Cosenza, Province of Cosenza, Calabria

Cosenza is situated in a valley at the junction of the Crati and Busento rivers, and has always been known for its rich cultural life. The historical center is one of the best preserved in Italy, with finely renovated palaces, medieval squares, old craftshops and lively areas full of people in the evenings.


  • Altitude: 238 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 72,000 inhabitants in 2018
  • Zip/postal code: 88100
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0961
  • Demonym: cosentini
  • Patron Saint: the Madonna del Pilerio celebrated on 12 February
  • Frazioni & Localities: Borgo Partenope, Donnici, Sant'Ippolito.


Cosenza is a very ancient town, being, according to Roman historian Strabo, the capital of the Bruttii people, and later came under the infludence of the Greek civilization. In 204 BC it was conquered by the Romans, and became an important communication center along the Via Popilia connecting Rome to Reggio and Sicily.

Here - according to the legend - Goth king Alaric died in 410 A.D. and was buried with all his fabulous treasure, somewhere in the bed of the Busento river. Here too Isabel of Aragon died after falling from her horse on the way home from the 8th Crusade.

After the Longobards, the area was occupied by the Byzantines, Aragonese, Spaniards. In the 16th century, Cosenza became the center of a flourishing Academy and here 16th-century philosopher Bernardino Telesio (1509-1588) was born.

What to see

  • In the historical center, the 12th-century Cathedral, one of the most interesting and best conserved sacred buildings in Southern Italy. Reconstructed after a disastrous earthquake in 1184, it was solemnly inaugurated in 1222 in the presence of emperor Frederick II of Swabia. The facade in the original Romanesque-benedictine style, has three gothic portals and three rosewindows. The inside of the church is divided into three naves, and contains the fine chapel of the Madonna of the Pilerio, patron saint of the city, beautiful frescoes, the sepulchre of Isabel of Aragon, the sarcophagus of Meleager.
  • In Piazza 15 Marzo, the Teatro Comunale "Alfonso Rendano", with rich opera and performances programs, a cultural center for the whole region.

The Economy

The economy is based mostly on commerce and services, though in more recent years there has been a remarkable growth of tourism, thanks to the city's position, midway between the Tyrrhenian and the Sila plateau, the uncontaminated landscapes and rich cooking traditions of cheeses, pork products, wines.

Where to stay

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Provinces of Calabria
Calabria region
Surnames in the Provinces of Calabria