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Comune di Podargoni
Districts and neighborhoods of Reggio
Districts and neighborhoods of Reggio
Country Italy
Region Calabria
Province / Metropolitan city Reggio Calabria (RC)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Podargoni (Calabrian-Greek dialect: Podàrghoni), is a comune in the province of Reggio Calabria, in the southern Italian region of Calabria. Together with Ortì and Terreti it forms the 11th district of the municipality of Reggio Calabria. It is a small town close to the Aspromonte mountains, and is 500 metres (1,600 ft) above sea level, at the foot of Mount Marrapà and on the left bank of the river Gallico. The town is inhabited by the Griko people who formerly spoke their ancestral Calabrian Greek dialect.[1][2]


The name Podargoni is Greek in origin deriving from the Greek dialect formerly spoken in southern Calabria and originates from the Greek expression Podargos (πόδαργος) which means 'swift-footed'.[3]


The earliest reference of the town is in a 14th-century document of Vatican, but it is possible that the town existed earlier.

In the 17th century Podargoni, like other neighboring areas, had a remarkable demographic growth due to the movement towards the mountains of the inhabitants of coastal areas, repeatedly subjected to Ottoman raids. The village was damaged by the earthquake of 1783. "In the second class of 'places, it' such as the buildings are either rovinevoli, or injured,, include Reedy, Ceraso (sic), PODARGONE (sic), Terreti ..." (Story de'fenomeni the earthquake occurred in Calabria in the year 1783 ... ").

In 1811, after the administrative distributions the Kingdom of Naples commissioned by Joachim Murat, Podargoni became independent, a status he held until 1927 when it was incorporated in Greater Reggio.

In the last town, the country experienced a sharp depopulation as a result of emigration to the United States of America and, in the Second World War, to Canada and European countries (France-Belgium). Separately, transfers in the Strait.

A few years ago Podargoni was declared a protected medieval village of particular historical and environmental significance, but its architectural salvage program, which began in the 1990s, is stagnating. A decisive incentive to the rebirth of Podargoni, and the whole valley, promises the new freeway Gallic-Gambarie, under construction, and already accessible from the motorway junction Gallico and Mills Calanna (Bridge Calanna). The next section, already planned by the Province, will reach the area Podargoni.

Places of worship[edit]

The Church of Santa Maria del Bosco.

Notable people[edit]

  • Tony Bennett ( New York , August 3, 1926), born Anthony Dominick Benedetto, American singer whose paternal ancestors were originally from Podargoni.[4] His father was an immigrant from Calabria who decided to migrate to the United States.


  1. ^ Touring club italiano (1980). Basilicata Calabria. Touring Editore. p. 652. ISBN 978-88-365-0021-5. Podàrgoni m 580, ove si conserva un tipo etnico greco inalterato;(translated; Podargoni 580 m, where it has preserved an unaltered ethnic Greek character) 
  2. ^ Touring club italiano (1937). Puglia, Lucania, Calabria. Touring Club Italiano. p. 232. OCLC 3438860. Podàrgoni è un grazioso paesetto lungo la strada da Reggio a Cambàrie e ai piani d'Aspromonte, i cui abitanti conservano il tipo etnico greco abbastanza puro. (translation: Podargoni is a charming little village on the road from Reggio to Cambàrie and plans Aspromonte, whose inhabitants retain their ethnic greek pure enough.) 
  3. ^ Sapone, Antonino (2001). Sant'Alessio in Aspromonte: uomini e storie dell'antico Casale di Alessi. Città del sole. p. 26. ISBN 9788873510017. Nei pressi di Laganadi vi era la contrada Mallimoni, poi divenuta Mellimoni, che indicava, in greco/proprio gli appartenenti a questa famiglia, come i Podàrgoni erano i discendenti della famiglia ‘Podargos’ , in Greco “lento di piede”. 
  4. ^ Evanier, David (2011). All the Things You Are: The Life of Tony Bennett. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 19–20. ISBN 9781118033548. Tony Bennett's paternal grandfather, Giovanni Benedetto, grew up in the village of Podargoni, above Reggio Calabria. The family were poor farmers, producing figs, olive oil, and wine grapes. His mother’s family, the Suracis, also farmed in Calabria. Neither side of the family could read or write. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°09′50″N 15°46′49″E / 38.1638°N 15.7802°E / 38.1638; 15.7802