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A map showing the region of Calabria

Calabria is a region in Southern Italy. It is a peninsula bordered by Basilicata to the north, the Ionian Sea to the east, the Strait of Messina to the southwest, which separates it from Sicily, and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. It has almost 2 million residents across a total area of 15,222 square kilometres (5,877 sq mi). Catanzaro is the region's capital.

Calabria is the birthplace of the name Italy, given to it by the Ancient Greeks who settled in this land starting from the 8th century BC. They established the first cities, mainly on the coast, as Greek colonies and during this period Calabria became the home of key figures in history such as Pythagoras, Herodotus and Milo.



Totall Discourse (1632)

William Lithgow, The Totall Discourse Of the Rare Aduentures and painefull Peregrinations of long nineteene Yeares Trauayles, from Scotland, to the most Famous Kingdomes in Europe, Asia, and Affrica (London: Nicholas Okes, 1632), VIII
  • Thanking God ... and approaching Florence, I found one John Browne there, whose company I imbraced to Sicilia: Whence having privatly past Rome, and publickly Naples, we footed along the marine by Salerno, and courting Cousenza, the capitall seate of Calabria where a Vicegerent remaineth, we reposed there certaine dayes.
    • Cousenza in Calabria.
  • The Towne is of no quantity nor quality, in regard of the obscurenesse and solitarinesse of the Countrey, the better sort of their Gentry living at Naples: Having left the lower, and entred the higher Calabria, we arrived at the Bourge of Allavria; and the next morning traversing close and covert mountaines, twelve miles along, in the midst of our passage we were beset with foure Bandits and foure Gunnes: To whom holding up my hand, and imploring for our lives, shewing them mine adventures and former travells, they unbend their fire-locks, and reading my patent of Jerusalem, uncovered their heads, and did me homage, notwithstanding they were absolute murderers: Our lives and liberty is granted, and for a greater assurance, they tooke us both in to a great thicket of wood, where their timberd Cabine stood, and there made merry with us in good Wine and the best cheare their sequestrate cottage could afford.
    And now because there were forty more Bandits their companions among these mountaines, one of themselves for our safeguard, came along with us, and as neare Castellucia as he durst; making me sweare that I should not shew the Baron of that place of their privat residence, neither that I met with them at all; which I freely did, and so gave him many hearty and deserved thanks.
    These Bandits or men-slayers, will come into any free Towne in the night when they please, and recovering either a Church or Hospitall, they stay there as they list, conducing with their friends, their wives, and their affaires; being as safe in these places as though they had not committed any criminall fact, neither may the power of Justice reach to them, so long as they keepe themselves within doores.
    This is an auncient liberty which Calabria hath ever retained, and so is through the most part of all the Spanish Dominions: Having arrived at Castellucia, the Baron thereof made much of me, and wondred that I had safely past the mountaines, for said he when I go for Naples, I am forced to go by sea, notwithstanding I have forty in traine.
    The next day in passing Montecilione, the fairest and fruitfullest bounded Bourg in all Calabria superior; I saw a distectured house; which the people told me had beene the Schoole, where Dionisius the third and last Tyrant of Sicilia (after his flight from the Kingdome and Crowne) taught Children privatly nine yeares, ere hee was knowne to be a King, but a poore Schoolemaster.
    • The liberty of Bandits in Calabria.
  • This higher Calabria though mountainous, aboundeth in delicious Wines, fine pastorage, and exceeding good Silke: The Peasants alwayes commonly here are addicted to eate Onions, whence rose this Proverbe, I Calabrese magniano di Cepoli, the Calabrians feed upon Onions. Their women weare uncomely habits, being hooded from their browes to their backes behind, with sixe or seven sundry colours of cloth or stuffe; whose upper gownes come no further downe than their middle thighes: And their breaches and stockings being all one, and their legges halfe booted, they looke like the ghostly Armenian Gargosons.
    • Greeke Albaneses fled to Calabria.
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