Castrocaro Terme e Terra del Sole, Emilia-Romagna
Castrocaro Terme e Terra del Sole is a comune located in the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy in the province of Forli-Cesena. The town is located close to the cities of Forli and Bologna.
Castrocaro is basically made up of three small towns namely Terra Del Sole, Castrocaro and Pieve Salutare. The most interesting one is Terra Del Sole which was founded in the 16th century as a fortress. It is also believed that the town has been built on the site of the ancient city of Solona. As a whole, Castrocaro is quite a small town, spread over an area of 38 sq km and with a population of close to 6500.
Getting to Castrocaro Terme e Terra del Sole
Castrocaro is located close to Bologna and Forli. Visitors coming from other parts of Italy can reach Bologna by train or by flights and then reach the town by buses or taxis. Buses frequently depart from Forli and Bologna for Castrocaro. There are state buses as well as private buses available from these locations so travelling by bus is quite comfortable. Those who have their own cars can easily drive down from either of these two locations since Forli is located only 10 km from the town and Bologna is 60 Km from Castrocaro.
Moving Around the Town
Castrocaro is quite a small town, with an area of just 38 sq km. The older section of the town can only be visited on foot since it has very narrow lanes and streets, not open for cars. Parking spots are available right outside the town walls in Terra Del sole. Terra Del Sole is the only section in the town where all the attractions are concentrated so visitors can easily cover them all within a day. Visitors who have their own cars can drive to the other newer sections of the town. Castrocaro is known for its beautiful landscape and its medieval like streets so walking around the town can be quite enjoyable.
Attractions in Castrocaro Terme e Terra Del Sole
Terra Del Sole
Terra Del Sole is the ancient section of Castrocaro which attracts most tourists to the town. This part of the town was built in 1564 as a town by Baldassarre Lanci of Urbino for Cosimo I de Medici. Terra Del Sole became quickly popular because it was the first fortified town to be built completely from scratch from a grid plan. The original plan had been made to make it an ideal Renaissance town.
The town is built on a rectangular plan. The inner wall is square and there is a bastion on each corner. The town was built not just for residential purpose but also for defense requirements to protect the settlement from attacks of the invaders. The walls are even 9 meters thick in a few locations. In all the walls are 12 meters high and 2000 meters wide and within them the settlements are located and are divided by streets.
There are two small castles located within the town and were inhabited by the governor and the captain of the town. The town is divided into four quarters. The main piazza of the town is known as Piazza d'Armi. The piazza is the center of the town and is surrounded by several important buildings. The church of Santa Reparta, Palazzo Della Cancelleria and Palazzo del Provveditore are all located at the main piazza. The Palazzo Pretorio and the other civic bodies of the town are also located close by.
Terra Del Sole still stands strong today and is the center of tourism in the commune. Most tourists come to the town to get a glimpse into the medieval structure of the town and see what life must have been like there in the 16th century. People continue to inhabit the town and several small settlements have also sprung up outside the walls of the town.
Stay and Accommodation
Castocaro Terme e Terra Del Sole is quite a small town but it does attract quite a lot of tourists that come here to enjoy its medieval structure in Terra Del Sole. Quite a lot of people from Italy as well as from other countries come to get a glimpse into a pure 16th century township. There are a few good hotels, Bed and Breakfasts in the town as well as some country homes and farm houses in the outskirts of the town which can be rented by visitors. Also, because of the proximity of the town to Bologna and Forli many visitors prefer to stay in those cities and visit Castocaro as a day excursion. Some of the best hotels in town are Grand Hotel Terme, Hotel Eden, Hotel Ariston, Rosa Del Deserto hotel and Jolly Hotel Castrocaro. There are also a few residences managed by agritourism that provide authentic country style living accommodations for those who do not prefer hotels.
Eating in Castrocaro
There are plenty of options in terms of restaurants and pizzerias in Castrocaro Terme del Sole. The town has quite a lot of good places to eat where the locals generally prefer to eat. Food here is mostly Italian and regional specialties, however, a few places also serve fast food and other European cuisines. There are also a few bars and cafes in Castrocaro Terme. Some of the best restaurants in Castrocaro Terme are Ristorante Enoteca La Frasca, Ristorante pizzeria II Laghetto, Ristorante pizzeria Nuovo Bel Sid, Ristorance Catinaza, ristorante Cantinaza, Ristorante La Postierla and pizzeria Della Loggia Di Atzori Mauro.
Shopping in Castrocaro Terme e Terra del Sole
There are only a few places in Castrocaro Terme where visitors can shop. Throughout the town and especially close to Terra Del Sole there are quite a lot of small shops where visitors can find terracotta pottery, handicrafts, lace and silk cloths but most of these are quite expensive. The best things to purchase in Castrocaro Terme is local wine and cheese since the town is mainly famous for these.