Food and frivolity around Cosenza, Calabria: Part 3

July-October, 2017

With so much food and frivolity around Cosenza, Calabria in southern Italy, this is my Part 3!

Cosenza, Calabria, ItalyCosenza but also Calabria is an untouched region of Italy and as I’ve mentioned before, not on many tourist destination lists.

With that said, you can be assured of warm hospitality and a real Italian experience, when you visit this area.

For a city of around 100,000, it is still very friendly in Cosenza, which hosts loads of events of which most are free.

My previous posts on this same topic: Food and frivolity around Cosenza, Calabria and Food and frivolity around Cosenza, Calabria: Part 2.

Tip: This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

Free concert in Piazza Bilotti

This Piazza is a great gathering place but also a space for children to kick footballs around, rollerblading, cycling or just strolling around, especially during the evening.

sculpture, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Piazza Bilotti’s iron sculpture

Decided to venture out tonight for a free concert in the Piazza, which starts after 22:00 hrs.

Corso Mazzini is thick with people tonight as I weasel my way through the crowds to Bilotti – just like New Year’s Eve.

Free concerts always draw massive crowds in the city. Francesco Gabbani and his band tonight proved extremely popular with half of Calabria here!

Gabanni, Cosenza, calabria, Italy
Popular in Italy, Francesco Gabbani in Piazza Bilotti (Photo credit: Cosenza 2.0)
concert, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Not Francesco but yet another free concert in Bilotti
Gelato, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Only during the summer months
Bilotti, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Not sure why these guys were set up on a different day to the concerts

Old Town free piano concert

Some of you may have heard of Michael Nyman – famous English Composer and Pianist from numerous movie soundtracks he has written, but arguably, the most famous is The Piano (1993). Tonight Mr Nyman is playing at an open-air concert in the Old town.

Arriving a little earlier, we started walking up the old cobbled road that leads through the Old Town. Passing many small Piazza’s along the way, which had some sort of live band playing. It’s a balmy summer’s eve and Cosenza is definitely making an effort to draw people out of their homes, by enticing locals into the city from surrounding areas. Free music and concerts surely does this?

Arriving at the Piazza XV Marzo, finding a seat, we settled in, and of course, Mr Nyman started late. Although I haven’t seen this pianist perform live, I have to say that this perhaps was not one of his better nights.

Dropping his sheet music when first seated, set the scene.

Old Town, concert, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Michael Nyman under a summer’s sky

A few mistakes were made and he didn’t seem to play his instrument with any passion, but more mechanically playing the notes. Regardless, it is lovely to sit out under the southern Italian sky during this warm evening and enjoy this moment with friends.

Following the concert and a walk back down through the still lively Old Town at around midnight, a drink at the Mary Jane Pub to relax was in order. Great night!

Lunch at Ristorante Calabria Bella

After watching a good friend at her excellent PHD presentation, the next stop is lunch at the Ristorante Calabria Bella, near the Duomo in the Old Town.

Cosenza, food, Calabria, italy
This is what my good friend Carlos thinks of me (Photo credit: Carlos Farelo)

I cannot fault this restaurant for it’s excellent quality of food and service. The typical Calabrese meals were divine and not stingy. Feasting for several hours in true Italian fashion, I was in a food coma, and it was ‘nil by mouth’ (water an exception) until breakfast the following morning!

Staff arrived with Rosé wine, water, and snacks on the table whilst people arrived. As soon as everyone was seated the Antipasto arrived with a selection of Salami, cheese, pickled mushrooms and vegetables, and much more. The wine kept flowing.

Primi plate arrived with two types of pasta neatly divided on the large plate. One side was scrumptious Strigoli al Fungi, Pesto, with Parmigiano and the other side adorned with Fusilli a la Bolognese – both were amazingly delicious.

The Secondi plate arrived and is also divine. One side has a backed chicken roll and the other the most tender meat in a Calabrese sauce, accompanied with Patate Rosolate al forno (wonderful baked potatoes) and some greens, at which point I was going to explode!

Everyone was then served a plate of cold fresh fruit of many types, followed by a heavenly chocolate cake to celebrate, Espresso, and a glass of liqueur. Following each course, staff arrived with a serving plate piled with food, just to see whether anybody wanted more…so much food!

I believe that the custom here is if you are invited out, then the person doing the inviting picks up the bill. This would never work in Australia, as I’d need a small mortgage each time.

