City of the province of Reggio Calabria, located not far from its regional capital and overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, Villa San Giovanni is the natural gateway to Calabria, for travelers coming from Messina. It is the major car and train ferry boarding point between the Italian mainland and Sicily. It is also a popular holiday resort as well as a thriving fishing harbor, famous for its swordfish capturing in the waters of the Strait of Messina.
Its strategic position, has been cause of disputes and clashes for all those populations that, over the centuries, have alternated in the domain of the Mediterranean.
Also known with the name "Cenideo, this area was already an important trading center at the times of Magna Graecia. With the Romans it became "trajectum Siciliae" (passage to Sicily) and, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the population was obliged to find refuge in the inland areas to escape from the repeated Saracen raids and founded the districts of Fiumara di Muro and Catona. A decisive population increase was recorded following the earthquake of 1783, when the population of Fiumara moved back to the coast. The town was proclaimed municipality in 1799, while in 1927 it was incorporated into the territory of Reggio Calabria, until a few years later, the inhabitants regained self-government.
Sites of Interest:
- the Old Fountain, the oldest monument of the city, commissioned in 1830, at short distance from the residence of the Caracciolo Family;
- the Church of the Immaculate, completely rebuilt after the disastrous earthquake of 1908 in Romanesque style, designed by architect Pietro De Nava;
- the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, consecrated in the 60s of the XX century, after several previous failed attempts to complete the sacred building.