Province of Reggio Calabria

Calabria, Italy

Province of Reggio Calabria
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About Province of Reggio Calabria

The Province of Reggio Calabria (Italian: Provincia di Reggio Calabria) was a province in the Calabria region of Italy. It was the southernmost province of continental Italy and is separated from the island of Sicily by the Strait of Messina. The capital was the city of Reggio.

It was effectively replaced by the Metropolitan City of Reggio Calabria starting from 2018.


The province of Reggio Calabria was located at the southern end of mainland Italy. To the west is the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the south and southeast is the Ionian Sea. The land borders are short; to the north-east is the province of Catanzaro and to the north-west, the province of Vibo Valentia. Across the Strait of Messina, about 3 kilometers south-west, lies the island of Sicily.

The province can be divided into three types of terrain. Near the west it is mountainous, with the Aspromonte massif formed by overlapping terraces of gneiss and mica schists. The highest point is 1,956 m (6,417 feet) and this area is part of the Aspromonte National Park. Numerous inlets and rivers, often seasonal, flow from the mountains, the largest of which is Amendolea and Calopinace. The lower hills are terraced for the cultivation of citrus fruits, olives and vines and the upper parts are wooded, with chestnuts, beeches, holm oaks, pines, Sicilian firs and Mediterranean scrub. The southern part of the province has a coastal plain and to the east of the mountainous area, there is a plateau that stretches from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Ionian Sea, the distance from Rosarno to Punta Stilo is about 220 kilometers (140 miles ).


The current southern part of Calabria was the place where the name "Italy" was used for the first time, about 3500 years ago.

The ancient Greeks built a city "Rhegion" on the site of today's Reggio, a strategic site next to the Strait of Messina. The city's National Museum houses two bronze statues, the Riace bronzes, recovered from the sea in Riace about 50 miles (80 km) east.

In the third century BC, the Greeks were conquered by the northern tribes, including a branch of the Samnites called Bruttii. They established their sovereignty over today's Calabria and founded new cities, including their capital "Consentia", now known as Cosenza. After their victory in the Piric War (280–275 BC), Rome occupied Calabria and remained under their control until the fifth century AD.

The entire region of the present province of Reggio has been a rich area for centuries, and in particular during the Byzantine period, until 1860, when the Italian Unity took place.

The city of Reggio and other parts of the province, as well as Messina and the neighboring parts of Sicily, were devastated by the Messina earthquake of 1908. This was followed by a series of tsunamis that caused further damage.

In the 1950s there was a mass migration of rural populations from Reggio and other provinces of southern Italy to the cities of Rome, Milan and in particular Turin in the north. They were driven by poverty, the poor soils of the region and the chronic lack of job opportunities to move to places with more prosperous economies.

Between 1969 and 1973, southern Italy suffered from urban unrest due to the lack of job opportunities and poor living conditions and urban protests took place. In 1970 Catanzaro was chosen as the seat for a new regional government. Reggio was therefore the scene of a popular revolt - known as Moti di Reggio - against the choice of the government of Catanzaro as the capital of the new Calabria Region. Strikes and demonstrations lasted for over a year and were sometimes brutally repressed by the police and the army. The railway service from Sicily was interrupted, the airport, the post offices and the TV station were occupied at different times and the police stations were attacked. Three people were killed, over two hundred wounded and over four hundred were charged with public order offenses .

The Italian government has responded to this by confirming Catanzaro as the regional capital but by organizing the regional assembly to be held in Reggio. A new port and steel mills were announced in Gioia Tauro, to create jobs in the area, but before the steel mills were completed, the price of steel plummeted and the steel mills were abandoned. The port was however built, but another project, a new power plant, did not go ahead due to environmental factors. Since then the port has become a busy container terminal handling over three million containers every year and new roads have been built to handle the resulting increase in traffic .


Source: Wikipedia
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