Cosenza facts for kids

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Cosenza
Comune
Comune di Cosenza
Coat of arms of Cosenza
Coat of arms
Country Italy
Region Calabria
Province Cosenza (CS)
Demonym(s) Cosentini
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 87100
Dialing code 0984
Patron saint Madonna del Pilerio
Saint day February 12
Website www.comune.cosenza.it

Cosenza is a city in the Calabria region of southern Italy, located at the confluence of the rivers Busento and Crathis (Crati in Italian). The city core has a decreasing population of about 72,000, whereas the urban area counts almost 200,000 inhabitants. It is the capital of the province of Cosenza.

Thanks to its cultural past, the city is also known as the Athens of Calabria. The Cosentian Academy (Accademia Cosentina), for example, was one of the very first academies to be founded in Italy (1511). To this day, Cosenza remains an important artistic and cultural centre with several museums, countless thematic events, numerous libraries, traditional and experimental theatres, and the near-by University of Calabria.

"To call the town picturesque is to use an inadequate word," wrote George Gissing in his 1901 travelogue, By The Ionian Sea. "At every step, from the opening of the main street at the hill foot up to the stern medieval castle crowning its height, one marvels and admires."

Geography

The town stands 238 m above sea level in an intermontane valley between the Sila and the coastal range of mountains. The old town, overshadowed by its castle, descends to the River Crathis, whereas the growing modern city lies to the north, beyond the Busento, on level ground.

History

Origins

Cosenza, the ancient capital of the Italic tribe of the Bruttii (Bruzi in Italian), was a bulwark of the Italic people against the Hellenic influences of the Ionians. Over the centuries it maintained a distinctive character which marked it out among the inner cities of the region. Later, under the Emperor Augustus, Cosenza became an important stop over on the Roman via Popilia, which connected Calabria with ports to Sicily. During the Roman empire, although a colony, the town benefited from municipal privileges. Cosenza belonged to the III Region of the Western Roman Empire until its fall, therefore its destiny was strictly connected with the history of Rome.

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