Reggio Calabria
Overview
 
Reggio di Calabria (ˈrɛddʒo di kaˈlaːbrja; Calabrian dialect: Rìggiu, Greek-Calabrian
Greek-Calabrian dialect
The Calabrian dialect of Greek, or Greek-Bovesian, is the version of Italian Greek used by the ethnic Griko people in Calabria, as opposed to the Italian Greek dialect spoken in the Grecìa Salentina. Both are remnants of the ancient and Byzantine Greek colonisation of the region...

: Righi, Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

: , Rhegion, Latin: Rhegium), commonly known as Reggio Calabria or Reggio, is the biggest city and the most populated comune
Comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

of Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

, southern Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, and is the capital of the Province of Reggio Calabria
Province of Reggio Calabria
The Province of Reggio Calabria is a province in the Calabria region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Reggio., it has an area of 3,183 km², and a total population of 565,866. There are 97 comuni in the province, see Comuni of the Province of Reggio Calabria.- Economy :The region is...

 and seat of the Council of Calabrian government.

Reggio is located on the "toe" of the Italian peninsula
Italian Peninsula
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe , spanning from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale...

 and is separated from the island of Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 by the Strait of Messina
Strait of Messina
The Strait of Messina is the narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Ionian Sea, within the central Mediterranean...

.
Encyclopedia
Reggio di Calabria (ˈrɛddʒo di kaˈlaːbrja; Calabrian dialect: Rìggiu, Greek-Calabrian
Greek-Calabrian dialect
The Calabrian dialect of Greek, or Greek-Bovesian, is the version of Italian Greek used by the ethnic Griko people in Calabria, as opposed to the Italian Greek dialect spoken in the Grecìa Salentina. Both are remnants of the ancient and Byzantine Greek colonisation of the region...

: Righi, Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

: , Rhegion, Latin: Rhegium), commonly known as Reggio Calabria or Reggio, is the biggest city and the most populated comune
Comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

of Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

, southern Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, and is the capital of the Province of Reggio Calabria
Province of Reggio Calabria
The Province of Reggio Calabria is a province in the Calabria region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Reggio., it has an area of 3,183 km², and a total population of 565,866. There are 97 comuni in the province, see Comuni of the Province of Reggio Calabria.- Economy :The region is...

 and seat of the Council of Calabrian government.

Reggio is located on the "toe" of the Italian peninsula
Italian Peninsula
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe , spanning from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale...

 and is separated from the island of Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 by the Strait of Messina
Strait of Messina
The Strait of Messina is the narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Ionian Sea, within the central Mediterranean...

. It is situated on the slopes of the Aspromonte
Aspromonte
Aspromonte is a mountain massif in the province of Reggio Calabria . The name means "rough mountains", so named by the farmers who found its steep terrain and rocky soil difficult to cultivate. It overlooks the Strait of Messina, being limited by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas and by the Pietrace...

, a long, craggy mountain range that runs up through the center of the region. The region is subject to earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

s and tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

. It is the largest and oldest city in the region and is the second oldest city in Italy overall. The third economic center of mainland Southern Italy and is well known as a port
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

 and university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 city. The city has a population of 186,547 spread over 236 km², while the fast-growing urban area numbers 260,000 inhabitants. Another 370,429 people live in the metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 (the 10th metropolitan city of the Italian nation).

Reggio has other commonly used popular nicknames: The "city of Bronzes", for the Riace bronzes which are testimonials of its Greek origins; the "city of bergamot
Bergamot orange
Citrus bergamia, the Bergamot orange, is a fragrant fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow colour similar to a lemon. Genetic research into the ancestral origins of extant citrus cultivars recently matched the bergamot as a likely hybrid of Citrus limetta and Citrus aurantium...

", which is exclusively cultivated in the region; and the "city of Fatamorgana
Fata Morgana (mirage)
A Fata Morgana is an unusual and very complex form of mirage, a form of superior mirage, which, like many other kinds of superior mirages, is seen in a narrow band right above the horizon...

", an optical phenomenon visible only from the Reggio seaside in Italy.

