Calabria, Italy

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Interactive Map of Calabria, Italy

Calabria, Italy Map Links:


The “toe” of Italy is where the region of Calabria, Italy, is found. The region covers a large portion of Italy at 5,822 square miles and a population of nearly 2 million, making it one of the most largely occupied regions in Italy. 

Cities as Seen on a Map of Calabria, Italy:

  • Catanzaro
  • Reggio Calabria
  • Cosenza
  • Vibo Valencia
  • Corigliano-Rossano
  • Lamezia Terme
  • Crotone
  • Rende

Quick Facts:

  • Population = Nearly 2 million
  • Languages = Italian/Latin (Romance, Indo-European, Neapolitan dialects), Greek, French
  • Ethnicities = Italian, Greek, Roman, French
  • Capital = Catanzaro

The History of Calabria, Italy

Calabria, Italy, was settled in 1500 BC by a tribe of Greek settlers. Around 271 BC, Romans took control of the region of Calabria until their fall in 476 AD. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the region of Calabria was taken control of by a Germanic chief who led the region to become part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom, which would later become the Kingdom of Italy.

The Byzantine Empire retook control of the Ostrogothic Kingdom. They eventually lost control of the region in the late 500s to the Lombards, a Germanic tribe that was able to control southern Italy for around 500 years. During this time, Greek was the primary language of the region.

By the 1060s, the Normans (Norse Vikings from France) had entered the region and set up a government based on the Eastern Roman Empire. In 1098, the Kingdom of Sicily was formed, which the region of Calabria would become a part of. The Kingdom of Sicily lasted for approximately 700 years.

During the late 1700s, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte had taken control of southern Italy until he was overthrown in 1815. The Italian Unification began in 1815, which attempted to bring all of the regions and kingdoms of Italy together as one. 

In 1876, many emigrants left Calabria because of war, unrest, and poverty. This is known as the Calabrian Diaspora. There was a major economic depression that impacted Calabria in 1876, and it is estimated that approximately 5 million emigrants left the region of Calabria. 

Emigrants left Calabria because of poverty, overpopulation, and religious persecution. Had the Calabrian Diaspora not happened, it is incredibly likely that the current population of Calabria would be between 5 and 7 million, rather than 2 million.


During the rule of the Lombards during the 6th century, Greek was the primary language of the region. As the region of Calabria changed hands from Greek to French to Italian, all three of these languages are spoken in Calabria, with Italian as the primary spoken language.


Roman Catholicism is the primary religion in Calabria, but there are also sub-denominations of Christianity that are practiced in the area as well. Evangelical and Jewish communities also exist in Calabria, but they are small compared to the dominance of Roman Catholicism.


Calabria contains both mountainous and coastal topography. The mountains are gently rolling hills from the Pollino, La Sila, and Aspromonte mountain ranges. There is approximately 49% of the region that is covered with mountains and hills, with the remaining area made up of plains and coastline. 

The region of Calabria has three sides that are surrounded by water. This makes access to the Calabria region extremely easy by boat. On the contrary, access to the coastline contributed to the near 5 million emigrants who left the area. Without this convenient access to the waterway, emigration may not have been as high.

Migration Pattern

During the 1870s, it is estimated that around 5 million Calabrians left the region because of poverty, overpopulation, and religious persecution. Most of the emigrants fled to the United States. This drastically lowered the total population of the area, and the region has not recovered since. 

Today, it is estimated that approximately 2 million Calabrians live in the region. Without the emigration during the 1870s, it is believed that the region of Calabria would have between 5 and 7 million total residents.


Genealogy is diverse when it comes to the Calabrian people. The Greeks ruled the ancient Calabria region before the Roman Empire took over. Once the Roman Empire fell, the region was ruled by both Germanic and French forces. Finally, after the Italian Unification, the region was ruled by the Kingdom of Italy and officially became part of Italy.

Genealogy of Calabrian people can include lineage that includes Greek, Roman, Germanic, and French traits. Additionally, because nearly 5 million emigrants left Calabria and migrated to the United States, there is likely a large number of Italian-Americans living in the United States with Calabrian genealogy.

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Caleb Pike
About the author

Caleb Pike is an avid hiker and nature lover, with a passion for exploring the great outdoors. He's a writer, photographer, and adventurer, always seeking new trails to blaze and peaks to conquer.