Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Calabria from Philip's Encyclopedia

Region in S Italy, including the provinces of Catanzaro, Cosenza and Reggio di Calabria. The capital is Catanzaro. The local economy is almost exclusively agricultural. Area: 15,080sq km (5822sq mi). Pop. (2001) 2,043,288.


Summary Article: Calabria
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Mountainous region occupying the ‘toe’ of Italy, comprising the provinces of Catanzaro, Cosenza, Crotone, Reggio di Calabria, and Vibo Valenzia; area 15,080 sq km/5,822 sq mi; population (2001 est) 1,993,300. A peninsula lying between the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas, Calabria is separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina, and has a narrow, fertile coastal strip. Its capital is Catanzaro, and other major towns include Crotone and Reggio di Calabria.

Physical The region contains two groups of the southern Apennines; in the southern group lies the peak of Aspromonte. The northern group in Cosenza province includes the plateau of La Sila.

Economy On the densely populated plains and hillslopes, intensive garden plots produce cereals, vegetables, oranges, almonds, wine, and figs. There are also extensive olive groves. The development of industry and coastal tourism has helped to stem the tide of emigration from the region. Industrial centres include Crotone and Reggio di Calabria, and there are several large hydroelectric plants. Long one of the most economically depressed areas in Italy, during the second half of the 20th century the government tried to stimulate the economy through the introduction of new crops, land reform, and the promotion of tourism.

History Crotone was the site of Croton, a Greek town founded by the Achaeans in 710 BC. Calabria was known in ancient times as Bruttium, and took its modern name in the 8th century. Taken over by Norman adventurer Robert Guiscard in the 11th century, the region was first part of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily and then part of the Kingdom of Naples after 1822; it was then conquered by Guiseppe Garibaldi in 1860. Catanzaro occupies an important gap south of La Sila, and was badly damaged in World War II. During that war the Eighth Army crossed the Strait of Messina to invade the Italian mainland of Calabria on 3 September 1943.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles


Full text Article Calabria
The Macmillan Encyclopedia

A mountainous region occupying the southern toe of Italy. It is basically a poor agricultural region (producing olives, citrus fruits, vines,...

Full text Article Calabria
Philip's Encyclopedia

Region in S Italy, including the provinces of Catanzaro, Cosenza and Reggio di Calabria. The capital is Catanzaro. The local economy is almost...

Full text Article Calabria
The Columbia Encyclopedia

(kälä'brēä), region (1991 pop. 2,070,203), 5,822 sq mi (15,079 sq km), S Italy, a peninsula projecting between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Ionian Sea,

See more from Credo