The city was founded in 720 BC by the Ancient Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 who called it Rhegion (meaning "it breaks away") and was a well established part of Magna Graecia
Magna Graecia
Magna Græcia is the name of the coastal areas of Southern Italy on the Tarentine Gulf that were extensively colonized by Greek settlers; particularly the Achaean colonies of Tarentum, Crotone, and Sybaris, but also, more loosely, the cities of Cumae and Neapolis to the north...

. It became a Roman ally and part of the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

, then metropolis and capital of the possessions of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 in southern Italy (from 553 to 1071). Reggio emerged as the capital of the Duchy of Calabria for a period until it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy...

. It was then part of the Kingdom of Naples
Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...

 and from 1282 to −1860 it was known as the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification
Italian unification
Italian unification was the political and social movement that agglomerated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of Italy in the 19th century...

.

Industry

Reggio retains a somewhat rural
Rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

 ambience despite its sizable population. Industry in the city revolves primarily around agriculture and the export of fruits and tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

. Because Reggio is a port city it has a sizeable fishing industry. The beaches of the city have helped make it a popular tourist destination
Tourist destination
A tourist destination is a city, town, or other area that is dependent to a significant extent on the revenues accruing from tourism. It may contain one or more tourist attractions and possibly some "tourist traps."...

.

The municipality of Reggio Calabria contains the frazioni
Frazione
A frazione , in Italy, is the name given in administrative law to a type of territorial subdivision of a comune; for other administrative divisions, see municipio, circoscrizione, quartiere...

("subdivisions", mainly villages and hamlets) of Catona, Gallico, Archi, Pentimele, Gallina, Mosorrofa , Ortì , Pellaro
Pellaro
Pellaro is the southernmost quarter of the commune of Reggio Calabria, southern Italy. It has approximately 13,000 inhabitants.The town is located on the 38° latitude, which is shared by the cities of Seoul, Athens, San Francisco and Córdoba...

  and Saracinello.

Ancient history

After Cumae
Cumae
Cumae is an ancient Greek settlement lying to the northwest of Naples in the Italian region of Campania. Cumae was the first Greek colony on the mainland of Italy , and the seat of the Cumaean Sibyl...

, Reggio is one of the oldest Greek colonies in southern Italy. The colony was settled by the inhabitants of Chalcis
Chalcis
Chalcis or Chalkida , the chief town of the island of Euboea in Greece, is situated on the strait of the Evripos at its narrowest point. The name is preserved from antiquity and is derived from the Greek χαλκός , though there is no trace of any mines in the area...

 and Messenia
Messenia
Messenia is a regional unit in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese region, one of 13 regions into which Greece has been divided by the Kallikratis plan, implemented 1 January 2011...

 in 720 BC on the site of an older settlement, Erythrà (Ερυθρά), meaning "the red one". This dated back to the 3rd millennium BC and was established by the Ausones
Ausones
The Ausones were an ancient Italic tribe settled in the southern part of Italy. Often confused with the Aurunci, they share with them only a probably common origin.-History:...

. The last Ausonian ruler was king Italus
Italus
Italus or Italos was a legendary king of the Sicels or Oenotrians, who were among the earliest inhabitants of Italy...

, from whom the name of Italy is derived. King Iokastos is buried on the Punta Calamizzi promontory, called "Pallantiòn", where Greek settlers later arrived. The colony retained the earlier name of "Rhegion" (Ρήγιoν).

Reggio was one of the most important cities in Magna Grecia, reaching great economic and political power during the 5th and 6th centuries BC under the Anaxilas
Anaxilas
Anaxilas or Anaxilaus , son of Cretines, was a tyrant of Rhegium . He was originally from Messenia, a region in the Peloponnese....

 government. Anaxilas allowed Reggio to rule over all the Messina Strait, including Zancle (modern Messina). Later, the polis
Polis
Polis , plural poleis , literally means city in Greek. It could also mean citizenship and body of citizens. In modern historiography "polis" is normally used to indicate the ancient Greek city-states, like Classical Athens and its contemporaries, so polis is often translated as "city-state."The...

 of Rhegion reached great artistic and cultural heights with its philosophic Pythagorean
Pythagoreanism
Pythagoreanism was the system of esoteric and metaphysical beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers, the Pythagoreans, who were considerably influenced by mathematics. Pythagoreanism originated in the 5th century BCE and greatly influenced Platonism...

