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Hipponium

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Hipponium

Vibo Valentia
Comune
Comune di Vibo Valentia

Panorama of Vibo Valentia
Vibo Valentia
Vibo Valentia
Location of Vibo Valentia in Italy

Coordinates: 38°40′30″N 16°05′50″E / 38.67500°N 16.09722°E / 38.67500; 16.09722

Country Italy
Region Calabria
Province Vibo Valentia (VV)
Frazioni Bivona, Longobardi, Piscopio, Porto Salvo, San Pietro, Vena Inferiore, Vena Superiore, Triparni, Vibo Marina
Government
 • Mayor Nicola D'Agostino
Area
 • Total 46.2 km2 (17.8 sq mi)
Elevation 476 m (1,562 ft)
Population (31 March 2010)
 • Total 33,819
 • Density 730/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Demonym Vibonesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 89900, 89811
Dialing code 0963
Patron saint St. Leoluca
Saint day March 1
Website

Vibo Valentia (Italian: [ˈviːbo vaˈlɛntsja]Template:IPA audio link) is a city and comune (municipality) in the Calabria region of southern Italy, near the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital of the province of Vibo Valentia, and is an agricultural, commercial and tourist center (the most famous places nearby are Tropea, Ricadi and Pizzo). There are also several large manufacturing industries, including the tuna district of Maierato. Very important for the local economy is the Vibo Marina's harbour.

History

Vibo Valentia was originally the Greek colony of Hipponion. It was founded, probably around the late 7th century BC, by inhabitants of Locri, a principal city of the Italian Magna Graecia, south of Vibo Valentia on the Ionian Sea. Diodorus Siculus reports that the city was taken in 388 BC by Dionysius the Elder tyrant of Syracuse, who deported all the population. The population came back in 378 BC, with the help of the Carthaginians. In the following years Hipponion came under the dominion of the Bruttii, who controlled most of Calabria. After the town fell to Rome, the name was Latinized to Hipponium. The town became a Roman colony in 194 BC with the name of Vibo Valentia. After a phase of prosperity during the late Republic and early Empire, the town was almost completely abandoned after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

In 1070 the Normans built a castle at the site of the old Acropolis and in 1235 a new city was established by Frederick II, Holy Roman emperor and king of Sicily, with the name of Monteleone. The city got back the old Roman name of Vibo Valentia only in 1928.

Main sights

  • Norman-Hoehenstaufen Castle, located most likely on the site of Hipponion acropolis, and built around 1000. For its construction materials from the Greek temples nearby were used. It was damaged by an earthquake in 1783. Today the castle is home to a state museum.
  • Walls of Hipponion, including c. 350 meters of remains and foundings of eight towers (whose height has been estimated in 10 meters).
  • Church of Santa Maria Maggiore e San Leoluca (Cathedral), built in the 9th century over the remains of a Byzantine basilica. It has an 18th-century marble high altar with a 16th-century sculpture of "Madonna della Neve", and a Renaissance triptych.
  • Church of Santa Ruba (c. 1000), built by Pope Callixtus II. It has a large cupola in Oriental style.
  • Church of the Rosario (c. 1337), located over a Roman temple. Originally in Gothic style, it was remade after the 1783 earthquake.

Twin towns

References

  • The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Columbia University Press. 2001. [1]
  • The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites; Stillwell, Richard. MacDonald, William L. McAlister, Marian Holland. Princeton, N.J. Princeton University Press. 1976. [2]

External links

  • Official website


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