Cosenza, in deep Calabria, stands hidden in a valley that runs between the high plateau of the Sila and the mountains that back the coastline. It’s a true mountain town, with long, cold winters and broiling summers. People come here for access to the mountainous region that forms the Parco Nazionale della Sila, a true wilderness area with superb flora and fauna, that offers outstanding walking and opportunities for outdoor activities.
Cosenza has always been a cultural hub, with a university, museums and churches. The main sights are in the old town, which is topped by the massive ruins of a Swabian castle, its narrow streets tumbling down the hill to the River Crati. The Duomo dates from the 13th century, and you can also visit other churches, the town’s gallery and museum or the open-air sculpture collection, known as the Museo all’Aperto Bilotti, in the area of the new town to the north.