Locri, Calabria

An ancient town of Greek origin, still has outside the city several necropolis, some of which are very large, was called by philosopher Plato "the flower of Italy". The municipality was known as Gerace Marina until 1934, when it took the name of the ancient Locri Epizefiri, an ancient Greek town whose excavations are located some kilometers south from today's town.


  • Altitude: m a.s.l
  • Population: about 12,400 inhabitants in 2018
  • Zip/postal code: 89044
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0964
  • Demonym: locresi
  • Patron Saint: St. Caterina of Alessandria, celebrated on 25 November
  • Frazioni & Località: Baldari, Moschetta, San Fili, Merici, M'prenagatti, Mantenea, Basilea.

History - Antiquity

Locri Epizephyri (epi-Zephyros meant in Greek under the West wind) was founded about 680 BC on the Italian shores of the Ionian Sea, near present Capo Zefirio, by the Locrians from Greece.

After a century, a wall around the city was created from large blocks. Epizephyrian Locri was one of the most important cities in Magna Graecia. It was renowned for its lawgiver Zaleucus, who required that anyone who proposed a change in his laws should do so with a noose about his neck, with which he should be hanged if the amendment did not pass.

In the early centuries Locri was allied with Sparta, and later with Syracuse. It founded two colonies of its own, Hipponion and Medma.

History - the Middle Ages and Modern Times

After the Roman conquest and following both the Saracen and Turkish raids and the scourge of malaria, the site was progressively abandoned and the inhabitants moved towards the safer hills of the hinterland where Gerace rose.

In the 19th century, with the return of the population to the coastal areas and thanks to the advent of the railway, the village of Gerace Marina developed. Gerace Marina acquired more and more importance, until it obtained the status of an independent municipality in 1905.

What to see

  • The Ionic temple of Marasà: In the first half of 5th century BC, the Locrians destroyed the archaic temple and rebuilt a new temple in the Ionic style. The temple was designed by Syracusean architects around 470 BC based on the idea of Hiero I of Syracuse. The new temple was in the same place as the previous one but with a different orientation. The temple was destroyed in the 11th century. The temple was 45.5 meters x 19.8 meters, and 12 meters in height.
  • The theater, built not far from the ancient city, in the Contrada Pirettina in order to take advantage of the hills, in the 4th century BC. The original structure could accomodate over 4,500 people, but now only the central part of the theater is visible.

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Provinces of Calabria
Calabria region
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