Discovering Altomonte, among The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy
What to see and do in Altomonte
Feb 16, 2024 9:01 AM
Feb 16, 2024 9:01 AM
Fancy a "slow" trip that combines history, art and food and wine in one of The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy? Get ready to head for Altomonte, the village in the province of Cosenza that also boasts the titles of "City of Bread" and "Slow City".
We reach this picture-postcard village that, from the top of its panorama, gives us an atmosphere of yesteryear, suspended between the Middle Ages and modernity, silhouetted against the green of the promontory bathed by the Esaro.
An ancient domain of the Sangineto and Sanseverino families, the village has preserved intact its medieval structure, on which stands the Norman Castle built in the 12th century and enlarged and renovated several times.
Life in the village takes place around the main square, which is named after the philosopher Tommaso Campanella and it houses the community's landmarks: the splendid Church of Santa Maria della Consolazione, one of the best examples of Calabrian Gothic-Angevin art, and the Dominican Convent, which today houses the Library and Civic Museum.
The Civic Museum offers an extraordinary collection of 14th-century masterpieces, such as Simone Martini's Saint Ladislaus, two panels of the Giotto school and the altarpiece attributed to a disciple of Solimena.
Another place to visit is the Azzinari Museum, located inside the Torre Pallotta (a Norman tower dating back to 1050), which is the Municipal Art Gallery dedicated to local painter Franco Azzinari.
Right in the centre are the steps of the Belluscio Theatre, inaugurated in 1988 with the first edition of the Festival dei Due Mari and embellished with a series of mosaics depicting scenes from Greek theatre.
Fancy a nature hike in the surrounding area? You'll be spoilt for choice!
Altomonte introduces you to the foothills of the Pollino Massif and it offers the greenery of the Farneto Park, the municipal forest park with a pond and picnic area at its centre.
Events in Altomonte are many and enliven the village throughout the year.
Many of these emphasise the excellence of agro-food products, in particular the renowned Altomonte Bread, which earned the village membership of the National Association of Bread Cities. If you wish to taste the fragrance of this renowned local product, we recommend visiting Altomonte in the last week of May, when the "Gran Festa del Pane" (Bread Festival) takes place.
Another unmissable initiative dedicated to food and wine excellence is the summer appointment of the "Borgo DiVino" wine tour (from 23 to 25 June for 2023), an initiative promoted with the association The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy and the patronage of the National Association of Wine Cities.
On this occasion, visitors to Altomonte can taste a selection of the best local and national labels and wineries, with an educational course on wine and the right combinations at the table.
One of the most eagerly awaited events in Altomonte is the historic "Festival Euromediterraneo", a participant in art, music, theatre, literature and culture in all its forms.