Oppido Mamertina

Oppido Mamertina (Calabrian Greek: Oppidù, Ofidus) is a town and comune of the province of Reggio Calabria in Calabria in southern Italy at about 62 kilometres (39 mi) northeast of Reggio Calabria and about 120 kilometres (75 mi) southwest of Catanzaro.

Oppido Mamertina
Oppidù / Ofidus  (Greek)
Comune di Oppido Mamertina
Coat of arms of Oppido Mamertina
Location of Oppido Mamertina
Oppido Mamertina is located in Italy
Oppido Mamertina
Oppido Mamertina
Location of Oppido Mamertina in Italy
Oppido Mamertina is located in Calabria
Oppido Mamertina
Oppido Mamertina
Oppido Mamertina (Calabria)
Coordinates: 38°18′N 15°59′E / 38.300°N 15.983°E / 38.300; 15.983Coordinates: 38°18′N 15°59′E / 38.300°N 15.983°E / 38.300; 15.983
Metropolitan cityReggio Calabria (RC)
FrazioniCastellace, Messignadi, Piminoro, Tresilico
 • MayorDomenico Giannetta
 • Total58 km2 (22 sq mi)
342 m (1,122 ft)
 (December 2007)[2]
 • Total5,484
 • Density95/km2 (240/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0966
Patron saintAnnunciation
Saint day25 March
WebsiteOfficial website

It is the seat of the Diocese of Oppido Mamertina.

The municipality includes the following boroughs (frazioni): Castellace, Messignadi, Piminoro, and Tresilico.


The ancient history of the town is largely unknown, but archeological excavations in Mella might point its origins to the mythical Mamerto (3rd century BC – 1st century AD).[3] The first mention of the town (Oppidum in Latin, meaning citadel) is 1040, during the Byzantine Era.[3]

The town is famous for its prolonged resistance before falling to Roger the Norman in 1056.[3]

On February 5, 1783, an earthquake completely destroyed the town killing 1,198 people.[4] The town was rebuilt near the neighbouring village Tresilico (incorporated in the municipality in 1927). Other earthquakes hit the town in 1894 and on December 28, 1908, which destroyed the neighbouring township Castellace.[3]


The economy is based on agriculture, in particular olive groves and the production of olive oil, as well citrus orchards in the plain. Forestry and sheep husbandry are also sources of income.[3]


The town is home to the 'Ndrangheta, a Mafia-type criminal organization based in Calabria. Several powerful criminal clans originate from the town, such as the Mammoliti-Rugolo.[5]

The town achieved a sad notoriety in July 2014 when, two weeks after Pope Francis, visiting Calabria, had publicly excommunicated the Mafia, a procession carrying a statue of the Madonna stopped to pay homage outside the house of a home confined local mafia leader.[6]

Demographic evolutionEdit

The population halved during the last century. Many inhabitants moved to the industrial centres in northern Italy or joined the Italian diaspora to escape the extreme poverty.[3]

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ All demographics and other statistics from the Italian statistical institute (Istat)
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Oppido Mamertina: Tour in City" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  4. ^ Faulting and earthquake triggering during the 1783 Calabria seismic sequence[permanent dead link], Jacques E., Monaco C., Tapponnier P., Tortorici L. & Winter T., Geophysical Journal International, Volume 147, Number 3, 2002, pp.499-516
  5. ^ Woman of honour, The Independent, February 25, 1996
  6. ^ "Calabria, la Madonna fa l'inchino al boss - la Repubblica".

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Oppido Mamertina". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.