Cosa was a Roman colony founded in 273 BC on a hilltop in modern day Ansedonia. It was built on what was probably an Etruscan settlement to control both the land and the sea traffic that passed through Tuscany in Rome’s direction.
Today, you can visit the ruins that still stand in an evocative setting created by the beautiful countryside that looks out to the Tyrrhenian Sea. You will have to use a bit of imagination to envision what the colony could have looked like. The town was built on two hills, one hosting the political Forum and the other featuring the Acropolis for worshiping the gods.
Most of the city plan came to life between 1948 and 1972, when Cosa became the site of excavations carried out under the auspices of the American Academy of Rome and archaeologist Frank Edward Brown. The works uncovered the principal buildings, the port and the forum. Building that still have to be excavated include a bathing establishment.
In the area surrounding Ansedonia you can also find other historic features, such as the Towers of San Pancrazio and San Biagio of medieval origins, and the Tagliata Etrusca – an engineering wonder consisting in a channel carved in rock along the promontory that protected the ancient port.
Here below is a short video of what the town of Cosa could have looked like back in the days!
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