Villa San Giovanni

89018 Villa San Giovanni, Province of Reggio Calabria, Italy

Villa San Giovanni, the principal gateway by ferry to Sicily, is located in Calabria, at the narrowest point of the Strait of Messina. A large lighthouse is one of the notable sights that faces the strait from its shores. Although earthquakes have affected the area for centuries, one in 1908 proved to be the most devastating. It destroyed most of the town and killed about 10 percent of its population. Much of the town center reflects the austere architecture of Fascist Italy, though rebuilding continued into the 1950s. Postwar expansion was remarkable—much of it focused on the tourist industry. Today, the city continues to expand thanks to immigrants to the region.

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