, sculpture and poetry schools from where leaders such as Pythagoras of Rhegium and Ibycus
Ibycus
Ibycus , was an Ancient Greek lyric poet, a citizen of Rhegium in Magna Graecia, probably active at Samos during the reign of the tyrant Polycrates and numbered by the scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria in the canonical list of nine lyric poets...

 were educated. Rhegion later allied with Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 during the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
The Peloponnesian War, 431 to 404 BC, was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases...

 until 387 BC when the city was taken by the Syracusans. The Apostle, St. Paul passed through Rhegium in his final voyage to Rome (Acts XXVIII:13).

As an independent city Rhegium was an important ally and "socia navalis" of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. During the Imperial age it became one of the most important and flourishing cities of southern Italy when it was the seat of the "Corrector", the Governor of "Regio II Lucania et Bruttii" (province of Lucany and Brutium). It was devastated by several major earthquakes and associated tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

 during the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 when it was called "Rhegium Julium" and was a noble Roman city.

During the Byzantine Age Reggio became the capital of the "metropolis of the Byzantine possessions in southern Italy". It was later made the capital of the Duchy of Calabria and linchpin of the Greek church in Italy. During the 8th century the city became a Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

.

Middle Ages

Numerous occupying armies came to Reggio Calabria during the early Middle Ages due to the city's strategic importance. For hundreds of years Reggio was taken by various factions. The Saracens established a self-proclaimed sultanate on the Southern Italian coast under Mofareg-ibn-Salem which, at its peak reached, from Bari
Bari
Bari is the capital city of the province of Bari and of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea, in Italy. It is the second most important economic centre of mainland Southern Italy after Naples, and is well known as a port and university city, as well as the city of Saint Nicholas...

 to Reggio Calabria and lasted from approximately 853–871. The next factions were the Lombards
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

, the Byzantines
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 and the Normans
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

. In 1060 the Normans, under Robert Guiscard
Robert Guiscard
Robert d'Hauteville, known as Guiscard, Duke of Apulia and Calabria, from Latin Viscardus and Old French Viscart, often rendered the Resourceful, the Cunning, the Wily, the Fox, or the Weasel was a Norman adventurer conspicuous in the conquest of southern Italy and Sicily...

 and Roger I of Sicily
Roger I of Sicily
Roger I , called Bosso and the Great Count, was the Norman Count of Sicily from 1071 to 1101. He was the last great leader of the Norman conquest of southern Italy.-Conquest of Calabria and Sicily:...

, finally captured Reggio but Greek cultural and religious elements persisted until the 17th century.

In the 12th century Reggio became part of the Kingdom of Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy...

. In 1282, during the Sicilian Vespers
Sicilian Vespers
The Sicilian Vespers is the name given to the successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out on the Easter of 1282 against the rule of the French/Angevin king Charles I, who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks three thousand French men and women were slain by...

, Reggio rallied in support of Messina and the other oriental Sicily cities because of the shared history, commercial and cultural interests. It supported the Aragonese
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 forces against the House of Anjou
Capetian House of Anjou
The Capetian House of Anjou, also known as the House of Anjou-Sicily and House of Anjou-Naples, was a royal house and cadet branch of the direct House of Capet. Founded by Charles I of Sicily, a son of Louis VIII of France, the Capetian king first ruled the Kingdom of Sicily during the 13th century...

. The city was ranked to Kingdom of Naples
Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...

. In the 14th century it obtained new administrative powers.

Reggio Calabria is known as the location of the first dated Hebrew book, a Rashi
Rashi
Shlomo Yitzhaki , or in Latin Salomon Isaacides, and today generally known by the acronym Rashi , was a medieval French rabbi famed as the author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud, as well as a comprehensive commentary on the Tanakh...

 commentary on the Pentateuch printed in 1475, although scholars consider Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 as the city where Hebrew printing began.

