Once a colony of the Ancient Sybaris, Roseto Capo Spulico owes its name to the culture of roses that, in the past, was a flourishing activity and supplied petals for the pillows of Sybarite princesses.
Today, Roseto with its wonderful sea, unspoilt landscapes and successful local policies, is one of the most desired tourist destinations.
The “castello Federiciano” (Frederick's castle) offers marvellous views and quite often, passers-by stop just to enjoy the landscape and take a few pictures.
Roseto Capo Spulico offers breathtaking landscapes, a crystal-clear sea, a temperate climate and unrivalled high-value landscape features. The town was awarded the 2016 Green Flag for its care and commitment with nature, the sea and food farming practices, as well as serious policies for awareness and sorting of waste.
The position of the “castello Federiciano” (Frederick's castle) overlooking the Ionian Sea allows offers spectacular views of the beach of Roseto Capo Spulico beneath the castle walls. The views are wonderful and quite often, passers-by stop just to enjoy the landscape and take a few pictures.
The famous "Scoglio anvil" or stone in the shape of a mushroom is very unusual and awaits to be discovered at the end of the promenade of the Achaeans, along the beautiful beach of Roseto where no sand is to be found, as on the entire stretch of this coast. The crystal-clear sea of Roseto Capo Spulico's beach allows to see the seabed quite well, displaying the incredible natural beauty of stones that form a colourful and varied mosaic.
Historical town centre
Roseto Capo Spulico is not only about the sea; a simple stroll through its historic town centre allows to discover one of Calabria's most beautiful medieval villages. A historic town centre rich in art and charm, full of historical and architectural attractions with landscape views that take your breath away.
From the Chiesa Madre di San Nicola di Myra (main church of Saint Nicholas of Myra) to the Palazzo Baronale, from the impressive Chiesetta dell’Immacolata Concezione (Church of the Immaculate Conception) - better known as “Santo Totaro” (Saint Totaro), name given to the sarcophagus on the Church's façade - to the splendour of the Castrum Roseti. These are just some of the places that make up Roseto's historical heritage. Deep in the heart of the old town centre is the “Vinella degli innamorati”; Europe's narrowest alley and a place where many lovers of the past were able to meet for a stolen kiss. Tradition states that kissing in the middle of the alley would ensure an everlasting love.
Not to be missed are the Fontana di San Vitale (San Vitale’s fountain), Roseto's oldest monument from which water with healing properties still flows more than 1000 years later. The Museo Etnografico della Civiltà Contadina (Ethnographic Museum of Farming Culture); a place of history and traditions shared by all of Roseto's citizens, completes the tour of the town of Roseto. Castrum Petrae Roseti (Castle of the Stone of Roseto) faces the pristine waters of the Ionian Sea; it is without a doubt, one of the best well-known elements of the Calabria Region worldwide. Frederick's castle represents the perfect fusion between history and mystery. Born from the ashes of an ancient place of pagan worship, shrouded in mystery, Frederick II of Swabia's "marvel of the world", left important signs of its passage, as evidenced by the discovery of the “Onfale” (omphale) engraved with the signs of the Passion of Christ, and numerous stone signs enclosed between the castle walls.
Castrum Petra Roseti
Roseto Capo Spulico's castle rebuilt by Frederick II is without a doubt, one of the best well-known elements of the Calabria Region worldwide. From a defence outpost to a Templar castle, military garrison and sacred place for the Emperor, shrouded in history and mystery; Roseto's castle is spellbinding. Castrum Roseti was built together with the walls, under the reign of the Norman king Robert Guiscard. Originally, it was a self-sufficient castle, with many stables, prisons, a cistern to collect water and quarters for the feudal lord. The castle is the perfect example of Frederick’s architecture, but between the ancient stones and in sunny courtyards, the spirit of the Templars can still be felt: alchemy and Templar symbols, such as the "Rose" and "Lillies" stand out on the arch that forms the entrance to the defensive walls and it seems that its floor-plan derives from that of Jerusalemn’s Temple. It would appear that precisely here, at Castrum Petrae Roseti, the Holy Shroud and the Sacred Bandages were kept under safe custody, during the period when they were “lost”. After the sacking of Byzantium of 1204, by the Crusaders, the relics went missing, up to around 1356, when only the shroud reappeared in a French church, then finally landing in Turin. According to research conducted by a direct descendant of Frederick II, and endorsed by experts sindonologists, the emperor came into possession of these sacred items, through a direct inheritance from his grandfather Frederick Barbarossa and brought them with him whenever he travelled, including to Roseto's castle, to then lose them again during the massacre of Parma in 1248.
Ethnographic Museum of Farming Culture
In the heart of the old town centre, Castello Lillo (Lillo castle), houses Roseto Capo Spulico's Museo Etnografico della Civiltà Contadina (Ethnographic Museum of Farming Culture). The Ethnographic Museum has a collection with over two thousand working tools of local artisans; items that are imprinted with memories that go back to centuries past. The rooms of the museum include a carpenter's old work bench, dating back to the mid-nineteenth century; a shoemaker's wheel, with all the tools of the craft; an old frame dating back to the second half of the seventeenth century; a blacksmith's full equipment set as well as barber's; all the instruments of Roseto’s old musical band; a very old and unusual typewriter particular; and last but not least, a typical table where families ate in a single dish. The Ethnographic Museum collects items full of memories that recall the sacrifices made by fathers and grandfathers; it is not archaeology but a walk back in time of two centuries and to remember by-gone times.
Artisanal is the key adjective that describes local products. And, as far as local artisanal food is concerned, “soppressata”, sausages and “filettuccio” are incomparably tasty delicacies that, due to their quality and flavour, were granted Roseto Capo Spulico’s “De.Co.” quality label (“Denominazione comunale d’origine” or local denomination of origin), granted to typical Italian products. Another De.Co. product is the bread called “Pitta liscia” that can be enjoyed with oil and stuffed with peppers and eggs; a typical dish of Roseto's cuisine. And let’s not forget the undisputed local top fruit product, crowned in 2016 as “Italy’s most beautiful”: cherries. Cherries are one of the most well-loved fruit; no one can resist their temptation; Roseto’s De.co. cherry, one of the best local products, has unique organoleptic properties and looks almost too pretty to eat. The true stars of local cuisine are delicious pasta dishes such as the “maccheroncini alle vongole” (maccheroni with clams) and De.co. cherries combined with exquisite main courses in addition to their use in desserts and jams.