Freemasons and Communists, food, culture and studio in the heart of Cosenza

At six o’clock in the afternoon, about fifteen twenty-year-olds in a circle speak lively in a warehouse in via Rivocati. They are not talking about the latest TikTok trend either put Damiano dei Maneskin and not even who wins the championship, but most likely the Russian-Ukrainian crisis. And union of young communists: which would already be news if it were not for all this happening in one of the most marginal neighborhoods yet – or perhaps precisely because of that – fascinating of the city.

It was the heart of “Cosenza town in the province”, but with five cinemasnarrated by Stefano RodotĂ , who in this neighborhood, in the noble building of via Sertorio Quattromanigrew and matured before the great leap to Rome.

The boys from the Federation of Young Communists animate the public debate in the neighborhood (photo Alfonso Bombini 2022)

Prologue. Three fairs: trade in the neighborhood’s DNA

“Until the end of the 14th century and the first quarter of the 15th century Cosenza did not go beyond the banks of the two rivers except with the village of Rivocati beyond Busentoto the north, on the western plain, ”he wrote Enzo Stancati in the first of the four volumes of Cosenza in its neighborhoods (Luigi Pellegrini editore, 2007): in the thirteenth century, from 21 September to 9 October annual Mass for Saints Matthew and Dionysius – In 1234, Frederick II chose Cosenza as one of the seven venues for the kingdom’s general exhibitions with Sulmona, Lucera, Capua, Bari, Taranto and Reggio – with wool and goldsmith among the products for sale and above all silk (here “the price of the product was fixed, which was then accepted by the other fairs”).

As early as 1416 it was the site of it Maddalena messe (it began on July 22 and lasted 15 days), shortly after, the Dominican convent – where Tommaso Campanella passes – will help make it a popular settlement in expansion, among merchants and artisans, gardeners and kilns “settled” at a safe distance from the richest citizensnext to the river water necessary for their work “.
A third seasonal fair (Announcedfrom the toponym of the plain now inherited from the hospital) “granted by Philip II with a privilege of August 4, 1555 (…) based on a document of 1839 (…) it took place on a single day, March 25 on Piazza San Domenico “.

Why Rivocati?

The late historian of Lago also says that this “suburban neighborhood” was “connected to the city center by the bridge – later called” delli Rivocati “- which led directly into the city via the old consular road (today corso Mazzini, or pedestrian area, red). In the area (…) they were found in 1840 the remains of a Roman bridge pillar, perhaps another bridge over Busentowhich walked around the inhabited area and revolved around Pancrazio, perhaps leading to Portapiana ”.

The Roman traces would also be found in orthogonal design of the roadswith via the Rivocati main axis and viale dei Platani and Viaròcciolo – today Corso Umberto I and via Piave respectively – parallel axes continuing north.
And the etymology of “Rivucati”? Vexata quaestio: dialectization of “ad rivum casae“(Humble huts close to the river) or toponym referred to “Revocation” of a decision of a nearby feudal lordbetween the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, to deny the housing concession to the people of Cosenza in this state property and not in the dominion?

The statue dedicated to Lucio Battisti (photo Alfonso Bombini 2022)

From the whore ride to the secret services

Courses and appeals: Stancati cites chronicles from 1891, which report “complaints about neglected sanitary conditions“While” in 1893 they complained noise at night and hygienic obscenity“.
The same “Rivucati”, a century ago an area with basements and stab wounds, but also bathrooms in the not yet regimented Busento, today looking for a new identity: a boost comes from the recent title of Largo Lucio Battisticomplete with wrong accents in the titles shown on the two-sided sculpture initiated by Mogol, but a first sign of longing renaissance – the immeasurable, after the bombings and demolition always just around the corner, literally – had already taken place with the inauguration of the “cybersecurity district” in the Post Office’s old and lavish headquarters in the presence of the then Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (it was 2015).

A collection of photos and prints taken from the Fb group “The feeling of time, the value of a place. Cosenza. “

That was then arriat’ii poste turned from the nickname toponym and mostly verbal sexual initiations to high-tech polo shirts with a sprinkle of secret services. A spy story mood that became even more topical, a few days ago, of the officialization of the intended use of the Freedom Building in via Trento completely restored in the last year, and on whose entrance – set between two tall cypresses just placed – finally the inscription dominates after initial talk and Pulcinella’s last secrets. Italy’s great orient. The Masonic Temple a few meters from the town hall. Just to tease the jokes from the opponents of the new mayor Franz Caruso, a leading exponent of Goi – Tell us.

The old man who resists the ugly modernist

The multicolored rug of Piazza Riforma than fully Penelope style at Occhiout’s age (thank you and know, thank you and know …) is already disappearing, it is the sign of the times: it is reminiscent of the pavement around Piazza Bilotti, which breaks through by relentless laws of obsolescence similar to those governing the life of the refrigerator: with the difference that these boulders break through and need to be replaced every 2, 3 months while the device reaches us at least ten years old.