Modern history

Because of continuous Turkish incursions, pestilence, and the oppressive Spanish domination taxes, the power of Reggio began to decay during the 16th century until the disastrous 1783 earthquake
1783 Calabrian earthquakes
The 1783 Calabrian earthquakes were a sequence of five strong earthquakes that hit the region of Calabria in southern Italy , the first two of which produced significant tsunamis. The epicenters form a clear alignment extending nearly 100 km from the Straits of Messina to about 18 km SSW...

. The quake damaged not only Reggio but all southern Calabria and Messina.

In 1806 Napoleon Bonaparte took Reggio and assigned the city as Ducate and General Headquarters. On August 21, 1860, during the famous "Battaglia di Piazza Duomo" (Cathedral Square Battle), Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian military and political figure. In his twenties, he joined the Carbonari Italian patriot revolutionaries, and fled Italy after a failed insurrection. Garibaldi took part in the War of the Farrapos and the Uruguayan Civil War leading the Italian Legion, and...

 conquered the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, commonly known as the Two Sicilies even before formally coming into being, was the largest and wealthiest of the Italian states before Italian unification...

. Brun Antonio Rossi, the mayor of Reggio, was the first in the kingdom to proclaim the new Garibaldi Dictatorship and the end of the rule of Francis II
Francis II of the Two Sicilies
Francis II , was King of the Two Sicilies from 1859 to 1861. He was the last King of the Two Sicilies, as successive invasions by Giuseppe Garibaldi and Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia ultimately brought an end to his rule, and marked the first major event of Italian unification...

.
On December 28, 1908, at exactly 5:21 AM, the town was hit by a heavy earthquake and shook violently for 31 seconds. Damage was even worse in Messina across the Straits. It is estimated that 25,000 people perished in Reggio Calabria and 65,000 in Messina. Reggio lost 27% of its inhabitants and Messina lost 42%. Ten minutes after the catastrophic earthquake those who tried to escape running towards the open spaces of the coast were engulfed by a 10 metre high tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

. Three waves of 6–12 metres swept away the whole waterfront. The 1908 Messina earthquake
1908 Messina earthquake
The 1908 Messina earthquake and tsunami took some 100,000–200,000 lives on December 28, 1908 in Sicily and Calabria, southern Italy.-Quake:On December 28, 1908 from about 05:20 to 05:21 an earthquake of 7.2 on the moment magnitude scale occurred centered on the of city Messina, in Sicily. Reggio...

 remains one of the worst on record in modern western European history. It took Reggio a generation to fully recover.

The city was rebuilt to the then modern standards but, because of its strategic military position, it suffered a devastating air raid by the British 8th Army in 1943. After the Second World War Reggio recovered considerably.

In 1970 rioting broke out on the streets of Reggio in protest a decision to make Catanzaro Calabria's regional capital instead of Reggio. The revolt was taken over by young neofascists of the Italian Social Movement
Italian Social Movement
The Italian Social Movement , and later the Italian Social Movement–National Right , was a neo-fascist and post-fascist political party in Italy. Formed in 1946 by supporters of former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the party became the fourth largest party in Italy by the early 1960s...

 (Movimento Sociale Italiano – MSI) backed by the 'Ndrangheta, a Mafia
Mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

-type criminal organisation based in Calabria. The Reggio Calabria protests were the expression of malcontent about cronyism
Cronyism
Cronyism is partiality to long-standing friends, especially by appointing them to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications. Hence, cronyism is contrary in practice and principle to meritocracy....

 and the lack of industrial planning.

Between the 1970s and the 1980s Reggio went through twenty years of an increase in organized crime by the 'Ndrangheta as well as urban decay. The town is home to several 'ndrine, such as the Condello
Pasquale Condello
Pasquale Condello is an Italian criminal known as a member of the 'Ndrangheta. He is also known as "Il supremo" for his role at the top of the crime syndicate. He was a fugitive since 1990 and included in the list of most wanted fugitives in Italy until his capture in February 2008...

