Calabria: Off the Beaten Track Around Charming Rogliano

Calabria’s charming village of Rogliano and its neighbouring villages in southern Italy is definitely off the beaten track. Rogliano offers the traveller a more genuine and memorable Italian experience.

Rogliano has almost become my second home in Italy, as I often visit good friends in Le Manche, but also during the occasional house-sit. Le Manche is only a couple of kilometres from Rogliano.

Where is Rogliano?

Rogliano, Calabria, Italy

What to see in Rogliano

As Rogliano isn’t well known on a foreigner’s travel route, rest assured that the Roglianese will warmly welcome you, whilst happily sharing an espresso, crispy pastry, and a chat with you about their village.


I’ve published a couple of posts on Rogliano already that you may wish to also read at your leisure: Visiting quaint Rogliano, Southern Italy and Food Porn in Rogliano, Calabria.

The main street in Rogliano affords great photo opportunities across the sweeping Savuto Valley, whilst commemorating the local miners and the fallen.

Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Centro Storico

Rogliano’s Centro Storico (Old Town) boasts Medieval arched stone buildings, which are a pleasure to meander through whilst stumbling on the fantastic open-air art museum in the Corso.

Old Town, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Twelve local artists had six hours to create their sculptures – a delight to wander around and admire.

Sculpture, Old Town, Corso, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Love all the intricate but sometimes bizarre carvings in ancient alleyways…

carvings, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

…or bronze emblems from the past on aged wooden doors, when taking one’s time to create something unique seemed possible.

carving, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Le Manche

A short but steep drive sees you swerving up the hill from the village of Rogliano until you arrive at beautiful Le Manche for stunningly breathtaking vistas and crisp fresh air.

If you’re looking for some shopping, then Le Manche is not for you. No shops exist in this small hamlet. Only sporadic residential homes or rustic holiday huts dot the wooded hills – a paradies. You visit Le Manche to see friends, or to enjoy the clean air, sparkling mountain water, and memorable views.

Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

The Roglianese also take picnics up to the hills during the summer months, as it’s much cooler than in the village.

The area is wonderful for long walks amongst the forest albeit can be a little tough going, as it’s a steep climb to the top at around 800 metres high.

You may also meet Oscar the friendly Italian sheepdog that tends to roam the hills, although he is well looked after.

Le Manche, Rogliano, Italy, Calabria, Europe

Back at Casa Maria, a friendly menagerie awaits, with Yassie the inquisitive but apprehensive goat greeting you in her peculiar way…

goat, Le Mance, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

…and Bruno the miniature pony’s all-seeing eye follows you everywhere.

Bruno’s name should be Saruman from The Lord of the Rings, although he’s a delightful frisky soft brush and not at all evil.

pony, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Chickens, rabbits, geese, cats, dogs, and the occasional lodging bat, also make up this crazy Animal Farm, for which I love to visit and housesit.

Sunsets provide a sublime backdrop to an already dazzling panorama.

sunset, Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Winter is stunning in Le Manche.

Le Manche, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe
December-January 2018 (Photo credit: Keith Jewitt)

Tenuta Bocchineri

The Tenuta Bocchineri is a labour of love, a small “Peasant Civilisation” museum created by the welcoming Carmine Altomare.

Situated on the peaceful Bocchineri Estate just a few kilometres from Rogliano, you need to make an appointment to visit.

Tenuto Bocchineri, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

In the museum’s surrounding area and throughout the estate’s grounds, you bump into quaint curios, which Carmine is hand-crafted from local materials. And, where possible Carmine also combines existing century-old chestnut tree-trunks into his masterpieces.

Tenuto Bocchineri, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Salvaged from a poultry house, restored ancient chestnut wood doors are transformed into a storage cupboard for locally-produced wine, which serves as a very useful and attractive showcase.

Tenuto Bocchineri, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Tools from a bygone era grace the museum’s walls, reminding visitors of what life was once like in rural Calabria.

Tenuto Bocchineri, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Locals still make wines using traditional methods and implements.

Tenuto Bocchineri, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

The cute tree house on the estate built from local timbers, is to be offered on Airbnb in the future. Fancy a serene setting for a few days away in the country?

The cordoned Oak tree on the left in the following photo is the showpiece at the estate. This tree was granted “Monumental Tree” status by the State and is estimated at over 200 years old.

Tenuto Bocchineri, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

With only a little more furniture to complete the treehouse, I love how Carmine fully incorporated the tree within the house.

Tenuto Bocchineri, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Lovely peaceful picnic areas are dotted throughout the estate, which makes it pleasant just to sit and listen to the birds, or enjoy a delicious picnic lunch on the grounds.

Tenuto Bocchineri, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Carmine does hold day functions to educate visitors about what it was like long ago in rural Calabria. On these days, you receive a bottle of locally-made wine, some Calabrese sausage and of course, traditional crusty bread, wrapped up in a linen tea towel.

