Reggio Calabria, Calabria
Reggio Calabria, located on the toe of the Italian boot, is the capital of the province of Reggio Calabria, and was the capital of the Calabria region until 1970 when this became Catanzaro. It faces the sea, opposite the Sicilian city of Messina on the other side, to which it is connected by ferry.
There have been for years talks about a project, highly favored by politicians and the EU, to build a huge bridge across the strait, though many groups are against the project, since it could endanger the marine and coastline environments. Reggio Calabria is the hometown of Gianni Versace, who came from a family of tailors in Reggio.
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- Population: about 180,000 inhabitants in 2018
- Zip/postal code: 89121-89135
- Dialing Area Code: +39 0965
- Demonym: reggini
- Patron Saint: Madonna della Consolazione, celebrated on the 2nd Saturday in September; St. Giorgio, celebrated on 23rd April
- Frazioni & Località: Archi, Bocale, Catona, Gallico, Gallina, Modena, Mosorrofa, Ortì, Pellaro, Ravagnese, San Gregorio, San Sperato, Saracinello.
Founded as "Rhegion" by Greek settlers in the 8th century BC, the city was devastated by several major earthquakes and often associated tsunamis, the last of which happened on December 28, 1908.
What to see
- The Basilica of Maria Santissima Assunta, rebuilt after the 1908 earthquake on a project of Padre Carmelo Angelini. It is a pilgrimage destination in September, when the huge wooden painting of the Madonna della Consolazione is carried from the Basilica to the hermitage.
- The Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia, containing items collected through over 160 anni of excavations in Calabria, the most famous pieces being the Riace bronze statues.
- The Castello Aragonese, whose origin goes back to 536 Ad, when it was a Byzanthine fortress. Its present structure is due to Queen Giovanna I and Ferdinando I Aragon, who ordered the addition of the ditch. In 1539 it was furtherly enlarged so that it could host almost 1,000 people. It is among the most beautiful Spanish fortresses in Italy.
- The Parco Nazionale dell'Aspromonte with woods of beech and pine trees populated by wolves, wild boar and deer.