Cosenza-Calabria
Cosenza is a town and comune in the Calabria region of southern Italy, on the Crati River. It is the capital of Cosenza province.

Geography
The town stands 238 m above sea level at the confluence of the Busento and Crati rivers in an intermontane valley between the Sila and the coastal range of mountains. The old town, overshadowed by its castle, descends to the River Crati, whereas the growing modern city lies to the north, beyond the Busento, on level ground. The historic city centre is crossed by the winding Corso Telesio.

History

Origins
Cosenza, the ancient capital of the Italic tribe of the Bruttii, was a bulwark of the Italic people against the Hellenic influences of the Ionians. Over the centuries Cosenza maintained a distinctive feature which marked it out among the inner cities of the region. Later, under the Emperor Augustus, Cosenza became an important halting place along the via Popilia, the Roman route which connected Calabria with Sicily. During the same period the town benefited some municipal privileges, although it was a colony. 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.

Legend of King Alaric
In 410, the town was besieged by Alaric I, king of the Visigoths, but it escaped devastation thanks to the king's sudden death, probably caused by malaria. The story tells that, according to their habits, the invaders diverted the flow of the river Busento, buried the king in its riverbed and later returned the river to its original path. This legendary event, which was also sung by the German poet August von Platen, originated the myth of a fabulous treasure, booty of Alaric's raids and buried along with him.

Norman, Hohenstaufen and Angevin period
Bitterly fought for by the Saracens and the Lombards, the town was destroyed and then rebuilt around 988; it was then ravaged once again at the beginning of the 11th century. In the attempt to escape the devastation, the population left the town and took shelter on the surrounding hills where they built some small suburbs (which are still denominated Casali). During the first half of the same century Calabria became a feudal dukedom of the Normans, with Cosenza as its capital.

The town soon rebelled against the domination of Roger Guiscard and was then captured after a long siege. The town took part in the conquest of the Holy Sepulchre with its crusaders led by the Archbishop Pietro. Cosenza's archdiocese was one of the most ancient of the region, its foundation dating back to the 6th century AD; it maintained its importance over the ages and counted more than 130 parishes. Subsequently, under the Hohenstaufen domination, the town became the seat of the Court of Calabria (Curia Generale). The Emperor Frederick II had a particular interest in the town; he promoted the planning of new buildings and fostered economic activities, organising an important annual fair.

The Cathedral was rebuilt and then consecrated in 1222; in 1242 his Frederick's son Henry was buried there. Subsequently, Cosenza bitterly fought against the Angevin domination supported by the clergy. While the uprising spread through the valley of the Crati river, the town was involved in the ups and downs of the fight between the Angevins and the Aragonese. In 1432 the King Louis III of Anjou settled in the Castle with his wife Margaret of Savoy. When she died untimely, in 1434, she was buried in the Cathedral.

The Norman, Swabian and Angevin period
Bitterly fought for by the Saracens and the Longobards the town was destroyed and then rebuilt around 988; it was then ravaged once again at the beginning of the XI century. In the attempt to escape the devastation, the population left the town and took shelter on the surrounding hills where they built some small suburbs (which are still denominated Casali). During the first half of the same century Calabria became a dukedom of the Normans and Cosenza was its capital. The town soon rebelled against the domination of Roger the Guiscard and it was then taken out after a long siege. The town took part in the conquest of the Holy Sepulchre with its crusaders led by the Archbishop Pietro. Cosenza's archdiocese was one of the most ancient of the region, its foundation dates back to the VI century a. D.; it maintained its importance over the ages and counted more than 130 parishes. Subsequently, under the Swabian domination, the town became the seat of the Court of Calabria (Curia Generale). The Emperor Frederick II had a particular interest in the town; he continued major building work in the town, promoted the planning of new buildings and fostered economic activities, organising an important annual fair. The Cathedral was rebuilt and then consecrated in 1222; in 1242 his son Henry was buried there. Subsequently, Cosenza bitterly fought against the Angevin domination supported by the clergy. While the uprising spread through the valley of the Crati river, the town was involved in the ups and downs of the fight between the Angevins and the Aragonese. In 1432 the wise King Louis III of Anjou settled in the Castle with his wife Margaret of Savoy. When she died untimely, in 1434, she was buried in the Cathedral.

The Spanish Domination
Once the Spanish conquered the reign, Cosenza was occupied by the Spanish army led by the Great Captain Consalvo de Cordoba (1500). The town tried in vain to rebel against them. It was exactly during the XVI century that Cosenza experienced a period of great richness and expansion and it became seat of the Viceroy of Calabria. At the same time its cultural importance grew thanks to the foundation of the Accademia Cosentina; among its most renowned members there were [[Bernardino Telesio]], Aulo Gianni Parrasio, the Martirano brothers, Antonio Serra and other outstanding talents who gave great contribution to the fertile intellectual activity of the town. In 1707 the Austrian succeeded to the Spanish, and in 1799, after the proclamation of the republic - which was however short-lived - and a vain resistance, the town was finally occupied by Cardinal Ruffo’s Lazzari; Cardinal Ruffo was native of the province of Cosenza.

Modern Cosenza
From 1806 to 1815 the name of the town was often mentioned in the chronicles of the South of Italy thanks to the fierce, brave and unequal struggle against the French domination. Cruel suppressions characterised that gloomy period and in 1813 the town, which was also cradle of the Carbonari secret societies, saw the bloodshed of the first martyrs of independence. The riots of 1821 and 1837 heralded the Risorgimento. They were followed by the uprising of 15th March 1844, which reached its climax with the “noble folly” of the Bandiera Brothers, who were executed together with some of their followers in the Vallone di Rovito in Cosenza. Some months after the rapid and overwhelming heroic deeds of Garibaldi’s troops in Calabria, in 1860 the plebiscite proclaimed the annexation of Calabria to the new Kingdom of Italy. Nowadays Cosenza is a town of more than 76.000 inhabitants with a remarkable importance from a cultural viewpoint. In the latest years - thanks to the renovation and better exploitation of the historical heritage - cultural activities have been considerably enhanced. Consequently, Cosenza is now a reference point non only for Calabria, but also for other regions.