This is an excerpt from the book “Calabria“ by Enrico Massetti.


Cosenza, a bit of history

We do not have much historical information about the town of Cosenza. That is the reason why we cannot still reconstruct its origins. The first historical events about Cosenza date back to just before the IV century B.C. when the town of Cosentia became the “tactical pivot” in the history of Calabria, called Brettia initially.

When Normans invaded Cosenza, the town submitted to their domination. This does not only mean to pay a tax but also to provide the army with soldiers, and that is the reason why the hostilities between Cosenza and its invaders continued for a long time.

The Castle and the Cathedral

It was Ruggero Borsa who decided to fortify the town to protect it from rebellions. This fortification system culminated with the construction of a magnificent castle on the town’s highest hill: the Pancrazio.

The Cathedral of Cosenza is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and well-preserved buildings of the south of Italy. We thought it was built around the middle of the XIth century. After the devastating earthquake in 1184, the cathedral was consecrated in 1222 in the presence of Emperor Fredrick II.


The village of Papasidero and its findings

The town of Papasidero is one of the many mountain villages of Calabria.
It particularly distinguishes itself for its archaeological discoveries, which were made in 1961 when the Cave of Romito, and its graffiti representing cattle images, was discovered.

The ruins of the Papasidero castle

Other local places of interest are the ruins of the Papasidero castle, which was built between the 11th and 13th century.

The cave of Romito, rock-engraving and burials
The cave of Romito today

The cave of Romito dates back to the Upper Palaeolithic age and is located at about 16 Km from Papasidero. The cave of Romito is made up of two rooms of about 20 meters each, and it extends for 34 meters from the shelter.

The Palaeolithic rock-engraving and burials

Inside the cave, there are some rock engravings, which were discovered in 1961. That is the reason why it is still possible to see some of the carvings, very difficult to interpret, made on two rocks, which also represent three bovine animals, one of which measures 1.20 m.

Three buried couples, together with both lithic and bone findings, were discovered during the excavations.

Where to stay in Cosenza

There are hotels, B&Bs, and condo-hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.