-Imerti
Antonio Imerti
Antonio Imerti , also known as "Nanu feroce" , is an Italian criminal and a member of the 'Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia...

 and the De Stefano
De Stefano 'ndrina
The De Stefano 'ndrina is one of the most powerful clans of the 'Ndrangheta, a criminal and mafia-type organisation in Calabria, Italy. The 'ndrina hailed from the Archi neighbourhood in Reggio Calabria. Several of its members were included in the list of most wanted fugitives in Italy...

-Tegano
Giovanni Tegano
Giovanni Tegano is an Italian criminal and a member of the 'Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia. He was a fugitive since 1993 and included in the list of most wanted fugitives in Italy, until his arrest in April 2010...

 clans, which were involved in bloody wars against each other during this period. The 'Ndrangheta extorts protection money ("pizzo
Pizzo (extortion)
In Southern Italy, the pizzo is protection money paid by a business to the Mafia, usually coerced and constituting extortion. The term is derived from the Sicilian pizzu . To wet someone's beak is to pay protection money...

") from every shop and viable business in town and has more power than the city council in awarding licences to retailers.

The spiral of corruption reached its zenith in the early 1990s. The sitting mayor at the time, Agatino Licandro, made a remarkable confession reporting "suitcases coming into city hall stuffed with money but going out empty". As a result of the nationwide corruption scandals most of the city council was arrested. But, since the early 1990s, the so called "Primavera di Reggio" (Reggio Spring) – a spontaneous movement of people and government institutions – encouraged city recovery and a renewed and stronger identity. The symbol of the Reggio Spring is the Lungomare Falcomatà, the sea-side boulevard named after Italo Falcomatà the mayor who initiated the recovery of the town.

Names of the city through the ages

During its three-thousand year history Reggio has often been renamed. Each name corresponds with the city's major historical phases:
  • Erythrà (Ερυθρά, "The Red One"), the pre-Greek settlement populated by the Italic people.
  • Rhègion (Ῥήγιον, "Cape of the King"), the Greek city from the archaic age to the Magna Grecia age (starting from Pallantiòn site)
  • Febèa (Phoebea, solemny dedicated to Apollo
    Apollo
    Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology...

    ), a short period under Dioneges II.
  • Rhègium, its first Latin name.
  • Rhègium Julium (Reggio Giulia), as a noble Roman city during the Imperial age.
  • Rivàh, short period under the Saracens domination.
  • Rìsa, under the Normans
    Normans
    The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

    .
  • Regols, under the Crown of Aragon
    Crown of Aragon
    The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

    , in XIII century.
  • Reggio or Regio, in the modern age.
  • Règgio di Calàbria, post Italian Unification
    Italian unification
    Italian unification was the political and social movement that agglomerated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of Italy in the 19th century...

    .

Main sights

The Riace bronzes, that can be seen at the important National Museum of Greater Greece
Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia
The Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia , Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Reggio Calabria or Palazzo Piacentini is a museum in Reggio Calabria, southern Italy, housing an archaeological collection from sites in Magna Graecia.Initially formed with a nucleus of material ceded from the...

, are some of the main touristic destinations in Reggio. The Lungomare Falcomatà, a seaside promenade located in the downtown, is a crowded swimming destination and main symbol of the summer movida. Tourism in Reggio is distributed between the Ionian coast (Costa Jonica), the Tyrrhenian coast (the Costa Viola, Purple Coast) and the Aspromonte
Aspromonte
Aspromonte is a mountain massif in the province of Reggio Calabria . The name means "rough mountains", so named by the farmers who found its steep terrain and rocky soil difficult to cultivate. It overlooks the Strait of Messina, being limited by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas and by the Pietrace...

 mountain behind the city, which contains the natural reserve of Aspromonte National Park
Aspromonte National Park
Aspromonte National Park is situated in the southern section of the Apennines, in Calabria, Italy.The park lies near the sea and includes mountain summits nearly reaching the 2,000 meters of height ....

 where, at 1,400 metres above the sea level, there is a panoramic view of the Strait of Messina
Strait of Messina
The Strait of Messina is the narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Ionian Sea, within the central Mediterranean...

 from the snowy mount Etna to the Aeolian Islands
Aeolian Islands
The Aeolian Islands or Lipari Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, named after the demigod of the winds Aeolus. The locals residing on the islands are known as Eolians . The Aeolian Islands are a popular tourist destination in the summer, and attract up to...