The day replicates but also captures a moment of what it was like for locals who worked the land. Setting off early in the mornings and not returning home until dark, this wrapped parcel of goodness is all farmers survived on whilst working.

Santa Maria alle Croci Festival

The Santa Maria alle Croci festival held in September this year to honour Santa Maria sees local delicious food stalls, Roglianese taking a passeggiata (stroll) along the cobbled streets, and a concert with Calabrese folk music. Sadly, I don’t remember this band’s name and if anyone does, please let me know so I can include it in this post.

fold band, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Check out this traditional version of one of the many Calabrese Tarantella. I’d be happy to hear any information about the origins of this song, which you may know…

Day trip from Rogliano

If you are based in Rogliano and feel like a drive for lunch somewhere and you miss the Capo Vaticano turnoff, then continue south to the Ciccio Sul Mare, Santa Maria, Ricadi (province of Vibo), which is a great spot to enjoy delicious food on the beach.

Afterwards, why not pull up a deck chair on the Spiaggia Di Ricardi and relax the rest of the day away?

Whilst you’re in the Vibo Marina vicinity, I highly recommend La Mimosa Pasticceria, which is super busy, serves excellent coffee, and wonderful pastries, but doesn’t skimp on good friendly service. Opened in 1988 so celebrating 30 years of business, surely this is a good enough reason to try La Mimosa?

Getting there

From Cosenza, it’s only a half-hour short and easy drive southeast to Rogliano, which sits at the base of the gorgeous Sila National Park.

Alternatively, if you take the train from Cosenza’s Central station, then the journey can take around 50 minutes or longer – you never can tell in this part of Italy, as trains don’t run on time.


Although I love the food created at Casa Maria, there is always the opportunity to savour local restaurants, which I’m still discovering.

L’Antico Savuto

If you’re looking for a special meal in a special restaurant in Rogliano that serves excellent local cuisine with excellent service, then L’Antico Savuto is just the place.

At a higher altitude than Rogliano, arriving during the day ensures you can absorb gorgeous Savuto Valley vistas whilst you dine.

At the time of writing in 2018, great local wine is available (€10.50+ bottle), unusual and tasty Antipasto (€8+), pasta with tender pork and artichoke, in a lemon sauce pasta (€10+), and the cover charge is €1.50 per person.

food, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Another delight – delicious mixed juicy grilled meats (€12+).

food, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Ristorante Pizzeria Bella Rogliano

Frequenting this great restaurant many times, and it is definitely worthy of another rave.

I’ve already mentioned the wonderful Pinsa made at this restaurant, which is much lighter than a pizza, so you must try this divine piece of heaven. Not many restaurants make a traditional Pinsa as it is labour and time-intensive.

food, Rogliano, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Returning to Cosenza

Need to return to Cosenza just to go on a diet and detox. I always seem to eat and drink loads when in Rogliano, so much so that I dedicated a whole post to food in Rogliano.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts on Italy.

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52 responses to “Calabria: Off the Beaten Track Around Charming Rogliano”

  1. Francis.R. Avatar

    So much beautiful, and living, art in a beautiful historical city. Is clear the culture of Rogliano continues from old times to these days. Thank you for the chronicle ^_^

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Francis, thank you for your kind feedback.
      Yes, Rogliano does have much cultural history, which I’m still discovering.

  2. The Year I Touched My Toes Avatar

    Love hearing the castanets in the tarantella. Louise

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Yes, they’re quite mesmerising.
      I just wish that someone could tell me the background of this song as although I can understand a lot of the Calabrese dialect, it’s difficult to understand in a song.

      Many thanks for your feedback Louise. 🙂

  3. Giovanni Augello Avatar

    Another great article about a beautiful corner of south Italy (for some reason unknown to many people…)
    Thanks for spreading the word!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for your feedback Giovanni and glad you enjoyed my post. I’m happy to spread the word and show tourists that there is more to Italy than Rome, Pisa, Venice, and the Amalfi. 😉

  4. Nicole Garaham Avatar

    Hi, Very Good Article. I really appreciate it. Now you got one regular visitor to your website for new topics. Keep up the Good Work Thanks for always sharing. Nicole Graham

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Nicole, thank you for your feedback and glad you like my site. Cheers, Nilla

  5. Dave Ply Avatar

    So many interesting places in the world to see, so little time. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Fully agree Dave and I’m still finding loads of very cool places here in Italy. Happy that you enjoyed my post.

