Magna Graecia, between myth and history

An age of great splendour

The Greek colonization of Southern Italy, and in turn Calabria, began in the eighth century BC: the period in which Rhegion, the ancient name of Reggio Calabria, was also founded. Myths and legends tell us, however, of the Greek presence in the region many centuries before, during the Trojan war (13th century BC). It seems that many Greek heroes landed on the coasts after the war and founded several cities. The area covered by Taranto to Reggio on the Ionian side that then goes back up to Cuma, in Campania, was defined by the Greek and Roman historians as Magna Graecia (Megale Hellàs). The appellation of “Great” Greece is not necessarily to be considered as indicative of superiority with respect to the motherland. Some historians believe that its name had a religious meaning, or that Magna Graecia was undoubtedly characterized by templar structures superior to those of Greece.

The Riace Bronzes

Heros of eternal beauty

The modern history of the Bronzes begins on August 16th, 1972, when, after an episode that has had implications that have not yet been completely clarified, two bronze statues were found, apparently without any modern findings in the surrounding area, at the site of the Porto Forticchio di Riace Marina.

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The Underground Piazza Italia

The hypogeum of Piazza Italia

The repeated excavations that were carried out between 2000 and 2005 in the south-eastern area of Piazza Italia have shone light on a site of considerable historical and archaeological interest, which shows that the area has always been at the centre of the city’s commercial activities. Eleven phases of construction are in fact recognizable in the space of six metres, spanning from the Greek age, to the early 19th century.

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The Greek walls

The Greek walls

Walking along the Falcomatà waterfront, at Piazza Camagna, you will come across Reggio’s largest stretch of Hellenistic walls, enclosed by wrought-iron gate. Although they are defined as “Greek” walls, they are in reality the product of the city wall circuit that over time has been restored countless times, especially after the violent earthquake of 1783.

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Terme Romane Reggio Calabria Author Franc rc

Roman Baths

Located at the end of the Falcomatà waterfront and discovered during the reconstruction works following the 1908 earthquake, the Roman Baths are one of the most famous city monuments of Reggio Calabria.

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Archaelological Park of Locri Epizefiri

The Archaeological Park of Locri Epizefiri

The Archaeological Park of Locri Epizefiri is situated along the Ioanian coast, just a few kilometres south of where Locri is currently located. Its artefacts can be attributed to the Bronze and Iron Ages. The remains of the Greek city, including its walls, sanctuaries, theatre, private buildings, and numerous testimonies from the Roman and late ancient period, allows more than 4000 years of history to be retraced.

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Taureani Palmi park

The Archaeological Park of Taureani

The Taureani Park occupies the area where the Bruttian city of Taurania was once located, in the region of Palmi. It is a vast, green area of extraordinary beauty, which presents the artefacts from ancient settlements that have followed since the second millennium BC and which constitutes an archaeological heritage of considerable importance.

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The archaeological area of the Naniglio

The archaeological area of Naniglio

Built in the late first century BC, the Villa of the “Naniglio” reached its maximum splendour in the third century A.D. The main attraction of the villa is a huge, well preserved water reservoir, comprised of a central nave and two lateral aisles.

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Roman Villa

The mosaics of Casignana

Discovered in 1963, the villa in Casignana is the embodiment of the stylistic and architectural richness and the artistic refinement of the noble dwellings of the Hellenistic period. The mosaic floors, which suggest connections with stylistic features typical of Eastern Africa areas such as present-day Tunisia and Tripolitania, are a unicum in the territory of Calabria.

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The Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria – MArRC

The Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria

The history of the Museum of Reggio Calabria was born of the disastrous earthquake of 1908 that struck the cities of Reggio and Messina. From the rubble of a still devastated city came important finds of its Greek-Roman history. The earthquake severely damaged the Museum, but it was reopened in 1882, by the determination of the superintendent of the archaeological heritage of Calabria, Paolo Orsi. His encouragement hastened the establishment of an Archaeological Museum of Magna Graecia housing artefacts from all over the Calabrian region.

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The Medma Rosarno Museum

The Museum of Medma

An immense stretch of olive trees that covers the area of the archaeological park of the ancient Magno-Greek city of Medma, in the region of Rosarno. The museum, which contains most of the artefacts found in this area that serve as silent witnesses of a millennial past, comes from this context.

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The Metauros Museum

The Metauros Museum

Set up in the 18th century Palazzo Badari di Gioia Tauro, the museum offers an exciting journey through the history of Metauros, from its Greek origins, to the Roman era, up to the Medieval period.

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The wonders of ancient Kaulon

The wonders of ancient Kaulon

Kaulon, founded by the Achaeans of Crotone around 7th century BC, was once located in what is known today as the town of Monasterace Marina, at the tip of the Stilo peak. Thanks to the excavations conducted by Paolo Orsi during the lasty century, today we can still admire its extraordinary wall remains and archaeological artefacts of inestimable value.

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