Treasure Hunt: The Legend of King Alarico’s Tomb

Over the past few years, the mayor of Cosenza, Mario Occhiuto, has been focusing a lot of attention on the whereabouts and authenticity of King Alarico’s tomb. King Alarico, the King of the Visigoths, was famous for his role in the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century.

As the legend goes, he died in Cosenza and is believed to have been buried along with his massive treasure under the Busento and Crati rivers at the point where they meet. To do this, the Busento River was temporarily redirected in order to build Alarico’s tomb in the riverbed. This was done using slaves who were then killed so that the location of this precious grave would be kept a secret.


The meeting point of the Busento and Crati River as seen from Ponte Alarico (Alarico Bridge)

The famed treasure of Alarico is believed to include gold, silver and the Menorah from the Second Temple in Jerusalem, originally looted by the Romans in 70 AD. Many have tried to find this coveted treasure, including the Nazis, but this massive wealth has yet to be found.

In October 2015, Italian archeologists along with the support of local authorities began an official and intensive search for the treasure, enlisting the use of many technological gadgets and focusing their search on the sites they believe may hold this mysterious treasure.

In November 2016, the city of Cosenza unveiled a statue on the confluence of the two rivers. The statue, depicts King Alaric standing on his horse looking down at what is believed to be his final resting place.

Since then, the intrigue of this legend hasn’t wavered. It even prompted Travel Channel’s Expedition Unknown host, Josh Gates, to head to Cosenza and do some digging of his own – literally!

With the advancements we have today, will the treasure finally be found or will it forever remain a mystery? I guess only time will tell.

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Contributing Writer for:

DKTravel1Michelin