Cosenza Travel Guide

  • Cosenza
    Cosenza
    by Karlie85
  • Cosenza
    by Karlie85
  • Things to Do
    by Karlie85

Cosenza Things to Do

  • The Cathedral

    The Cathedral of Cosenza is located in the historic centre of town. It was built in the 11th century and, like many other buildings in town, was destroyed by an earthquake in the later half of the century. It was consecrated by Emperor Frederick II in 1222. The Cathedral has gone through a few transformations through it's years, including baroque...

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  • Castello Svevo/Castle of Cosenza

    This castle is the work of the Saracens, originally built sometime in the 10th century. It went through several additions and changes over the years, including the addition of the octagonal tower by Emperor Frederick II of in 1239 and a portico, new entrance, stairs and cloister in the courtyard under Archbishop Capece Galeota, among many others....

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  • Castello

    The castle stands on the top of Pancrazio Hill. It was built by the Saracens on the ruins of the ancient Brutium fortress. Ruggero II of Altavilla, king of Sicily, improved the whole structure in 1130 but in 1184 a strong earthquake damaged the castle again. Then, in 1239, the Swabian emperor Frederic II added the castle two octagonal towers. He...

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  • San Francesco D'Assisi Complex

    First monastery on the spot was built by the Benedictines in the 11th century. It was destroyed completely by the earthquake of 1148. In 1217 Pietro Cathin built the San Francesco D'Assisi upon the ruins of the Benedictine monastery. In 1656 the monks rebuilt the church again to repair the damages caused by the earthquake of 1638. The monastery...

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  • Duomo

    The cathedral was built in the middle of the 11th century, but destroyed by the earthquake of 1184. The archbishop Luca Campano rebuilt it in Gothic-Cistercian (or Provençal Gothic) style. Consecrated on the occasion of Swabian emperor Frederick II's visit to the city in 1222. During the 18th century the Neapolitan archbishop Michele Capece Galeota...

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  • Old Cosenza Walking Tour #2

    From the cathedral’s square turn right and take the steps up Via del Seggio. It brings you shortly to the convent of San Francesco d'Assisi (St Francis d’Assisi). The church itself, a part of restored 13th century convent, has paintings by Wilhelm Borremans in the St Catherine chapel on the right of the nave. An early example of monastic...

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Cosenza Hotels

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Cosenza Transportation

  • Karlie85's Profile Photo

    by Karlie85 Written Jul 7, 2008

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    If you plan on exploring the area surrounding Cosenza at all, a car is a must. Although driving within town can be stressful, the highways were fairly calm, but fairly curvy. We rented our car through Avis and got a Fiat Punto, which is a small economy car. A small nimble car is definitely recommended. If you want something bigger, they had a wide range of vehicles.

    Be sure to get full insurance on your car as fender benders and door dings are very common.

    Even though the staff spoke very little English and we didn't speak much Italian, they were still very friendly.

    Directions: It is located beside a main roundabout, the Piazza Maestri del Lavaro d'Italia, which Via Pasquale Rossi runs through. It is on the northwest corner of the roundabout.

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Cosenza Local Customs

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    by Tolik Written Aug 21, 2004

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    The history of Cosenza started a very long time ago, 900 BC when a nomad people called Itali, became to live there. After the Itali people, near the 600 BC, come the people of Brutii that are the founders of the city. It was known to the ancients as Cosentia, and was the capital of Bruttium. It was conquered (338 B.C.) by Alexander of Epirus, uncle of Alexander the Great. Later it adhered to King Pyrrhus, when he invaded Italy.
    According to the ancient historian Strabo, the town very quickly accepted the Magna Greece civilization. It played an active part in the Tarentine and Punic wars. It led the Bruzi federation and was conquered by Rome in 204 BC (a stretch of a Roman pavement can be seen dug out in Via Messer Andrea). In 218 BC the people tired of Romans was allied to Hannibale and go to the second Punic war with him. But in 202 BC the Romans won at Zama and Cosenza was destroyed and rebuilt by the Roman Consul Valerius Flaccus. The Romans stay here up to the 300 AD. First castle, the famous Rocca Brezia, was built on the top of the hill. In 410 Cosenza was stormed by the Visigoth king Alaric. Struck down by malaria, he was interred here along with his booty, and the course of the river deviated to cover the traces, lending Cosenza a place in history and giving rise to countless projects to discover the hidden treasure. (Alaric was buried with his horse and his treasures in the bed of the Busento at its confluence with the Crati)

    Then, in the 12th century, Normans constructed a castle that now, considerably rebuilt, is the town-hall. The castle was enlarged by the Swabian King Frederic II in the next century. Under Swabian, Angevin and Spanish rule it became the most important town in Calabria and later that in most direct contact with Naples. In the 16th century Cosenza flourished culturally thanks partly to the formation of an Academy and to the work of philosophers such as Bernardino Telesio. Its cultural traditions won the city the nickname of “Athens of Calabria”.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

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Cosenza Warnings and Dangers

  • mikey_e's Profile Photo

    by mikey_e Written Jun 7, 2007

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    The old town is a beautiful place to wander about and it is fairly safe, so there's no problem for visitors to amble to small, winding streets at night. Be careful, however, of the city's dogs. I don't know if they are strays or simply dogs let out at night, but they are VERY territorial and are not at all friendly to visitors. I was cornered by four of them and was sure I would be attacked. I managed to back my way to safety, but it was not a friendly encounter.

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Cosenza Sports & Outdoors

  • Tolik's Profile Photo

    by Tolik Written Aug 21, 2004

    City of Cosenza located only 10 km from the Tyrenian Sea and 35 km from the Sila mountains. The city could be a base to explore the surrounding area, particularly the Sila mountains (also called the Sila Massif). Another interesting option - Camigliatello, a classical alpine village, is the most convenient spot for exploring la Sila. It is considered one of Europe's most densely wooded areas, and the most famous woods are the Bosco di Fallistro, just outside of Camigliatello. Here you'll be able to admire the giganti della Sila, trees which are over 500 years old, six feet across and 130 feet tall.

    In summer you'll find tons of opportunities for hiking (try the 3-mile climb up Mount Botte Donato for simultaneous views of the Ionian and Tyrhennian Seas); in winter, they say, this is one of Italy's best cross-country skiing areas (the 10-mile run from Monte Curcio to Mount Botte Donato is the most popular). If you're persistent or lucky, you may spot a gray wolf or a golden eagle. Be sure to sample some of the local freshwater fish and, in fall, the abundant wild mushrooms. And if there's time, take a side trip to Taverna, where the church of San Domenico houses seven paintings by Calabria's most famous artist, Mattia Preti.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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