Street Art in Cosenza: Roxy in the Box

There is something about the historical centre of Cosenza. It instantly captured my heart, from the first time I walked along its ancient cobblestone roads with a gelato in hand on a hot summer August afternoon back in 1997.

Back then, it was still an important hub of the city with it’s restaurants, shops and coffee shops.

But, the modern city began to grow. A pedestrian area was created, and more and more businesses began setting up shop there.  As the modern city expanded, the old town began to dwindle.

Corso Telesio was once the main hub for commercial activity. This narrow cobblestone road is lined with incredibly tall ancient buildings on each side. It is quite suggestive.

Sadly, the old town has been sort of left behind with people choosing the convenience of the new city. But, old Cosenza is still so captivating to me in all its haunting beauty.

I enjoy going for walks along Corso Telesio and continue to admire the ancient architecture and narrow alleyways that sprout out of it. If you read my blog, you know I spent quite a bit of time roaming Old Cosenza to find “A Ficcuzza”.

It doesn’t matter how often I frequent a place, it seems I’m always discovering something new.

Back in 2015, my roommate and I went for an evening walk to Cosenza Vecchia (Old Town Cosenza) for an event that was taking place during the Christmas period.

Before I get too into the story, I should point out that I adore street art. Not mindless scribbles made to destroy property, but actual street art – created to inspire or evoke emotion.

So, as we were making our way up Corso Telesio, I couldn’t help but notice some interesting street art that I was certain I had never seen before.

This one caught my attention instantly, because it made me think of my cousin who loves pin-ups and vintage. So I snapped a picture, thinking it was cool.

But, as we continued to make our way along the street, we came across others that had the same style and feel of the previous one I’d seen.

It had to be the same artist!

Just below one of the images, I noticed the words “Roxy In The Box”.  I wondered if that might be the name of the artist.

Well, it turns out it is!

Roxy in the Box is an artist hailing from Napoli who studied art in Bologna. She found herself in Cosenza as part of the cultural initiative BocsArt, which brings in contemporary artists from all over who take up shop in small studios and create. These studios are set up in a way that allow people to pass by and watch the artist at work.

On November 2nd, in the late hours of the night, Roxy in the Box decided to bring some new life to the seemingly abandoned streets of Old Cosenza.  Paying homage to Pier Paolo Pasolini on the 40th anniversary of his murder, Roxy in the Box took to the streets and cleverly placed some of her Pop-Art images.

One of these includes images of Mastroianni and Sophia Loren placed on the shutters of an abandoned “cinema”.

street art cosenza

And the vintage looking coin wash image that originally caught me attention was placed where there used to be a laundry mat.

A couple years of have passed by since the first time I saw Roxy in the Boxes work, and although some of them have almost completely worn away. It’s still cool to see what’s left of them every time I find myself in Old Cosenza.

Just recently the BocsArt Museum was opened. This modern art museum features pieces donated by the various artists, like Roxy in the Box, who have taken part in the BocsArt initiative. I haven’t been yet, but I plan to go soon and I’m curious to see if any of her pieces are on display there. Stay tuned to the blog and I’ll be sure to post about it when I visit.

9 Comments

  1. Robert Garritano

    January 29, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Lulu, a great interpreter who helped us travel to the home of my family in Cerisano, Marano M, Marano P and Castrolibero. Grazie, and congratulations on keeping street art alive as an art form and not graffiti . Robert and Joyce Garritano

    1. LuLu

      January 31, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      Grazie Robert! There is a lot of both in the streets of Italy. I love discovering interesting street art when I’m wandering around any place! 🙂

  2. Rabea

    January 28, 2018 at 10:40 am

    This year I went to the old city centre of Cosenza for the first time and I enjoyed it so much. In fact I took almost the same photos 🙂
    What I also liked is this smell in the air, when you walk in between the old buildings. It really gives you the feeling walking in another world!

    1. LuLu

      January 28, 2018 at 1:05 pm

      The old city of Cosenza is so different from the modern city – it’s like you get the best of both worlds! 🙂 So what did you think of Cosenza? Did you visit anywhere in particular or just wander around?

      1. Rabea

        January 28, 2018 at 1:22 pm

        My boyfriend originally comes from Cosenza. We often went to Calabria but somehow never made it to look at the city itself. This year his step dad invited me to have a walk with him. He is very interested in art, so we looked at the new pedestrian road where are all the statues and then we went the Telesio street in the old centre. I guess those are really standard things to do; we did not roam intensively like a tourist would do. I used it more as a day to practise my poor Italian, since my boyfriend didn’t join us 😀

  3. KareninCalabria

    January 27, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    I agree. Cosenza’s old town is quite beautiful and it’s a shame that businesses are leaving and/or have left, but it’s hard to compete with a wide open street with nearby parking… On another note, how do you like your new bridge? I expect you’ll have a post on that coming up.

    1. LuLu

      January 28, 2018 at 9:32 am

      The old centre is very beautiful but the years of neglect can be seen in the deterioration and collapse of some of the buildings. I hope a solution can be found to bring Cosenza Vecchia back to its former glory!

      As for the bridge, I don’t really have an opinion of it. It looks cool, brings an air of modernity to the city. What is still left to be seen is whether or not it will help traffic flow.

  4. Image Earth Travel

    January 27, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Cool post and photos Lulu! I have many of these Roxy photos from our walk hunting for La Ficuzza. 😉

    1. LuLu

      January 28, 2018 at 9:28 am

      Thanks Nilla! 🙂 Our walk was so much fun, we need to plan another one! We have so much to explore and discover.

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