Panorama of Catanzaro, Top left: Panorama view of Crotone Street and Ionian Sea at Catanzaro Lido, Top right: Statue of Bernardino Grimaldi in Margheria Park (Villa Margheria), Bottom upper left: Cavatore Fountain in Matteotti Square (Piazza Matteotti), Bottom lower left: Filippos Avenue (Viale de Filippis), Bottom right: Night view of Morandi Viaduct Bridge
The archbishop's seat was the capital of the province of Calabria Ultra for over 200 years. It houses the University "Magna Græcia", the second largest university in Calabria.
Catanzaro is an urban centre, with much activity, including some coastal towns, such as Sellia Marina and Soverato, and the municipalities of Silas, with a total of 156,196 inhabitants. Catanzaro is being consolidated to form a greater metropolitan area, by the Region of Calabria, and in connection with the town of Lamezia Terme, comprising 10 municipalities. This will lead to the creation of an integrated area involving over 200,000 inhabitants.
During the summer months, the Ionian coast from Catanzaro to Soverato is an important tourist attraction, especially for the youth, and is in the presence of several important structures located in the coastal districts of the city and the towns of Copanello and Soverato.
Catanzaro is also known as city of the three V's, referring to the three distinct features of the city, namely Saint Vitalian, the patron saint; velvet, because the city has been an important silk center since Byzantine times; and wind (vento in Italian), because of the strong breezes from the Ionian Sea and La Sila.
"VVV" was the symbol by which Catanzaro's silk industry was known, identified for both its domestic and foreign markets, and iconic for the finest fabrication of silks, velvets, damasks, and brocades from the city.
Catanzaro overlooks the Gulf of Squillace, in the Ionian Sea. The district of Catanzaro stretches from the sea to an elevation of 600 metres (2,000 ft). The historic center is approximately 300 metres (980 ft) above sea level. The town dates back to the valley of Fiumarella (formerly known as River Zaro). The Bishopric, St. Tryphon (or San Rocco) and St. John (or castle) marks the city's historical center and is connected to the North Sila. Due to its particular geography, the municipality gets wet from the sea, and is still subjected to a snowy winter. Catanzaro's rivers include the main stream of the Fiumarella (in local dialect Hjiumareddha), which joins with the river Musofalo, and the torrent Corach (formerly called Crotalo).