The link of the first day are the castles built during the past dominations along the Ionian Coast of the province of Cosenza. The first one we visit is near the Basilicata border, in Rocca Imperiale, built by the will of Frederick II in 1225, to control the only transport route with Apulia and Basilicata. The second and more spectacular one, maybe because it was built backing on the coastline, is the Castrum Petrae Roseto (Castle of Roseto). Originally here, there was a pagan temple dedicated to Venus, then on its ruins was built an ancient monastery and in conclusion the Templars modified its structure into a castle, which was enlarged by Frederick II. We stop for lunch and relax on this extraordinary stretch of the coast and then we go to the third castle.
In the early afternoon we arrive to Oriolo, which at first glance, the whole bourg seems to be gripped to its castle. The town is one of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia” (The most beautiful villages in Italy). The last stop of the first day is the Cave of Saint Angel, where it’s possible to admire natural beauties and findings dating back to the Neolithic period. The stalactites and stalagmites inhabit the several caves, which have always different colours, from white to brown. After the visit we check-in according to the preferred accommodation and then dinner.
After breakfast we visit Cerchiara di Calabria and then we proceed to the State Reserve Gole del Raganello, we meet our guides and there’s hiking, spelunking, rock climbing, rail corridors or canyoning along the river Raganello, which due to its environmental uniqueness reminds to the Grand Canyon in Colorado. From this canyon we can see the Bridge of the Devil, it is named for numerous legends but still today nobody knows the origin of its name. At the end of the experience in the Reserve we stop for lunch and in the afternoon we visit the centre of Civita, founded in 1471 by Albanians fleeing from their country. Today it belongs to the “Borghi più belli d’Italia”, cause of it is characterised by its chimneys of different shapes in order to ward off the evil spirits, by its houses and their facades from the anthropomorphic look. Before to leave Civita we visit the Ethnic Museum Arbëresh, where we discover a new and amazing culture full of history and traditions. We end our day in the Cavern of Nymphs, to relax in the sulphur waters or decide in a wide range of beauty and spa treatments. At the end of this tour you can choose to come back to Cosenza or to go ahead with another tour.
On the Ionian coast of the province of Cosenza the nature marries with some architectures made by man and makes wondrous sights, places absolutely to be visited, as the Castle of Roseto Capo Spulico, the historic town centre of Oriolo, which is one of “The most beautiful Villages in Ialy”, so as Civita, the Canyons of Raganello, which remind to the Gran Canyon in Colorado, the Ethnic Arbëresh Museum, the evindence that even communities who came from the other side of the Ionian Sea, found in these places a safe house.
● 8:00 Departure from Cosenza
● 9:45 Arrive in Rocca Imperiale and visite of the castle
● 10:50 Departure for Roseto Capo Spulico and visite of the castle
● 12:30 Lunch and relax
● 14:40 Departure for Oriolo and visite of the castle
● 17:00 Departure for Cassano allo Ionio and visite of the Sant’Angelo caverns
● 18:30 Accomodation
● 20:00 Dinner
● 8:30 Departure for Cerchiara di Calabria, and visite of the town
● 10:00 Hiking to be chosen, Gole del Raganello e Ponte del Diavolo
● 13:30 Lunch and relax
● 15:30 Departure for Civita and visite of the town to discover its traditions
● 18:00 Departure for Grotte delle Ninfe
● 18:30 Relax in the baths, spa treatments to be chosen