On the contrary, at Rivocati, some artifacts withstand the years, the bad weather and the cement that moves forward, tearing the ancient relics apart: for decades it has watered down passers-by, for example the fountain made iconic by a black and white image of the lament Fabio Aronigush it in one corner of the former via Montello (today Davide Andreotti, historian) with via Pasubio it served the exhibitors of the former fruit and vegetable market today replaced by newly built offices at the hospital and more.
Instead, it has been gone for a few years the number plate Christian bananas – just as iconic – which stood a few meters in front. It was the trading district, some of which have become today, as we shall see. Modern high-rise buildings came in with straight legs, with mixed results, among the old buildings that were cleared of the bombs in 1943.

Culture, while waiting for the public, the private is organized

That cinema Italia Tierione of the city’s structures in search of identity, is the center of an area that it hovers between innovation and abandonment: right in front of the former Gil, the children’s building of the twenties, here is the Mental Health Center: not exactly Eden for those in need of care.
Around, together with other institutional poles such as House of Music associated with the Giacomantonio Conservatory, there is no shortage of new private initiatives: Atelier AC is about to start (initials of Adele Ceraudo, artist from Cosenza celebrated even beyond the Calabrian borders) on Corso Umberto; behind, on the same block, is another artist: Luigia Granata (via Davide Andreotti 23).

The Tieri Cinema became a haven for the homeless

On the opposite side of the road, at a few meters on the same sidewalk, you will find visual workshops “Ovo” by Andrea Gallo and the headquarters of Fgci and shortly the publisher’s new headquarters Co-essenceformerly the art gallery Vertigo, where the exponents of the “Laboratory of the Two Souls” about twenty years ago found new place and life as narrated by Concetta Guido in the homonymous book published by Le Nuvole (2001).

The record in memory of the author Nicola Misasi

A passage just before the house where he lived Nicola Misasi “Illustrious Calabrian writer” (1850-1923) leads to the headquarters of Tecnethe music studio of Costantino Rizzuticerebral experimenter of sounds.
They are all subjects that work with dedication and in silence, but they deserve some attention.

Stores: those who have closed and those who oppose reinventing themselves

If the mythological Cimbalinoalso sung by Totonno Chiappettait closed shortly before the milestone of 70 candles (it would have blown them out next year), as well as the hair salon not far away since 1955other historical brands such as Montalto sport (since 1937) they have reinvented themselves by adapting, in this case, to the electric bike market.

Not far away, the rope shop Mazzuca – temple for bottlers and cans – has provided space for a restaurant (CalaBry, via Sertorio Quatromani / piazza Tommaso Campanella), while you also miss stall-hat shop at the northern crossroads of the Mario Martire Bridge.
Bruni Bruni (via Trento 7) is a sign that in this 2022 is celebrating 130 years. Another Bruni (corso Umberto, in front of Gran Caffè Renzelli) can still boast of being the only concessionaire in Borsalino. Vintage sign paired with the cute letters Morano stationerya street number first.

Case aside Scarpelliwhich from 1946 until today has been transformed from a neighborhood store – a character it still retains for the original clientele – to scene gourmandbetween a boundless basement and very local or international products of very high range. Over three-quarters of a century it has annexed rooms to rooms, and finally creating a block completely dedicated to taste. Worthy of the dealer of salt Borrelli, which does not deny the small shop next to the presence in large retailers. But here we have already entered the food area with the right.

5. In Rivocati at the table (from 10 euros and up)

In the two-sided district you can enjoy a very expensive stop from crapĂ ro (Misery and Nobility restaurantlargo dei Visigoti / Lungobusento Tripoli) and from Grandinetti (via Sertorio Quattromani 32, where legend has it that the bill is always 10 euros) or a super-chic evening in the newborn Fellini (via Trento 15), where if you are lucky you will also find live music.
In the nineties Reda rotisserifamily run, baked – so to speak: everything was fried – panzerotti in a continuous cycle: now the premises are among the many in the area for rent.

However, this is a whole area for such gastronomic vocation that you can also find restaurants in two adjacent civics (this is the case The city And In gulìavia Rivocati 95 and 91) or one in front of the other (Tina Pica And Osteria twins Tucci at 104 and 102).
Finally, two appearances, one historical and one brand new, should be noted: EnoBruziathe prized Lattarico wine shop for all tastes and budgets, and the the Aurora bakerythe store in the Carelli company, which apparently understood the call an 800-year-old yet dynamic neighborhood like few others. The district of bakers and fairs.

Silverio Tucci, chef in the homonymous tavern in the Rivocati district


That garden of the Bank of Italy (corso Umberto) with attention to the smallest details in front of one majestic but empty building is one of the symbols of the suspended city between unspoken potential and sad reality.


We are in the square between Renzelli, a stone’s throw from the town hall (definitely worth a try varchiglia) and the wonders of Scarpelli: you just have to choose.


Also in this case it is only necessary to choose: we recommend one dive into cosentinity of crapĂ ro or Grandinetti, but also that fish of the Tucci twins pub.

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