Reggio di Calabria (rĕdˈjō dē käläˈbrēä) [key], city (1991 pop. 177,580), capital of Reggio di Calabria prov., Calabria, extreme S Italy, on the Strait of Messina opposite Sicily. An impoverished area, it is a beach resort and an important agricultural market for fruits and tobacco. Bergamot essence (used in perfume) is produced there. Known as Rhegium in ancient times, the city became (12th cent.) part of the kingdom of Sicily and later (13th cent.) of Naples. Its strategic position has resulted in numerous foreign invasions and incursions. The city has also suffered many earthquakes—the worst came in 1783 and 1908. In 1970–71 there was considerable unrest in the city when the capital of Calabria was shifted from Reggio to Catanzaro. The National Museum in Reggio has rich collections of ancient art.
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