|As one of the most charming towns in the province of Cosenza, Altomonte ( high mountain) is also known as the "Wedding City" thanks to the beautiful setting it offers, attracting couples from Calabria, and abroad.
It was first a feud belonging to the powerful Sangineto family and later to the Sanseverino.
In ancient times it was known as Balbiano and was famous for its wine.
Later, in 1065, the name was changed to "Brahalla", then Bragalla and finally, in 1343 the town received its current name of Altomonte, at the behest of Queen Giovanna II of Naples.
The town has preserved its medieval setting with houses that lean against each other and narrow alleys.
The integrated nature of the Pellegrino mountains and a picturesque landscape overlooking the valley of the river Esaro come together to provide a rich artistic and cultural heritage of churches and palaces, arches and rosettes and masterpieces of fourteenth century Tuscany.
Altomonte is also an important tourist attraction both for
its artistic treasures and the natural beauty of the area.
It is listed as one of Italy's most beautiful hamlet where hospitality and friendliness are the valuable corollary to the historical-artistic and naturalistic that it possesses.
Dominating the Esaro Valley is the church , located on the highest part of the village.
The building is also the main attraction of the historic center, dedicated to Santa Maria della Consolazione, built around the end of XIV and restored in the XVII, an important example of Gothic-Angevin architecture.
Inside there's the sepulcher of Filippo Sangineto, who was a land owner living there.
Many of its works of art have been transferred to the nearby museum of the same name (open daily from 9.00 to 13.00 and from 15.00 to 19.00).
The museum has a variety of works of art on display, tablets, sculptures, inlaid work, canvases and sacred vestments from the 17th/18th century.
While the Norman tower known as Torre Palotta holds the art gallery...
The Pallotta tower
...the local hotel is to be found in the castle close by,
The hall inside the castle
The town hall is located in a restored mini monastery around the corner from the hotel.
The Dominican monastery , built in 1440, houses the library, where you can also admire the cloister of the same age, here, Tommaso Campanella took refuge before being arrested.
Below San Francis's church the patron Saint
The surface of the territory is about 65.29. dotted with olive grove and wine yards producing native wines Balbini, an ancient wine also praised by Pliny the elderly.
Other local crops are citrus orchards, legumes, wheat, barley and vegetables
The Medieval Exhibit : The work of art present in this exhibit of the museum, all of the highest quality, testify that the patronage of feudal lords Philip Sangineto and Covella Ruffo Sanseverino, followed the taste and the style of the royal court of Naples, first that of the Angevin dynasty followed by that of the Durazzo.
Tommaso Campanella was the son of a poor and illiterate cobbler, he entered the Dominican Order before the age of fifteen, taking the name of fra' Tommaso in honour of Thomas Aquinas. He studied theology and philosophy with several masters.
Early on, he became disenchanted with the Aristotelian orthodoxy and attracted by the empiricism of Bernardino Telesio (1509–1588), who taught that knowledge is sensation and that all things in nature possess sensation. Campanella wrote his first work, Philosophia sensibus demonstrata ("Philosophy demonstrated by the senses"), published in 1592, in defence of Telesio.
In Naples he was also initiated in astrology; astrological speculations would become a constant feature in his writings. Campanella's heterodox views, especially his opposition to the authority of Aristotle, brought him into conflict with the ecclesiastical authorities. Denounced to the Inquisition and cited before the Holy Office in Rome, he was confined in a convent until 1597.