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Calabria

Regione Calabria
Coat of arms of Calabria.png
Capital Catanzaro
President Agazio Loiero
(DL-Union)
Provinces Catanzaro
Cosenza
Crotone
Reggio Calabria
Vibo Valentia
Comuni 409
Area 15,081 km²
 - Ranked 10 th (5.0 %)
Population (2006 est.)
 - Total

 - Ranked
 - Density


2,004,415
10 th (3.4 %)
133/km²
Italy Regions Calabria 220px.png
Map highlighting the location of Calabria in Italy


Calabria, formerly Brutium, is a region in southern Italy which occupies the "toe" of the Italian peninsula south of Naples. It is bounded in the north by the region of Basilicata, region of Sicily in SW, to the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea, and to the east by the Ionian Sea. The region covers 15,080 km² and has a population of 2.05 million.

Provinces

NASA orbital photo of Calabria.

The region is divided into five provinces: Cosenza, Crotone, Reggio di Calabria, Vibo Valentia, and Catanzaro. Catanzaro has been the regional capital since 1970, but despite this the regional Parliament is hosted in the former capital of Reggio di Calabria. The switchover to Catanzaro as capital of Calabria was the cause of riots in 1970.

History

Greeks settled heavily along the coast at an early date and several of their settlements, including Sybaris, Crotona, and Locri, were numbered among the leading cities of Magna Graecia during the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Conquered by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, the region never regained its former prosperity. The inhabitants were in large part driven inland by the spread of malaria and, during the early Middle Ages, by pirate raids.

After several wars with rival Italian tribes, Many Romans, including Cicero, had vacation homes in Vibo Valentia. Calabria was for many years part of the Roman Empire and after its fall, was devastated during the Gothic War before it came under the rule of a local dux for the Byzantine Empire. In the 9th and 10th centuries, Calabria, which had been the rich breadbasket of Rome before Egypt was conquered, was the borderland between Byzantine rule and the Arab emirs in Sicily, subject to raids and skirmishes, depopulated and demoralized, with vibrant Greek monasteries providing fortresses of culture. In the 1060s, Normans under the leadership of Robert Guiscard's brother Roger established a presence in this borderland, organized a government along Byzantine lines that was run by the local Greek magnates of Calabria. In 1098, Pope Urban II bestowed on Roger the equivalence of an apostolic legate and the Hauteville clan formed the precursors of the Kingdom of Naples which in one form or another ruled Calabria until the unification of Italy. This kingdom itself came under many rulers: the Habsburg dynasties of both Spain and Austria; the French Bourbon dynasty, and briefly Napoleon's general Joachim Murat, who was executed in the small town of Pizzo.

Throughout all this, Calabria remained a very rural and exploited region. The Aspromonte, a mountainous region of central Calabria, was the scene of a famous battle of the Risorgimento (unification of Italy), in which Garibaldi was wounded. Several of the important philosophers (namely, Bernardino Telesio from Cosenza, Gioacchino da Fiore from San Giovanni in Fiore, Tommaso Campanella from Stilo) came from Calabria, and famous Americans of Calabrian descent are almost too numerous to name. The seawater around Calabria is very clear, and there is a good level of tourist accommodation. The poet Gabriele d'Annunzio called the seafront at Reggio "The most beautiful kilometer in Italy".

Language

The official national language (since 1861) is Italian. However, as a consequence of its deep and colorful history, other historical languages have been spoken in this region for centuries. The various dialects_of_Calabria are divided into two different language groups. In the northern sections, a dialect of the Neapolitan language called "northern Calabrese" is spoken. In the southern part of the region, a dialect of the Sicilian language called "southern Calabro" is spoken. In isolated pockets, a hybrid language that dates back to the 9th century, called Griko, is spoken. A variety of Franco-Provençal can also be found in certain communities. In several villages, the Arbëreshë dialect of the Albanian language has been spoken since a wave of refugees settled there in the 15th century.

Transportation

Airports

  • Aeroporto di Crotone-Sant'Anna (CRV)
  • Aeroporto di Lamezia-Sant'Eufemia (SUF)
  • Aeroporto dello Stretto (REG)

Seaports


Tourism sites

Universities

Main Soccer Teams

External links



Regions of Italy
AbruzzoAosta ValleyApuliaBasilicataCalabriaCampaniaEmilia-RomagnaFriuli-Venezia GiuliaLazioLiguriaLombardyMarcheMolisePiedmontSardiniaSicilyTrentino-South TyrolTuscanyUmbriaVeneto