be fully visited.
- not far from the historic center, in via Del Castello, reachable from the station by bus (Navetta Centro Storico, Circolare Verde, CM) in 10 minutes - Get directions
- from 9:30 to 18:00, Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 18:00; in July and August from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00, Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00
- full € 4,00 - reduced € 2,00 - 0/5 years free - audio guide € 1,00 - tablet € 2,00
4 - National Gallery
In the ancient Arnone palace, offers a collection of paintings from the 500s to the modern age. In particular he highlights the artists of southern Italy. All the works were acquired as a state patrimony and destined for the National Gallery of Cosenza in 1996. Recently renovated, it offers a modern and functional interior.
- not far from the castle and the historic center, in via Gravina, reachable from the station by bus (Navetta Centro Storico, CM) in 10 minutes - Get directions
- every day from 10: 00 to 18: 00
5 - Church of San Domenico
Built in the mid-1468th century, it overlooks Piazza Campanella with a baroque dome covered in copper. Built on a previous building, it was consecrated in , and is flanked by a Dominican monastery. After some changes over the centuries, it still retains some elements in the Gothic style including the large rose window and the frame of the portico. Inside the complex there is the BoCs, a contemporary art museum that he wants to make between ancient and new civilization.
- on the border between the historic center and the more modern part of the city, piazza Campanella can be reached from the station on foot in 5 minutes or by bus (Circolare Veloce Rende, Navetta Centro Storico, CM) - Get directions.
- the church is always accessible - the BoCs museum from 9:30 to 13:30 and from 15:30 to 19:30, closed on Mondays
6 - Villa Vecchia
Lovely municipal garden in the oldest part of Cosenza, it is the ideal place to walk and relax, especially in the summer, when the heat is intense and you are looking for a little cool. Inside there are many statues, fountains, ponds and dining areas.
- in via Petrarca, in the center, reachable in 10 minutes on foot from the station or by bus (Circolare Veloce Rende, Navetta Centro Storico, CM) - Get directions
- every day from 07: 00 to 20: 00
7 - Villa Rendano
Palace of 1891, built by local nobility and then passed into ownership, until its purchase by a non-profit foundation that used it as a multifunctional cultural center. There are many events scheduled, especially in the summer, when the beautiful garden surrounding the villa becomes usable.
- in via Triglio, in the outermost part of the historic center, reachable by bus from the station or from Piazza del Duomo (Circolare Veloce Rende, Navetta Centro Storico, CM) in about 4 minutes - Get directions
- every day from 09:30 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 19:30
- the cost of the ticket varies according to the type of event scheduled. Access to the garden is free
8 - Historical Museum
This exhibition space is, in reality, a set of outdoor areas scattered through the streets and squares of the historic center of Cosenza. The areas are divided according to a specific historical period: Bruzio path (piazza dei Valdesi, Gradoni S.Lucia, via S.Lucia), Normanno path (via Salfi, via S.Tommaso, vicolo S.Tommaso), Svevo path ( via Messer Andrea, piazza Berardi, via S.Francesco D'Assisi), the Angevin path (vico Padolisi, via Padolisi, via Miraglia), the Spanish path (via Gaeta, vico Gaeta, piazza Gerolosomitani).
All the works are by contemporary artists and have as their theme the history of Cosenza over the centuries.
- all exhibition areas can be reached on foot from the city center or from the station in a few minutes. For a complete visit it is suggested to move with the Historic Center Shuttle - Get directions
- always accessible
9 - Museum of Arts and Crafts (MAM)
The MAM is a space dedicated to artisan culture of the territory, born to preserve and pass on ancient crafts. Here it is possible to read up on the objects on display, but also to participate in seminars and courses. During the year, thematic temporary exhibitions are proposed.
- in corso Telesio, not far from the Duomo, in a beautiful historic building in the center. A few minutes on foot from the station or 5 minutes by bus (Navetta Centro Storico, Circolare Veloce Rende, Circolare Veloce Castrolibero) - Get directions
- every day except Sunday from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00
10 - Convent of S. Francesco di Paola
This Sanctuary, dedicated to St. Francis of Paola, was built between the years 1435-1452 at the behest of the Saint. Francis wanted to build a small church as a place of prayer for hermits and for the faithful who sought hospitality. Today the beautiful building is always managed by the Franciscans, who organize pilgrimages and visits for tourists to the places of the Saint.
- in corso Plebiscito, reachable on foot in 7 minutes from the station or in 1 minute by bus (Navetta Centro Storico, CM, Circolare Veloce Rende) - Get directions
- every day from 6: 30 to 18: 00
What to see in Cosenza in one day: recommended itinerary
Morning: a beautiful day in Cosenza can start from the historic center, walking in Corso Mazzini, where you can admire the sculptures of Mab, the open museum spread over the whole street. From the end of the course you take the direction of the Convent of S. Francesco de Paola, which is only a few minutes away, to visit the sanctuary and continue on to the cathedral. The May place of worship of the city, with its two important mausoleums and the square in front of the building, will further underline the historical value of this city.
To breathe some fresh air and maybe walk in the shade on sunny days, Old Villa represents the ideal place. In a city without the sea, a large, well-kept garden like this one turns out to be an outlet for a tired sight of buildings and cars.
Afternoon: after lunch, it's the Norman Castle waiting for the visitor and the beautiful view over the whole city, is a plus compared to what an important monument like this can still offer. The afternoon continues with the different stages of the thematic routes of Open-air Historical Museum. Returning to the station, in fact, we could admire the contemporary works installed in the area between the Busento river, Piazza Valdesi and Via Gaeta, in a maze of alleys where you can also stop for a little shopping.
