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Cosenza, which is among the most important economic and cultural centres of Calabria, rises up in the Catri valley, at the Busento confluence, and is framed by the hills and mountains that are inhabited and cultivated even at quite remarkable heiphts. The town comprises an old centre, lovely and picturesque and situated on the slopes of Pancrazio Hill, as well as a modern area lying in the plain beyond the Busento. Cosenza is of very ancient origin and, according to Strabone, it was the town of the Bruzi who very quickly accepted the Magna Greece civilization. It played an active part in the Tarentine and Punic wars and then, in 204 B.C., fell under the Romans, becoming later on an important economic centre and a significant stretch of the Via Popilia which ran through to Reggio and into Sicily.
Cosenza was invaded by the Barbarians and, infact, legend has it that the King of the Visigoths, Alaric, who died in 410 A.D., was buried in the Busento. Afterwards, the town saw the dominion of the Longobards, the Byzantines and the Aragonese, in between sieges and uprisings. Inspite of this, in the 16th century, Cosenza was at the height of a flourishing Humanist culture, as proved by the illustrious Academy still in existence that was founded by Aulo Giano Parrasio. The following centuries brought the town importance as an administrative, economic and artistic centre. Cosenza took an active part in the history of our Risorgimento. It is also the native land of Bernardino Telesio (1509-88).
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