According to tradition, it seems that Rende, the old city of “Arintha”, was a city founded by the sister of “Enotrus”, king of the “Enotri” in 520 BC.

Origins of the name Arintha - Rende

R. Giraldi tells us that, apart from this mythical hypothesis:

“the place name, written phonetically, refers to the term 'Acheruntia', a city that together with 'Pandosia' served as an outpost of the ancient Cosenza. The etymology derives from the language of the Bruttii and means ‘strong’ [ ‘aruntia’ from ‘ares’ or ‘Arios’ (= God of War)]. Rende was then conquered by the Normans, who called it by different names, such as ‘Renne’, ‘Renda’ and ‘Rende’" [1].

Early history of Rende

The archaeological evidence and historical documents describe a city that survived even in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages. According to the studies by G. Roma, at the end of the sixth century AD Pope Gregory the Great (540-604 AD) attested to the presence of an "Emolitana ecclesia" located in the territory of Cosenza.

Some scholars believe that the expression "Emolitana ecclesia" [Church of Emoli] refers to a Christian community residing along the river Emoli, which passes through the territory of the modern Rende (Kher, 1975), and the hypothesis seems confirmed by an act of October 7, 1267, in which, among the “casali” [=hamlets] of Rende, there was a farmhouse mentioned called "Emule", now disappeared.

Among other things, in 1692 there was a church called Sain Mary "de Emola", which has also been the subject of recent archaeological investigations; so it seems acceptable to locate in this area the "ecclesia" mentioned in the letter of Gregory the Great. [2]

Over the centuries Rende became a fortified village and towards the end of the 11th century the Normans built the castle. Then Rende was sold by Robert Guiscard (1025-1085) to the Archbishop of Cosenza, who remained in possession of the city until the end of the 14th century.

Afterwards, the town was in the possession of various feudal lords. It belonged to the family of the Ruffo, by the will of Frederick II (1194-1250), and then to the Scaglione, Della Noce and Adorno families in the Angevin age.

Under the reign of Charles V (1500-1558) Rende passed under the dominion of the Marquis of the Alorçon della Valle, and, finally, it belonged to Alorçon Mendoza, who ruled it until 1817.

Visit our Rende travel guide for tourist and travel information.


1. See R. Giraldi, “Il popolo cosentino e il suo territorio”, Cosenza, Pellegrini, 2003, pp. 323-324

2. See G. Roma, “Per una storia del popolamento del territorio dell'attuale Calabria settentrionale ...”, in “Atti del convegno "III Congresso di Archeologia Medievale", Salerno, 2-5 ottobre, 2003, A cura di All'Insegna del Giglio:Firenze, 2003, p. 428