San Nicola Arcella, in the province of Cosenza, and the region of Calabria, has a history dating back 1,000 years; so, it was quite photogenic and fun to poke around. It was small (less than 1,400 residents), so the entire town could be seen on foot. It was quite hilly, though, so it would not be the easiest to navigate for those who are less mobile. The cobblestones also would make it difficult for those confined to a wheelchair.
For me, this is just the type of town I love to explore. I got a good workout in while doing photography and enjoying the visual stimulation.
There were murals throughout the oldest part of town depicting San Nicola Arcella’s history, which I found to be quite unique and charming.
At night, the town comes alive with tourists and locals strolling the streets and dining in the cafes. I especially enjoyed how pretty the old, colorfully-painted buildings looked with the lights shining on them.
We were fortunate to be there at the time of a festival celebrating Saint Nicola. As it so happened, while we were exploring the town on foot, we turned a corner and saw the procession coming our way from the church above and headed for the stage set up in the plaza. Talkin’ about being at the right place at the right time!
Our timing was perfect as well for our 7:30 PM dinner reservation at Johnny’s Pizzeria. After the blessing for Saint Nicola ended at the plaza, the procession continued down the pedestrian street, so we followed along with the crowd. When we arrived at Johnny’s, it was exactly 7:30 PM!
We hadn’t done any research on restaurants in San Nicola Arcella, but we liked the ambience of Johnny’s (and the great smell of the pizza!) each time we had walked by, and the menu looked enticing, so we gave it a try. As it turned out, it’s the top-ranked pizza in town (on Trip Advisor), and we enjoyed our pizza and appetizer very much!
By the time we left the restaurant, the blue and white festival lights were glowing above. Beautiful!
Everything about that night in San Nicola Arcella was magical. Just the two of us, exploring on our own, observing the town’s festival, dining on delicious pizza, and enjoying the nightlife; it was perfect!
Next up: San Nicola’s beautiful beach and coast.