.

Other sights

  • The Cathedral of Reggio Calabria is the largest religious building in Calabria.
  • The Aragonese Castle, built before 540, is now home to art exhibitions.
  • Chiesa degli Ottimati ("Church of the Optimates") constructed in Byzantine-Norman style.
  • The walls of the ancient city, one of the few remaining examples of the original Greek walls, are divided into four separate sections. The one at the Falcomatà Seaside dates to the 4th century BC and is attributed to the city's reconstruction by Dionysius II of Syracuse
    Dionysius II of Syracuse
    Dionysius the Younger or Dionysius II ruled Syracuse, Sicily from 367 BC to 357 BC and again from 346 BC to 344 BC....

    .
  • Villa Zerbi is a villa in 14th-century Venetian style. It is the seat of exhibition of the Venice Biennale
    Venice Biennale
    The Venice Biennale is a major contemporary art exhibition that takes place once every two years in Venice, Italy. The Venice Film Festival is part of it. So too is the Venice Biennale of Architecture, which is held in even years...

     in southern Italy.
  • Remains of Roman baths.
  • The Pinacoteca Comunale ("Town Art Gallery") houses works by Antonello da Messina
    Antonello da Messina
    Antonello da Messina, properly Antonello di Giovanni di Antonio was an Italian painter from Messina, Sicily, active during the Italian Renaissance...

     (Abraham Served by the Angels and St. Jerome in Penitence), Mattia Preti
    Mattia Preti
    Mattia Preti was an Italian Baroque artist who worked in Italy and Malta.- Biography :Born in the small town of Taverna in Calabria, Preti was sometimes called Il Cavalier Calabrese...

    , Luca Giordano
    Luca Giordano
    Luca Giordano was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching. Fluent and decorative, he worked successfully in Naples and Rome, Florence and Venice, before spending a decade in Spain....

    , Giuseppe Benessai and others.
  • The church of Saint Gaetano Catanoso
    Gaetano Catanoso
    Saint Gaetano Catanoso was an Italian parish priest canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.Born to a prosperous and generous family in Chorio, a small village outside of Reggio Calabria in the Aspromonte. Gaetano was one of eight children. He was ordained on September 20, 1902 and served as a...

     (1879–1963) on via Catanoso in the Santo Spirito neighborhood. Canonized by Pope Benedict XVI
    Pope Benedict XVI
    Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

     on 23 October 2005 St. Gaetano is the first saint from Calabria since Saint Francis of Paola (canonized in 1507). St. Gaetano was founder of the Sisters of St. Veronica of the Holy Face. His glass tomb is in the sanctuary as well as museum exhibits. Catanosa was beatified by Pope John Paul II
    Pope John Paul II
    Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

     on 4 May 1997.

Sea Pollution

Many sea shores in Reggio Calabria are polluted by the release of untreated sewer
Sewer
Sewer may refer to:* Part of sewerage, the infrastructure that conveys sewage*Effluent sewer, a collection system that transports only the liquid portion of wastewater through small-diameter pipes laid at contour...

 wastes.

Climate

Reggio di Calabria possess a typical Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

.

Notable people

For more information, see :Category:People from Reggio Calabria
  • Pythagoras (5th century), sculptor
  • Ibycus
    Ibycus
    Ibycus , was an Ancient Greek lyric poet, a citizen of Rhegium in Magna Graecia, probably active at Samos during the reign of the tyrant Polycrates and numbered by the scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria in the canonical list of nine lyric poets...

     (6th century), poet
  • Gaetano Catanoso
    Gaetano Catanoso
    Saint Gaetano Catanoso was an Italian parish priest canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.Born to a prosperous and generous family in Chorio, a small village outside of Reggio Calabria in the Aspromonte. Gaetano was one of eight children. He was ordained on September 20, 1902 and served as a...

