|Comune di Caulonia|
|Province||Reggio Calabria (RC)|
|Frazioni||Agromastelli, Campoli, Crochi, Cufò, Focà, San Nicola, Ursini, Ziia|
|• Mayor||Ilario Ammendolia|
|• Total||100.7 km2 (38.9 sq mi)|
|Population (December 2007)|
|• Density||74/km2 (190/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Caulonia (Greek: Καυλωνία Kaulonia) is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Reggio Calabria in the Italian region Calabria, located about 60 km southwest of Catanzaro and about 120 km northeast of Reggio Calabria in the Stilaro Valley.
Caulonia was founded between the 7th and 8th centuries BC by Greek Achaean colonists as part of Magna Graecia. For a time ruled by nearby Crotone, Caulonia became an independent city-state, minting its own coins. According to Thucydides, during the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) Caulonians supplied Athens with timber for ships. The store of timber at Caulonia was attacked and burned by forces from Syracuse. Beginning in 389 BC., Caulonia was conquered and ruled by various groups.
In 200 BC the town was completely destroyed by the Romans, when it sided with Hannibal during the Punic Wars. It was probably around this time that the ancient site of Caulonia, directly on the Ionian coast, was abandoned in favor of a more protected site inland. The next mention of the city dates to 200 years later, this time by the historian Strabo, who wrote of Caulonia as "situated before a valley."
Caulonia was known as Castelvetere until 1862, when the town regained the name Caulonia, following Calabria's integration with Italy during the Italian unification.
During the early 20th century, thousands of Cauloniesi migrated abroad. The first waves of migrants went to the United States. Changes in U.S. immigration law in the 1920s, in part to reduce the number of southern European immigrants, caused Cauloniesi migration to shift to other venues, especially Australia, Canada, and Argentina, in the latter waves of twentieth century migration.
For five days in March 1945, with the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini overthrown, "Red Republic of Caulonia" led by an elementary school teacher named Pasquale Cavallaro, was proclaimed in Caulonia. A communist, Cavallaro had been elected mayor of Caulonia in 1944. The short-lived republic was the product of a peasants' revolt against abusive landowners. Cavallaro resigned his mayorship to lead the revolt. When the uprising was ultimately crushed, which required a military operation involving both Allied and carabinieri units, 350 Red Cauloniesi were put on trial in nearby Locri for sedition. Most were ultimately pardoned, but Cavallaro himself served eight years in prison.
Major floods hit Caulonia and its surrounding hamlets in 1951 and 1953. These floods, combined with ongoing emigration, caused significant declines in Caulonia's population, with the comune's center of economic activity now on the coast at the frazione of Marina di Caulonia. Many of the homes in Caulonia Superiore are vacant, though some of these abandoned buildings are occupied by squatting artists.
Festivals in Caulonia Superiore attract thousands, especially the annual Tarantella Power festival in late August, which features live tarantella music and tarantella dancing workshops.
- All demographics and other statistics from the Italian statistical institute (Istat)
- Maria Elisa Campisi, Guida Turistica di Caulonia, Rubbettino Industrie Grafiche ed Editoriali, 2008.
- Giuseppe Panetta, Caulonia, Complete Guide to the City, Edizioni "Il Meridionale," 2007.
- Official website
- Caulonia 2000
- YouTube Video of Tarantella Power Festival in Caulonia
- Society of Saint Hilarion (Cauloniese Migrants to Australia)
- Family History Site of a Cauloniese Immigrant Family to U.S.