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Cosenza ( pronounced [koˈzɛntsa] listen ( help · info ) ) is a city in the Calabria region of Southern Italy. The city proper has a population of 71,000, while the urban area counts over 268,000  inhabitants. It is the capital of the Province of Cosenza , which has a population of around 735,000.
The ancient town is the seat of the Cosentian Academy , the second academy of philosophical and literary studies to be founded in the Kingdom of Naples (1511) and one of the oldest in Europe. To this day, the city remains a cultural hub with several museums, theatres, libraries and the University of Calabria.
Located at the confluence of two historical rivers, the Busento and the Crati , Cosenza stands 238 m above sea level in a valley between the Sila plateau and the coastal range of mountains. The old town, overshadowed by its Norman castle, descends to the river Crati. The modern city lies to the north, beyond the Busento, on level ground.