Castle of Frederick II, Rocca Imperiale, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, 13th century

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Stacked atop a steep hill, Cosenza's old town epitomises the authentic, unkempt charm of southern Italy. Time-warped and romantically dishevelled, its dark weathered alleys are full of drying clothes on rusty balconies, old curiosity shops and the freshly planted shoots of an arty renaissance. Welcome to a no-nonsense workaday town where tourists are incidental and local life, with all its petty dramas, takes centre stage


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