As part of the SIAFT (Southern Italy Agrifood and Tourism) invitation, we had the opportunity of a guided walking tour of both the old and new parts of the city of Cosenza. The tour took in the Arnone Palace, Piazza XV Marzo, Corso Telesio and a visit to the Cathedral, as well as the outdoor MAB Museum.
Cosenza sits in a wonderfully green valley at the confluence of the River Crati and River Busento. Overlooking them both, and each other, are the Churchs of San Domenico and San Obono. You should start your tour here. The former boasts a carved wooden ceiling dating from 1600 in the Oratorio del Rosario while the Chapel of San Matteo is dedicated to the Madonna della Febbre.
From Martyrs Bridge follow the Corso Telesio into the heart of Cosenza. It was once called Via dei Mercanti and still runs all the way to the Cathedral. Bernardino Telesio was a great philosopher and his statue stands in Piazza XV Marrzo to commemorate the revolts of that same day in 1844. The nearby and former Liceo Telesio was also Cosenza's old theater.
The Cathedral was probably built in the 11th century, but its origins are unkown. What is known for sure is that the huge earhquake of 9th June 1184 destroyed the orignal church completely. Rebuilding was finished in 1222 and the new building was consecrated in the presence of no less than Emperor Fredirck II.
350 years later, the Madonna del Pilerio Chapel was saving the population of Cosenza from the terrible plague of 1576. Look closely to see the Holy Virgin with a spot on her face as a sign of the historical event.
Don't miss out on the Swabian Castle originally built by the Saracens on the ruins of ancient Rocca Brutia around 1000. Frederick II restored it and addded the octagonal tower. The Bourbons modified the castle into a gaol, which brings us nicely to Palazzo Arnone where the courthouse and prison were located. It now houses the National Picture Gallery of Pinacoteca.
Art is part of the urban generation of Cosenza and the outdoor MAB Museum is seen as an inspiration. Follow this link www.mapcosenza.it to view all the exhibits in fabulous 360° digital panoramas.