Summary. Cold fronts have been detected both in merging and in cool core clusters, where little or no sign of a merging event is present. A systematic search of sharp surface brightness discontinuities performed on a sample of 62 galaxy clusters observed with XMM-Newton shows that cold fronts are a common feature in galaxy clusters. Indeed most (if not all) of the nearby clusters (z < 0.04) host a cold front. Understanding the origin and the nature of a such frequent phenomenon is clearly important. To gain insight on the nature of cold fronts in cool core clusters we have undertaken a systematic study of all contact discontinuities detected in our sample, measuring surface brightness, temperature and when possible abundance profiles across the fronts. We measure the Mach numbers for the cold fronts finding values which range from 0.2 to 0.9; we also detect a discontinuities in the metal profile of some clusters.