  6. gillmorris Avatar

    Looks beautiful there Nilla! The scenery is fab and I’d love the food! Glad you had a great time 🙂 xx

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thanks Gill and yes, it is a very quaint and lovely village, with loads going on all the time. 😉 xx

  7. LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia Avatar

    I’ve spent a lot of time in Rogliano and it’s a great town – there old town is much bigger than it seems and has a lot of history! 🙂 Plus the views of the Savuto Valley are quite spectacular! 🙂 Great post and pics!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Lulu, thank you for the feedback and yes, the old town in Rogliano does have a lot of history. 🙂

  8. Emma & Nathan’s Travels Avatar

    Hey I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award!! I hope you can participate!!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Emma & Nathan, thank you for the nomination – very humbled and I’ll try and participate in the coming weeks. 🙂

  9. lillyevechristie Avatar

    Looks fantastic! great pictures, who doesn’t love Italy!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you and Italy is a great country to explore! Where in Italy have you been?

      1. lillyevechristie Avatar

        So far only Rome and Milan, next I would like to go tpo Florence and Sicily

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        It’s a taste, but next time you’ll have to see the more untouched areas. 😉
        Had a wonderful time visiting Pisa, Florence, Siena, and Lucca over Christmas for 12 days. I’ll be publishing my posts in a couple of months, so stay tuned for some tips…

      3. lillyevechristie Avatar

        Look forward to it!

  10. equinoxio21 Avatar

    Grazie mille for the trip. 🙂
    (I could almost smell the spices…)

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Brian! You’ll have to come over and taste the spices. Calabria is the land of the Peperoncino. 😉

  11. the eternal traveller Avatar

    We love staying a little off the beaten track in places like this. It looks like a very pretty place.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      So do I and yes it is, very quaint and not too busy, but still offers everything.

  12. susielindau Avatar

    Italy is on my bucket list! Thanks for sharing these fabulous places.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Excellent! When you get to this fabulous country, don’t forget us here in the deep south. 😉
      I’m more than happy to introduce everyone to new destinations.

      1. susielindau Avatar

        Fantastic! I’ll keep you posted.

  13. inesephoto Avatar

    What a delightful excursion, Nilla! Love all the antiquities, amazingly looking food and the scenery. Great photographs, as always.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for your great feedback Inese and glad you enjoyed my little tour.

  14. karenincalabria Avatar

    The Tenuta Bocchineri looks like fun and the monument with the hands is quite unusual — a little quirky and interesting – thanks for the tour and the scrumptious food photos!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for your feedback.
      As you know Italy does have some unusual monuments, especially in the smaller villages. I love to photograph the not-so-photographed subjects. 😉

  15. Suzanne Avatar

    Love the tree house!!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      The tree house is gorgeous and Carmine has done such a beautiful job building this and making the estate a wonderful spot for visitors.
      Thanks for your comment Suzanne!

  16. Valerie Cullers Avatar

    So beautiful!!!! Thank you for sharing the photos and words with us!!!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Valerie!
      I love to introduce travellers (and everyone) to the smaller untouched villages and away from the maddening crowd in Italy.

  17. francisashis Avatar

    Thanks a lot.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Many thanks for leaving me a comment Francis and hope you enjoyed this post.

      1. francisashis Avatar

        certainly, it was indeed a great post.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thank you again Francis for your kind feedback.

  18. neelstoria Avatar

    Looks like a nice place. Nice photo-story!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for commenting and yes, Rogliano is a lovely village.
      I popped over to your site but can’t leave you a comment as don’t think you have this WordPress function switched on yet.

      1. neelstoria Avatar

        Oh is that so? No idea what happened there as people are able to comment. Let me check. Thank you for visiting though!

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        No problem, I’ll try again.

    2. Michelle Christie Avatar
      Michelle Christie

      Wow it all looks so charming, great photos! I’m off to Rome this year it’s always been a dream of mine to visit Italy any part.

      1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thanks for the great feedback Michelle and yes, Rogliano is a charming and quieter village than other tourist destinations, especially in the north.
        Hope you have a wonderful time in Rome and look forward to reading about your travels to Italy.

  19. Emma & Nathan’s Travels Avatar

    What a beautiful hidden treasure 😊 food looks delicious too 😊

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      I’m sure you guys would love it here and it’s such a relaxed destination – just eat, drink, and chat. The food is amazing here…what more do you want? 😉

      Appreciate your feedback.

      1. Emma & Nathan’s Travels Avatar

        That’s sounds idyllic 😊 so much to see/do/eat in Italy 🇮🇹

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        A meal in Italy is not a ‘gulp it down’ fleeting moment in time but almost a ritual that takes place around the table over several hours and of course, wine.
        I love this culture. That’s why my waistline is expanding rapidly. I’ve just cooked a huge pot of pasta, which will see me several more meals yet. 😉

  20. Gavin (Firehorse) Avatar

    Wow, it looks amazing. Thank you for such a detailed guide to the area. The photos are great!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Gavin, yes the region of Calabria is amazing and relatively unknown, which makes it even better for a visitor.
      Many thanks for your kind feedback.

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