Traditionally bound to Sicily
(above all to Messina) through tight commercial links, the
City sided with Sicily in the anti-Angioina revolts (Vespri
Sicilians, 1282) and gave support to the Aragonese forces
in the subsequent Vespro war. The peace of Caltabellotta (1302)
fully assigned the City to the Angioini from the Reign of
Naples, by which it was ruled during the course of the 14th
Century, and therefore obtaining a wide communal prerogative.
Involved in the struggles for succession between the Angioini
and Durazzeschi, it was conquered and lost by both parties;
yielding definitively to Alfonso V il Magnanimo, King of Sicily.
Reggio was from this time (1443) taken from Renato d’Angiò
due to the help that the Reggini had lent to the last mentioned,
the City was deprived of the prerogative of main town of Calabria,
in favour of Catanzaro.
Its rights were reintegrated by Ferdinando I (1465), being
conquered by Consalvo di Cordova for Ferdinando II, the Catholica.
In the 16th Century it was devastated numerous times by Barbarian
and Turkish raids, initiating a progressive decline, which
had its epilogue through the earthquake of 5th February 1783.
Occupied by the French in 1806, in 1810 it was erected as
Duchy by Napoleon, for one of his generals, Oudinot. It therefore
had a noteworthy part in the Liberal and Renaissance Revolts,
and after the Garibaldine conquered it on 22nd August 1860,
it became part of the Reign of Italy.
Reconstructed after a terrible earthquake in December 1908,
which took over 40,000 victims, and then during the Second
World War, it suffered grave destruction due to the heavy
bombardments which prepared for the occupation of the City
by the troops of the British Army, 8th Division (3rd September
The present day urbanistic layout, occupies the area of the
old centre; the zone of the Fort coincides with the present
day Piazza Italia; it has been possible to identify traces
of the walls, on the further side to that of the coastal area,
where the Sanctuary of Artemide was established. The remains
of thermal buildings and private habitations with interesting
mosaics have also been found.
The main archaeological finds from the region of Calabra and
Lucana, are preserved in the local Museum, which has gathered
in diverse sections, material from the pre-historic era, as
well at the Hellenistic, and the famous “Bronzi di Riace”
(“The Bronze Statues of Riace”).