     (1879–1963), saint, priest
  • Umberto Boccioni
    Umberto Boccioni
    Umberto Boccioni was an Italian painter and sculptor. Like other Futurists, his work centered on the portrayal of movement , speed, and technology. He was born in Reggio Calabria, Italy.-Biography:...

     (1882–1916), painter, sculptor
  • Domingo Periconi (1883-1940), painter
  • Goffredo Zehender
    Goffredo Zehender
    Goffredo 'Freddie' Zehender was an Italian racing driver.He started his driving career with Chrysler, then Bugatti and most of his career with Alfa Romeo as works or privatee driver. He won the 1932...

     (1901–1958), Grand Prix driver
  • Giovanni Imbalzano (born 1944), physicist and mathematician
  • Santo Versace
    Santo Versace
    Santo Versace is the president and co-chief executive officer of Gianni Versace SpA, based in Milan, Italy. Since 2008 he has been elected as Member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Republic in the constituency of Calabria...

     (born 1944), economist for fashion designer and politician
  • Gianni Versace
    Gianni Versace
    Gianni Versace was an Italian fashion designer and founder of Gianni Versace S.p.A., an international fashion house, which produces accessories, fragrances, makeup and home furnishings as well as clothes. He also designed costumes for the theatre and films, and was a friend of Madonna, Elton John,...

     (1946–1997), fashion designer
  • Donatella Versace
    Donatella Versace
    Donatella Versace is an Italian fashion designer and current Vice-President of the Versace Group, as well as chief designer. She owns 20 percent of the entire stock market assets of Versace. Her brother, Santo Versace, owns 30 percent...

     (born 1955), fashion designer

Twin towns — Sister cities

Reggio Calabria is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece, since 2003 Egaleo
Egaleo
Aegaleo, commonly Aigaleo or Egaleo is a municipality west of Athens, Greece, situated west of the Cephissos river and southeast of Mount Egaleo...

, Greece, since 2004 Patras
Patras
Patras , ) is Greece's third largest urban area and the regional capital of West Greece, located in northern Peloponnese, 215 kilometers west of Athens...

, Greece, since (unknown) Cesana Torinese
Cesana Torinese
Cesana Torinese is a comune in the Province of Turin in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 70 km west of Turin, on the border with France.-External links:*...

, Italy, since 2006

See also

  • Black-figure pottery
    Black-figure pottery
    Black-figure pottery painting, also known as the black-figure style or black-figure ceramic is one of the most modern styles for adorning antique Greek vases. It was especially common between the 7th and 5th centuries BC, although there are specimens dating as late as the 2nd century BC...

  • Fatti di Reggio
    Fatti di Reggio
    The Reggio revolt occurred in Reggio Calabria, Italy, from July 1970 to February 1971. The cause of the protests was a government decision to make Catanzaro, not Reggio, regional capital of Calabria...

  • List of mayors of Reggio Calabria
  • Reggio Calabria Airport
    Reggio Calabria Airport
    The Reggio Calabria "Tito Minniti" Airport , also known as Aeroporto dello Stretto is an airport located near Reggio Calabria, Italy.-Description:...

  • Reggio Calabria Centrale railway station
    Reggio Calabria Centrale railway station
    Reggio Calabria Centrale is the main railway station of the Italian city of Reggio, in Calabria. It is the most important station of its region and is owned by the Ferrovie dello Stato, the national rail company of Italy.-History:...


  • Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Reggio Calabria-Bova
    Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Reggio Calabria-Bova
    The Archdiocese of Reggio Calabria-Bova is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical territory in Calabria, southern Italy. It was created in 1986, when historic archdiocese of Reggio Calabria was combined with the diocese of Bova.-History:...

  • University of Reggio Calabria
    University of Reggio Calabria
    The University of Reggio Calabria is a university located in Reggio, Italy. It was founded in 1968 and is organized in four faculties.-History:...



External links

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