It is situated near the mouth of a river of the same name, and contains an aqueduct. On an eminence overlooking the town is a feudal castle with massive towers and a deep trench. In the comune are the ruins of the ancient city of Thurii. Nearby is the site of the ancient city of Sybaris.
In 1879, it had a population of about 13,000. It had five churches, six convents, and a few public buildings. Licorice was made on a large scale, and there was a considerable trade in timber, wine, oranges, lemons, and olives.