Rocca Imperiale_non solo il castello
Waking up to the sweet scent of lemons, opening the window to admire a postcard-perfect landscape, strolling along the seafront letting the salt air imprint on your skin: these are unique sensations that only fairytale villages like Rocca Imperiale can offer.A stay in the “little Tropea”, a precious jewel nestled in the area of the Upper Ionian Sea in Cosenza, just a stone’s throw from Basilicata, is not easy to describe. When we think of Rocca Imperiale, we often associate the image of the town with the well-known Federician Castle, the “highlight” monument of the village; however, this is a rather reductive intuition, because the town of Rocca Imperiale has so much more to offer its tourists, starting with an unparalleled accommodation option: a bed and breakfast just steps from the Castle, a genuine “dive” into the history of the village.

Bed & Breakfast in Rocca Imperiale: The Adventure Begins

Booking a room in a B&B at the foot of the Castle is not only an economically attractive option but also offers a unique chance to move around Rocca Imperiale with ease, easily reaching the village centre, and breathing in the medieval atmosphere offered by the alleys, churches, and numerous attractions in the historic centre.Once you open your eyes after a pleasant and refreshing sleep, the adventure through the beautiful streets of Rocca Imperiale begins. Descending a steep slope, just as you reach the “Scaella” square, you already witness a first, small “miracle of nature”: just look up to admire the hills and the lush prickly pear and olive trees that colour the landscape of Rocca Imperiale.After filling our eyes with this breathtaking view, we reach the village centre by walking along the “lemon road” and admire the historic monuments of the “Pearl of the Ionian”: primarily, the Church of Santa Maria in Cielo Assunta, the most important church in Rocca Imperiale, the forerunner of the numerous religious structures in the village. Also known as the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is the first church of Rocca Imperiale, which arose around 1239 and was built in pure Romanesque style.Other noteworthy religious buildings and attractions in Rocca Imperiale include:The Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which houses very important works of art, such as the Tabernacle and an ambo near the altar, where we can admire the Baptistery, with a round bronze base depicting a dove, supporting a large marble cup. To complete the work, a bronze lid depicting a bas-relief of Saint John the Baptist at the ends;The Chapel of Carmine, small but particular, with semi-unknown origins (the structure could date back to the early 17th century), housing the statue of the Madonna del Carmine;The Sanctuary of Cesine, built under the title of Santa Maria della Nova by the will of a pilgrim prince. This tradition may conceal some truth; what is certain is that the Chapel of Cesine is linked to the cult of the Madonna della Nova, celebrated on the first and second day of July.

The Monastery of the Franciscans: Between Sacred and Profane

Not just a religious structure, but a container of varied attractions, capable of capturing the attention of both adults and children: this is the Monastery of the Franciscans in Rocca Imperiale, housing the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Municipal Library and – the icing on the cake – the fantastic Wax Museum. Inside the latter, it is possible to admire faithful life-size reproductions of some of the most important historical figures who were significant not only for Rocca Imperiale but for the entire nation, starting with Frederick II.

Sun, Sea, Lemons: The Other Side of Rocca Imperiale

The “most beautiful village in Italy” does not only offer cultural and religious places of interest to Italian and foreign tourists. Opting for an accommodation option at one of the B&Bs in the marina area of the village, it is easy to access the famous seafront of Rocca Imperiale: immersing yourself in the crystalline waters of the Ionian Sea, strolling on a clean beach, and sipping a cocktail in one of the local bars is an experience to try and, if possible, repeat endlessly.When travelling by car, it is important to consider the presence of parking areas near the seafront: these are free parking spaces, so they are not always available. Another aspect to consider when planning your holiday in Rocca Imperiale is the “extra” fun that you can enjoy by bringing equipment like quads, canoes, or motorcycles from home: there are indeed some aspects that shopkeepers and the Administration are trying to improve to make the stay in the village unforgettable for their guests.It is precisely on the unique morphology of this village that the locals are focusing to attract the most varied types of tourists possible. Rocca Imperiale is an ideal location for trekking enthusiasts, as well as for water sports lovers – in the area of Scoglio Cervaro, near Nova Siri and Policoro, in the spring months, students from vocational institutes are given the opportunity to take part in boating lessons; it is also possible to participate in quad excursions in Oriolo, a town near the village.Lastly, we cannot fail to mention the “winning fruit” of Rocca Imperiale: the PGI lemon, the gold of the village, whose scent from the numerous lemon groves in the area intoxicates the village alleys, from the centre to the beach, giving tourists an “olfactory” memory impossible to forget.