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Città di Castrovillari
The massif of Pollino  seen from Mimmo Rende Stadium
The massif of Pollino
seen from Mimmo Rende Stadium
Coat of arms of Castrovillari
Coat of arms
Castrovillari within the Province of Cosenza and Calabria
Castrovillari within the Province of Cosenza and Calabria
Castrovillari is located in Italy
Location of Castrovillari in Italy
Coordinates: 39°49′N 16°12′E / 39.817°N 16.200°E / 39.817; 16.200
Country Italy
Region Calabria
Province / Metropolitan city Cosenza (CS)
Frazioni Cammarata, Ciminito, Vigne
 • Mayor Domenico Lo Polito
 • Total 130 km2 (50 sq mi)
Elevation 362 m (1,188 ft)
Population (31 August 2013)
 • Total 22,383
 • Density 170/km2 (450/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Castrovillaresi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 87012
Dialing code 0981
Patron saint St. Iulian
Saint day January 27
Website Official website

Castrovillari is a town and comune in the province of Cosenza in the Calabria region of southern Italy.


Castrovillari lies in north of Calabria, close to the borders with Basilicata and within the Pollino National Park. The town is situated in the middle of a huge arena shaped by mountains including Pollino (2,248 m) and Dolcedorme (2,273 m), within the Pollino National Park.

The town borders with the municipalities of Lungro, Cassano allo Ionio, Cerchiara di Calabria, Chiaromonte (PZ), Civita, Frascineto, Morano Calabro, San Basile, San Lorenzo Bellizzi, San Lorenzo del Vallo, Saracena, Spezzano Albanese, Viggianello and Terranova di Pollino.


The name derives probably from the medieval Latin castrum villarum, meaning "fortress of the villas". The place is inhabited since prehistoric times. The city was founded, or better fortified, in the Middle Ages during the wars between the Lombards and the Byzantine Empire; the name comes from a more ancient fortress called "Sassonion" or "Saxonion", so the "Castron" appeared in some documents as "Neon Sassonion", likely the ancient Byzantine name corresponding to the medieval Latin "Castrum Villarum". Officially the city entered the history in 1064 AD when the "Castra" was occupied by Norman warriors led by Robert Guiscard. In 1090, during the earldom of his son Roger Borsa, the sanctuary of "Saint Mary of the Castle" Madonna del Castello was built.

During the House of Hohenstaufen rule in southern Italy, the town obtained the title of city and was the starting point for the evangelization of Calabria by the Minor Friars Order, founded by St. Francis from Assisi.

The first Franciscan Monastery in Calabria ("Protoconvento francescano") was built here in 1220 by Pietro Cathin from Sant'Andrea of the Marca, the first Order's Prior in Calabria. the castle was built in 1490 during the Aragonese rule in southern Italy.

Main sights[edit]

  • Castello Aragonese
  • Ponte della Catena (Bridge of the Chain), connecting the two halves of the city
  • church of San Giuliano
  • Franciscan protoconvent
  • church of Madonna del Castello


The town was served, until 1978,[1] by a railway station on the now abandoned narrow gauge line Lagonegro-Lauria-Castrovillari-Spezzano Albanese, owned by the regional company Ferrovie della Calabria.

It is crossed by the A2 motorway (Salerno-Reggio Calabria) and served by two exits: "Castrovillari-Morano Calabro" and "Castrovillari-Frascineto".


Castrovillari local chess team plays in the second division of the Italian team competition. Regarding football, the most representative team is the U.S. Castrovillari Calcio, commonly known as Castrovillari. The team played for several seasons in the Serie C2,[2] the fourth highest football league in Italy and the lowest with a professional status. Its home ground is the "Mimmo Rende Stadium".


  1. ^ (in Italian) Historical infos about the Lagonegro-Castrovillari-Spezzano railway
  2. ^ Now Lega Pro Seconda Divisione

External links[edit]