Locri is a town and comune (municipality) in the province of Reggio Calabria, Calabria, southern Italy. Its name derives from that of the ancient Greek region of Locris. Today it is an important administrative and cultural centre on the Ionian Coast and within its province.
|Città di Locri|
|Metropolitan city||Reggio Calabria (RC)|
|Frazioni||Moschetta, San Fili, Baldari|
|• Mayor||Giuseppe Lombardo (from 2011)|
|• Total||25.75 km2 (9.94 sq mi)|
|• Density||480/km2 (1,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Patron saint||St. Catherine|
|Saint day||November 24|
Epizephyrian Locris (Greek Ἐπιζεφύριοι Λοκροί; from ἐπί epi, "on", Ζέφυρος (Zephyros), West Wind, and the plural of Λοκρός, Lokros, "a Locrian," thus "The Western Locrians") was founded about 680 BC on the Italian shore of the Ionian Sea, near modern Capo Zefirio, by the Locrians, apparently by Opuntii (East Locrians) from the city of Opus, but including Ozolae (West Locrians) and Lacedaemonians. Its Latin name, Locri, is the plural of the Latin Locrus, which was used both to mean an inhabitant of Locris and the eponymous ancestor of the Locrians. Strabo suggests that it was the Ozolae who were the main founders.
Due to fierce winds at an original settlement, the settlers moved to the present site. After a century, a defensive wall was built. Outside the city there are several necropoleis, some of which are very large.
Epizephyrian Locris was one of the cities of Magna Graecia. Its renowned lawgiver Zaleucus decreed that anyone who proposed a change in the laws should do so with a noose about their neck, with which they should be hanged if the amendment did not pass. Plato called it "The flower of Italy", due to the local peoples' characteristics. Locris was the site of two great sanctuaries, that of Persephone — here worshipped as the protector of fertile marriage — and of Aphrodite.
In the early centuries Locris was allied with Sparta, and later with Syracuse. It founded two colonies of its own, Hipponion and Medma. During the Pyrrhic Wars (280-275 BC) fought between Pyrrhus of Epirus and Rome, Locris accepted a Roman garrison and fought against the Epirote king. However, the city changed sides numerous times during the war. Bronze tablets from the treasury of its Olympeum, a temple to Zeus, record payments to a 'king', generally thought to be Pyrrhus. Despite this, Pyrrhus plundered the temple of Persephone at Locris before his return to Epirus, an event which would live on in the memory of the Greeks of Italy. At the end of the war, perhaps to allay fears about its loyalty, Locris minted coins depicting a seated Rome being crowned by 'Pistis', a goddess personifying good faith and loyalty, and returned to the Roman fold.
The city was abandoned in the fifth century AD. The town was finally destroyed by the Saracens in 915. The survivors fled inland about 10 kilometres (6 mi) to the town Gerace on the slopes of the Aspromonte.
After 1850 Gerace developed along the coast, forming a new centre Gerace Marina, to house new public buildings and a railway station. In 1934 it changed its name in Locri, which is now the administrative centre of the Locride area. The city boasts a National Museum and an Archaeological Park (www.locriantica.it). Apart from the archeological sites, the town is also an important sea-side resort along the Costa dei Gelsomini, or Jasmine Coast, one of the wildest coastlines of Italy.
Locri, with over 12,000 inhabitants, is an important administrative and cultural centre on the Ionian Coast, in the Italian Province of Reggio Calabria. The town is easily reached by plane; in fact, it is only 90 minutes away from the International Airport of Lamezia (www.aeroportolameziaterme.info) and from the Airport of Reggio Calabria (www.aeroportodellostretto.it). Locri is well connected to all regional and national towns and cities by train (www.trenitalia.it), shuttle, taxi, and bus (www.troiolobus.com ; www.autolineefederico.it). The A2 autoroute makes Locri easy to reach by car, too. Sicily is accessible by ferry boat from Villa San Giovanni or Reggio Calabria, both of which are a car or a train journey away from Locri (www.trasportisullostretto.it). There are several hotels, residences, hostels, and bed&breakfast establishments where tourists and visitors can find comfortable accommodation for their stay. The Tourist Information Centre can offer assistance and information on matters of accommodation. In Locri, you can find many administrative bodies and public services, such as a criminal and civil court, a revenue agency, a police station, travel agencies, three post offices (two of which have ATM facilities), banks, the State Archive, the City Hall (built in 1880), trade unions, the bishop's office, several Catholic churches, and an Indian and an Evangelical church. The city is also home to the most important hospital of the area, an emergency medical service, many private doctors, and three pharmacies. There are in the locality several state schools – including Elementary Schools, High Schools (www.istitutocomprensivolocri.gov.it), Lyceums (www.liceozaleuco.gov.it), and Vocational Schools (www.ipssalocri.gov.it ; www.ipsiasiderno.it) – as well as private schools and two private English language schools (www.englishcentreonline.com). The city boasts a National Museum and an Archaeological Park (www.locriantica.it), two cinemas (www.cinevittoria.com), two cultural centres, a theatre, and a library. In Locri you will find many shops, restaurants, pizzerias, fast food outlets, pubs, bars, cafeterias, patisseries, farm restaurants, fruit and vegetable market halls, florists, supermarkets, and shopping malls. You also have facilities for a wide range of sports, including soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, snorkeling, fishing and diving, and, because there is nearby hilly and mountainous terrain, trekking and hiking are further options. Finally, being a seaside city, Locri can offer enjoyable walks on the sea-front boulevard or on the beach and in the summer months it plays host to an assortment of beach-side lidos.
Ionic temple of MarasàEdit
In the first half of the fifth century BC, the Locrians demolished their archaic temple and rebuilt a new temple in the Ionic style. The temple was designed by Syracusan architects around 470 BC, based on the idea of Hiero I of Syracuse.
The new temple occupies the same place as the previous one but it has a different orientation. The temple was destroyed in the 11th century. The dimensions of the temple were 45.5 by 19.8 metres (149 by 65 ft). The cella is free of supports on the central axes. The pronaos had two columns. The temple has seventeen Ionic columns on the long side, and six on the front. The height of the temple was 12 metres (39 ft).
The theatre was built in the fourth century BC not far from the ancient city, in the Contrada Pirettina, taking advantage of a hillside slope. The original structure had space for more than 4,500 people; now only the central part of the theatre is visible.
Part of the Cavea was cut into the rocks. Each plane was divided in 7 wedges between 6 scales. A horizontal separation divided the upper theater from the lower theatre.
- "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
- "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
- All demographics and other statistics from the Italian statistical institute (Istat)
- It was common in classical times to name a city in the plural for the name of its inhabitants and/or its eponymous deity or founder, cp. αἱ Ἀθήναι, literally "The Athenas," i.e. "Athens." See also the List of traditional Greek place names
- See the history of the Ludovisi Throne, now thought to have come from Locris.
- Calabria’s Jasmine Coast, Italia, site of ENIT - the Italian Government Tourist Board, accessed 14 September 2017
- Locri Youth Association - Associazione Culturale Giovani per la Locride (in Italian)
- Sito on ancient Locri (in Italian) (in English)