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Castrovillari

Castrovillari is a town and comune in the province of Cosenza in the Calabria region of southern Italy. In 2010 its population was 22,586.HistoryThe name derives probably from the medieval Latin castrum villarum, meaning "fortress of the villas". The place is inhabited since prehistoric times. The city was founded, or better fortified, in the middle ages during the wars between Langobards and Greek-Byzantins; the name comes from a more ancient fortress called "Sassonion" or "Saxonion", so the "Castron" appeared in some documents as "Neon Sassonion", likely the ancient Byzantine name corresponding to the medieval Latin "Castrum Villarum". Officially the city entered the history in the AD 1064 when the "Castra" was occupied by Norman warriors led by Robert Guiscard (Roberto il Guiscardo or Roberto d'Altavilla). In AD 1090, during the earldom of his son Roger called "Borsa", Earl of Apulia e Calabria, the sanctuary of "Saint Mary of the Castle" Madonna del Castello was built. During the Kingdom of Sicily when power passed from Hauteville to the Swabian dynasty House of Hohenstaufen, the town obtained the title of "Città" and was the starting point for the evangelization of Calabria by the Minor Friars Order, founded by St. Francis from Assisi. In the city about AD 1220 the first Franciscan Monastery in Calabria ("Protoconvento francescano") was built by Pietro Cathin from Sant'Andrea of the Marca, the first Order's Prior in Calabria. After the period of House of Anjou, during the Aragonese kingdom Crown of Aragon, the famous Castle (AD 1490) was built.
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