Isca sullo Ionio
|Isca sullo Ionio|
|Comune di Isca sullo Ionio|
|• Total||22 km2 (8 sq mi)|
|Elevation||188 m (617 ft)|
|Population (May 31, 2005)|
|• Density||71/km2 (180/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||St. Martialis|
|Saint day||July 10|
The Origin of Isca Isca is of Greek origin and as legend states the original name of the town was Sanagasi. The original town was located near the sea, probably about where Isca Marina is located today. It has been said that the original location was abandoned, due to the incursions of outsiders. Sometime, probably during the 9th Century, the inhabitants moved to higher ground, where present day Isca is today, perched between two mountains, with a wide clear view of the sea. The high open view of the sea offered protection for the people, giving them time to prepare for a possible attack. The mountains that surround Isca on three sides, also made it difficult for outsiders to enter Isca from anywhere except from the shoreline. With a warm summer climate, the area is known for growing lemons, oranges, figs, chestnuts, grapes and beans.
San Marziale Saint Marziale was made the official patron saint of Isca, when in August 1726, the mayor of Isca addressed the Bishop of Squillace Monsignor Mark Antonio Attaffi. The mayor asked the bishop for acknowledgement of the relic and positioning of the relic to guard in the altar. To hold festivals for the saint and the license to be able to expose the relic in every necessity and occurrence of the public. The bishop approved the request and gave the mayor permission on August 11, 1726. A year later on August 30, 1727 the town administrators, the proxy and clergy did underwrite obligation to San Marziale. The public did except Marziale as their patron and for being their protector from plague, hunger, earthquakes and the Turks. Until today, the people of Isca are forever thankful to their protector San Marziale. They pay homage to their saint, with religious festivities, every year in May, to mark the anniversary of the earthquake of 1947. The official feast day for San Marziale is in July, but the town celebrates it in August, when most of the people come home to Isca for vacation, from the north and other places throughout the world. The feast is celebrated every year in Isca communities in Philadelphia, Kulpmont Pennsylvania, Toronto and Montreal Canada and Australia.
Earthquakes November 5, 1659: A violent earthquake struck the town at about midnight. It killed 14 people.
February 5, 1783: A devastating earthquake rocked Calabria, with 331 people perishing in a nearby town of Borgia. Isca was spared of any loss of life. The churches of Isca were heavily damaged.
September 8, 1905: Isca had no loss of life. The epicenter was located near the Gulf of S. Eufemia.
December 28, 1908: This historic earthquake killed 65,000 people in Messina, Sicily and 25,000 in the Province of Reggio Calabria.
May 11, 1947: This earthquake struck at 7:30 am. In terms of property loss it was the most devastating earthquake in the town's history. Three hundred homes were destroyed, as were the churches. Hundreds of families were left homeless. Only two people died, a 73-year-old and an 8-year-old. Though it is not the month in which he is celebrated, every year in May Isca honors San Marziale in remembrance of the historic day and to give thanks to their patron and protector.
Isca Marina In the immediate days following the earthquake of 1947, talks began and planning of a new community or extension to Isca, that should be built on safer flat ground, near the beach. The name for the new community, would be called Isca Marina. Nine centuries earlier, the area now known as Isca Marina, was the original town location for the ancestors of Isca, until invasions of outsiders, forced the towns people, to higher ground. Now many hundreds of descendants of the original town location have come home. While some homes were built in the late 1940s in the marina, it was not until the early 1950s that roads, sidewalks, and the town square were built. A water supply was established in 1951. Electricity reached the town in 1953. The elementary school was completed for the scholastic year 1956–57. Functional public lighting was completed in 1958. In the years to follow, Isca Marina would become a popular vacation destination for Italian and foreign travelers, on summer holiday.