More food in Cosenza

Food options in Cosenza are never-ending, as of course, not only do Italians love their food, but I also do – my waist is a testament! And with Supermarkets that offer slabs of cheese and other delicacies at quite cheap prices, isn’t it any wonder?

For a special treat, when in Italy, you must try the Crema di Caffè. This refreshing, creamy (loaded with calories), smooth ice-cream-like deliciousness in a cup, is amazing. The closest food I can compare this to is a coffee Gelato that you can drink or spoon out like a mousse.

Cafe, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
New favourite summer indulgence: devilish Crema di Caffè at the Bar Ritrovo Matteotti Gelataria

Pop Gelataria

One of the many stops along Corso Mazzini in Cosenza, which serves good Gelato (€2+) with many flavours to choose from and great friendly service.

This Gelataria is always crowded, so it must be pretty special.

La Tagliere Pizzaria Ristorante

Tucked away down a little side lane (Via Idria, 6), you’ll bump into this very rowdy but excellent non-pretentious restaurant. I think it may be family-run.

With checkered table cloths on tables that are so close you can comfortable reach over and sneak a pizza of another table while you wait, don’t expect a quiet romantic dinner.

The pizzas are excellent, starting from €5 and the Tagliere (wooden board full of delicious Antipasti) at €10 is scrumptious.

Le Vele Caffè

Try a gourmet Gelato (€1.50+) in this bright and airy Caffè.

Different and unique Gelato flavours to most Gelato bars in Cosenza are offered, such as tantalising and refreshing caramalised fig. Yoghurt, Caffè, and Aperitivi are also on the Caffè’s menu. Very friendly staff.


If you’re fanging for some regular toast as it’s not common here in the south, then stop by Toast-It, Via Brenta 11, for some delicious filled massive toast sandwiches.

Great service from staff, and various beverages are also available.


In pursuit of the ever-illusive Asian ingredients in Calabria (I know sad with all this wonderful food), a friend advised that if this supermarket on Via Rivocati, 136 didn’t have the items, then nowhere in Cosenza would…so it’s definitely worth a visit, right?

Supermarket, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Small selection of cheese, by the slab

Well, sort of…I found a few more Asian ingredients but nothing worthy of buying.

Apart from more gourmet items, this supermarket is more expensive than others that I mentioned in my previous Cosenza post. Although…delicious Tortes are sold and the supermarket also hosts a whole room dedicated to wine!

Supermarket, wine, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Wine room

Shops galore continued

The numerous and diverse shops along the pedestrian precinct Corso Mazzini, seems never-ending, with more opening up each month.

I haven’t listed any clothes shops in this post as there are just too many.

You will probably also need some toiletry basics at some point during your travels, so Splendidi e Splendidi is the shop.

Splendidi e Splendenti

Along Via P Rossi, 35/37, this shop is stocked with loads of well-priced toiletries, face creams, beauty products, and cleaning products for your home. A good alternative to the larger supermarkets if you’re in this area.

There is more to write on Cosenza’s food and frivolity in the future, so, stay tuned for the next chapter.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more images. More posts on Italy at Image Earth Travel.

A couple more food shots as I experiment with different dishes…

mousse, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Bailey’s chocolate mousse with Rum cream, chocolate chips, and chocolate shavings
Food, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
My Asian chicken fried rice in Italy!

39 thoughts on “Food and frivolity around Cosenza, Calabria: Part 3

Add yours

  1. Proud of my Cosenza!!!!
    I sadly left my city and family 3 years ago to a better future in Canada. But Cosenza runs in my veins every single day!
    Beautiful posts! I enjoyed reading your adventures!
    You should go visit a little Salumeria in the old town, located in Cosenza Casali – Antica Salumeria Spadafora. You should try the famous panino with Mortadella e Rosamarina! It is heaven! Say to the owner CIAO for me!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, thank you for your great feedback and glad my post brought back memories. I love living in Cosenza.
      I will definitely try the Salumeria in the Old Town as I’m only a 10-minute walk from there but what is your name so I can say ciao to the owner from you?


  2. Goodness me Italy is such a wonderful country to visit. This Crema di Caffe looks sooooooooo good. Doesn`t matter how many calories, we live only once :P. Yuuum!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Ýes, they are, and also frustrating me as we are not able to schedule a visit as of yet not many people advertising for housesitters so keep your ears open for us 🙂 Are you getting sick of me reminding you of this 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How I wish it was April again…not being particularly found of winter-time and the first snow, although briefly, felt down today, brrrrrr.
    Love the picture of the “Gelato-bike” 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

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