Summer in Diamante: sea, art and events

Diamante, the "City of Murals and Chilli Pepper"
cs-diamante (1)

© Regione Calabria

Art and Culture

Among the must-see locations for summer holidays in Calabria, Diamante, the "City of murals and chilli pepper" in the province of Cosenza, is the perfect synthesis of art, gastronomy, sea and major events.

Discover the authentic beauty of a jewel overlooking the Alto Tirreno Cosentino, which is told through the painted facades of its houses and the unmistakable flavour of "spicy Calabria".

What to see in Diamante

A holiday in Diamante, one of the most characteristic centres of the Riviera dei Cedri, is an experience that conquers the five senses. Don't you believe it?

It starts with the sight, with the bright colours and harmony of Diamante's murals, which embellish the streets and squares of the town and tell its story; it continues with taste and smell, inebriating oneself with a typical lunch based on the famous Diamante chilli pepper; it moves on to touching handmade souvenirs in the small shops of the centre, for a purchase that tastes of tradition, and it ends in beauty listening to a concert overlooking the sea, amid ancient archaeological remains.

Let's start with a visit to the historic centre and discover one by one the precious murals that follow one another in a veritable open-air museum. A colourful story that began in 1981, when the painter Nani Razzetti and the mayor at the time, Evasio Pascale, invited some of the world's most appreciated artists to Diamante to fresco the walls of the houses. An operation that, if today it has caught on just about everywhere in revitalising small abandoned towns, was innovative and far-sighted at the time.

Today, there are over 200 murals in Diamante and they adorn the entire town, depicting scenes of everyday life, glimpses of the area and fishing stories.

Regione Calabria

The walk continues with a visit to the 17th-century Church of the Immaculate Conception, in Baroque style, inside which the Chapel of the Souls in Purgatory contains a series of wooden sculptures, votive offerings from the wealthy families of the time, including the monumental statue of the Immaculate Conception, carved from a single olive trunk in 1656 at the behest of Prince Tiberio Carafa.

Walking down to the Lungomare Vecchio (Old Promenade), dubbed the "Salotto di Diamante" (Diamond Living Room) with its panoramic balconies, one can admire the Riviera dei Cedri at sunset and the outline of one of Calabria's two small islands, the Island of Cirella.

A true natural paradise, Cirella is covered in lush Mediterranean scrub and features the remains of the watchtower erected by the Viceroys of Naples to defend against Saracen raids (9th century). Dotted with caves, small inlets and reefs, Cirella Island is an ideal habitat for the rare Posidonia oceanica and the Pinna nobilis, the largest bivalve in the Mediterranean, a protected species.

Regione Calabria

Diamante, between art and festivals

From the islet to the settlement of the same name, the archaeological site of ancient Cirellae, or the original nucleus, the step is short and results in a further thrill to be experienced during a holiday in Diamante.

Strolling through the Ruderi di Cirella, the ancient landing place attributed by Pliny the Elder to the Phocians (a Greek colony in Asia Minor) between 600 and 550 B.C., one feels the thrill of a lost era coming back to life through a series of artistic and cultural events.

The Teatro dei Ruderi in Cirella, for example, is now the magical setting for one of the most eagerly awaited summer festivals in Calabria, attracting international artists with concerts and shows of unforgettable charm.

Also not to be missed is the traditional "Diamante Peperoncino Festival", entirely dedicated to the king of local gastronomy: his majesty, the Calabrian chilli pepper.

The city of Diamante has been paying tribute to this prized spice since 1992, with a cultural-gastronomic event that alternates tastings and entertainment, conceived by journalist Enzo Monaco to mark the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas.

Regione Calabria

Ultimo aggiornamento: Feb 16, 2024 8:40 AM