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I like hilltowns with jazz. Knowing that inclination, a friend in Pitigliano said, go to Fiumefreddo Bruzio, and on that, I bussed to Calabria, arriving after Florence, Rome and Naples. This was years ago.
I remember walking up the walkway to Castello della Valle, following the rest. Art was by Salvatore Fiume. Bravo to him. One of this regions many masters. To tell you the truth, I love it.
I consulted the tour guide:
“Fiumefreddo Bruzio is a work of art, carved from the stone it sits on.”
We’d come in through the Porta Sopra and ….
More exquisite in than out. There was a cat, walking these walls and courtyards. Hunting between these structures, up staircases, and down, along another floraled wall, and then gone.
A glimpse of the centro storico
I was silenced, there were others, also silenced by what they saw.
One of the first things I noticed – it's quiet in Fiumefreddo Bruzio.
Then to the grand dame we went. The Chiesa Madre. Such gravitas, and inside so quiet. This church, this town have so many stories weaved through them. But it is a grounded place. Real stories of life lived at a slower pace. A place to find peace, to feel closer to God.
You know what its like when travelling.
Always something more to surprise you.
Back to the present…
The Residenza d'Epoca Borgodifiume, on call 24. The restaurant faces you country-ward. Try cycling. Or take siesta on comfy beds before heading off for a passeggiata.
Residenza Matilde is for the made person. Fiumefreddo Bruzio is ideal for us elder folk, who like it quiet. The youth look fine, but the older crowd seem to be having more fun. We are more acclimatized, have the right amount of vermouth in our icy Americanos.
These are just impressions from years before, when I wanted to experience everything. Every level is catered to here. If on a budget, having Fiumefreddo Bruzio on your list helps the money go a long way. If you aren’t on a budget, flaunt it - you'll get far more value for your money here than say in Venice or Rome. The point I’d make is, the good life is had in Fiumefreddo Bruzio at a very reasonable price.
One of my favorite spots.
As served to America, it is authentic. In Calabria, Americans are welcomed home, with basil, tomatoes and olives.
The cheeses! I can but sigh.
Filiciata is soft cheese curdled in ferns… yes, can you imagine? You’ll love what the waiter brings you. I talk a lot about the food on my blogs; you may know me as quite the foodlover, but just now, rather than talk about the food I must mention the party.
Fiumefreddo Bruzio is where we dance. Plates are cleared, wine is held onto, people get on tables, and so starts the Tarantella Calabria. Or we sit, and the accordion comes out, dancers join hands and the circling starts. It’s infectious.
Dish: Antipasti at Aru Castagnu: tomato, eggplant, potato, zucchini, salami, cheeses, spicy Calabrian style
Wine: Greco di Bianco
Best reason to come: hands down the Tarantella.
Here you come to a party town, a slow town, and above all, a quiet town.
Fiumefreddo Bruzio is hard to find, accessed via a delightful mountain road, by a car We tend to prefer Discover Cars when travelling for their great deals. Another good option is AutoEurope who offer useful Italian travel tips too.
Fuimefreddo Station is on a local network; lovely for daytripping along the coast. Many hotels have shuttles.
The main town in the area is Cosenza, from where busses do run, direct to Fiumefreddo Bruzio.
Closest airport Lamezia Terme International. 40 kms away.