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Reggio Calabria

Reggio Calabria
Italian comune
NameReggio Calabria
Official nameCittà di Reggio Calabria
ProvinceReggio Calabria (RC)
MayorGiuseppe Scopelliti
Total Area91.1 sq mi (236 km2)
Total Population186547 (30 June 2009)
Patron saintSaint George
Area code0965

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Reggio di Calabria (-itˈrɛddʒo di kaˈlaːbrja; Calabrian dialect: Rìggiu, Greek-Calabrian: Righi, Greek: , Rhegion, Latin: Rhegium), commonly known as Reggio Calabria or Reggio, is the biggest city and the most populated comune of Calabria, southern Italy, and is the capital of the Province of Reggio Calabria.

Reggio di Calabria is located on the "toe" of the Italian peninsula and is separated from the island of Sicily by the Strait of Messina. It is situated on the slopes of the Aspromonte, a long, craggy mountain range that runs up through the center of the region. The region is subject to earthquakes and tsunami. It is the largest and oldest city in the region and is the second oldest city in Italy overall. The third economic center of mainland Southern Italy and is well known as a port and university city. The city has a population of 186,547 spread over 236 km2, while the fast-growing urban area numbers 260,000 inhabitants. Another 370,429 people live in the metropolitan area (the 10th metropolitan city of the Italian nation).

Reggio has other commonly used popular nicknames: The "city of Bronzes", for the Riace bronzes which are testimonials of its Greek origins; the "city of bergamot", which is exclusively cultivated in the region; and the "city of Fatamorgana", an optical phenomenon visible only from the Reggio seaside in Italy.

The city was founded in 720 BC by the Ancient Greeks who called it Rhegion (meaning "it breaks away") and was a well established part of Magna Graecia. It became a Roman ally and part of the Roman Republic, then metropolis and capital of the possessions of the Byzantine Empire in southern Italy (from 553 to 1071). Reggio emerged as the capital of the Duchy of Calabria for a period until it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Sicily. It was then part of the Kingdom of Naples and from 1282 to −1860 it was known as the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification.

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