Campana is a town in the Pre-Sila mountains near Cosenza, located halfway between the seaside and Sila plateau, about 600 m high above sea level.
In the past, the town was known as Kalasarna (or Calasèrna and Caliserna in the local dialect). Many assumptions were made about the meaning of the ancient name: it was probably influenced by the shepherd economy that prevailed in the area. The origin of Kalasarna might derive from the term Chalasarna. The Doric word chalà, “prominence” “spur” put before àrna may mean “rock of prominence” or “jutting rock”. This explanation is supported by the fact that the ancient hamlet called Terra had the shape of a spur, and it was inaccessible by two sides, while the accessible side was protected by a ravine that could be passed only through a drawbridge and a gate called Porta del Ponte (bridge gate). A round tower, later called Torre dell’Orologio (Watch Tower), was built on this gate. It is the only of the five towers erected in the surrounding walls that is still standing.
In the light of the raids and sieges that involved the area, it is possible that some lookout posts were created and that the town was provided with a bell (campana) to give a general alarm, as folk tales have it. The frequency of these events forced people to leave isolated areas and move to the town that offered more protection against the raids. The original settlement grew larger and Terra di Campana, "Terra Campanae", developed and replaced Kalasarna between the 10th and 12th centuries. Historically, Kalasarna became Campana when the village, provided with a bell to defend the population, developed and was surrounded by walls with defense towers at the gateways. This defensive system lasted for some centuries. At the end of the 17th century, one of the towers had already been destroyed. The events that led to the destruction of the other ancient gates are unknown, but it is certain that soil instability and house collapses were due to natural causes and frequent wars, as well as to human negligence.