Sera: after many hours around the city, on foot or perhaps by public transport, fatigue could be felt and continuing towards via Della Stazione, you can dine in one of the many restaurants that can be found on the street.
One day itinerary at a glance
- Breakfast: at the Cantagalli bar, near Corso Mazzini, for excellent local pastry and breakfasts - Get directions
- Corso Mazzini: where to stroll among the sculptures of the open-air museum and do some shopping
always accessible - ticket cost: free
- San Francesco di Paola: to admire the sanctuary
opening hours: every day 6:30 - 18:00 / ticket price: free
- Duomo: always in the center to visit the largest place of worship in the city
every day 8:00 - 12:00 and 15:30 - 19:00 / ticket price: free
- Old Villa: a few minutes from the Duomo, it is the green lung of the city
opening hours: every day 7:00 - 20:00 / ticket price: free
- Lunch: at the restaurant I Tredici Canali, a stone's throw from Villa Vecchia - Get directions
- Castle: here, in addition to visiting the splendid castle, you can admire the beautiful panorama
Tuesday to Saturday 9:30 - 13:00 and 16:00 - 20:00. Sundays and holidays 10:00 - 13:00 and 16:00 - 20:00 / ticket price: full € 4,00 reduced € 2,00
- Historical Museum: returning from the castle towards the station, through the area of the outdoor exhibition areas
Hours: always accessible / ticket cost: free
- Dinner at: Locanda Del Povero Enzo, between Corso Mazzini and the train station - Get directions
Where to eat in Cosenza: the best restaurants
- Ancient inn of poor Enzo: local cuisine in a refined setting. Homemade pasta and truffles are the chef's workhorses.
Average price per person: € 50,00
Address and contacts: via Montesanto, 42 (Get directions) tel: 098428861
- The Thirteen Channels: one of the best restaurants in Cosenza, a stone's throw from Villa Vecchia. It offers high quality cuisine and quality raw materials.
Average price per person: € 40,00
Address and contacts: via Siniscalchi (Get directions) tel: 0984795737
- Trattoria Il Paesello: local cuisine and generous portions in a simple and informal setting. Excellent fish.
Average price per person: € 25,00
Address and contacts: via Rivocati, 95 (Get directions) tel: 3494385786
What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Cosenza
Cosenza has a worldly life that essentially develops through the streets of the historic center and who thrives on the presence of the university. During the week, many students flock to the bars and pubs that offer live music and theme nights.
The best pubs, clubs and discos
- Bull Ale House: one of the most renowned pubs in Cosenza, with an excellent selection of beers including craft beers. Open late.
Address: corso Mazzini, 39 (Get directions) - Facebook page
- Vintage Chapeau: nice lounge bar with small kitchen, where you can taste excellent cocktails and quick snacks.
Address: viale Degli Alimena, 13 (Get directions) - Facebook page
- James Joyce: nice place, with an outdoor area and buffet. It always offers evenings with live music and DJ sets.
Address: via Cafarone, 19 (Get directions) - Facebook page
Plan your stay in Cosenza: info and useful tips
How to reach us
- By train: from Rome it takes at least 4 hours with a change in Paola at the minimum cost of € 58,30. From Bari it takes at least 6 hours with two changes and € 29,90. From Reggio Calabria it takes 2 hours and 35 minutes at a cost of € 14,80 in regional.
- By car: from Rome it takes almost 6 hours by taking the A1 towards Naples and then continuing on the Salerno - Reggio Calabria. From Reggio Calabria it takes 2 hours and 15 minutes on the E45, while from Bari 3 hours following the E90.
- By bus: the buses of the companies Intersaj and Flixbus connect it from the major Italian cities at relatively low prices with minimum fares from € 19,99.
- By plane: the nearest airport is Lamezia Terme (about 70 km), which connects Milan, Turin, Rome, Pisa, Treviso, Bologna, London, Zurich and Basel - Flights to Lamezia Terme from € 33,00 -
For information on connections between the airport and the city, it is advisable to visit the website of the Autolinee Romano company, which manages the route.
How to move and where to park
- Getting around: Cosenza can be visited on foot without too much trouble and the urban bus lines connect all points of the city very well. Particularly convenient are the Navetta Centro Storico lines, which connects the main streets of the center, and the Circular dei Musei, which connects all the historical-cultural sites of the city. Tickets can be purchased in all newsstands and tobacconists at a cost of € 1,50 and valid for 75 minutes, but daily tickets are also available at a cost of € 4,50. From the Cosenza railway station, the Calabresi Railways connect the Cosenza Centro station with the surface underground at a cost of € 1,20 each way.
- Where to park: in the center there are no guarded parking lots. The Seba car park, near the courthouse, is very large and has prices from € 1,20 per hour. The Aldo Moro car park in via Zanotti is also convenient for rates from € 1,20 per hour
Where to sleep and what to see nearby
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 45,00 per room -
- What to see in the surroundings: Praia a Mare, a very nice seaside resort which is about 1 hour and 30 by car; The Pollino National Park is about 95 km (1 hour) and offers many hiking activities and the opportunity to visit the Caves of Romito, the Castle of Castrovillari, some sanctuaries and an unspoiled flora and fauna. Less than 1 hour by car, they separate the city from some very interesting villages: Fiumefreddo Bruzio, Altomonte, Morano Calabro, Aieta and Civita, all of which can be visited in half a day.