Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cosenza in the Hills

This is a late comment from Guido on things in Cosenza, our provincial capital where we spent so much time this summer with immigration issues, medical appointments, and even trying to renew our health system cards to pay for medical appointments. These pursuits can put you in a bad mood.

I was negative about this city of 70,000 people in past posts. I was telling the truth about the noise and diesel emissions that I experienced, but I should share some positive things. I walked many miles around the downtown area this year tracking down government offices, specialty shops, etc. I know this city! Remember we live in a town of 1,200. 

Classic building across from the Questura
I like the architecture of the centro area. Very nicely kept places with a lot of character. If you lived in one of these buildings, you would have grocery and other shopping within walking distance, so no fighting the heavy traffic. There are very modern high rises scattered throughout where I can imagine homes on the top floors have great views of the Sila mountain area to the east. The prices of homes here are much more than along the western coast where we live. The flyer shown has a fairly large home (Italian-wise) for €380,000. In Scalea a 60 holiday home might cost about €50,000 where the listings I saw in Cosenza for similar were about €115,00. If you need to stay in town, the small 4-room Sempione Bed & Breakfast is close to the central downtown area. It is spartan, but very clean. The B&B is €30-40 plus €5 for a locked parking area. It's on Facebook or the Airbnb website. Parking is extremely lacking in this city, so Francesco’s B&B is a “keeper”!

There are a lot of shops here, especially the pedestrian area along Corso Manzzini. The funny thing is, there are (again, my opinion) very few restaurants for a city this size. The Questura, the police station where the provincial immigration office is located, is probably 15 blocks north of the B&B and there is a Chinese restaurant nearby. It is a funny place that serves pasta.

Pedestrian shopping on Corso Mazzini
Like most Italian apartment buildings, the ground floor is usually some business or retail space. 

I like this funky building near the hospital with the large spider on the wall. I envision a sign by the door: “Black Widow Apartments – Always Rooms for Single Men”

The historic district of Cosenza (centro storico), in my opinion, is not as interesting as our own hill town or Scalea. In the Cosenza district, there are more roads open to vehicles, so not as quaint.  There is a stream that divides the centro area from the storico area and on the north side on Fridays, there is a large market with vendors selling the typical “market clothing”, meats and cheeses in a nice neighbourhood. There is also fruit and vegetable shop below the B&B does an incredible daily business. There you have it, Cosenza from a more mellow point of view! Be well, Guido

Friday market

Fresh olives for the table


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