Calabria has a long history dating back to primitive man (see section on Cosenza Province). It's land has been influenced by the Normans, the Ottoman Empire, the Greeks and more. Many wars have been waged on this land as well as devastating natural disasters and diseases such as malaria and cholera. The over-farming of the land due to the demands of the landowners created devastating famines.
The region was ruled by the Roman Empire. Upon the fall of the Roman Empire, Calabria remained under the rule of the Byzantines, however, many conflicts occurred with the Ottoman Empire and the Lombards who tried to gain control over this area. In about 1,000 AD the Normans came and took over the area. Evidence of their control here still exists today in many villages with the remains of their castles, towers and other buildings constructed during their reign.
The Risorgimento (Resurgence)The Risorgimento was the period of Italian unification. Prior to this Italy was made up of separate states under different rule. Each region or state had different rulers and laws. This resurgence began after the rule of Napoleon. During Napoleon's short rule beginning in 1802 he renamed the area The Italian Republic, then in 1805 it was renamed The Kingdom Of Italy. The countries or states that made up what is now known as Italy were The Kingdom Of Two Sicilies which consisted of everything south of Naples, it's ruling capital, The Papal states which were ruled by the Pope north from Rome, Venice, Lombardy, Piedmont and Tuscany. The resurgence began as a power struggle between Eugene de Beauharnais (son of Josephine, stepson of Napoleon), Viceroy of Italy and Gioacchino Murat, King of Naples and Sicily (a former General under Napoleon). Murat made a call to patriotism which began the resurgence. Although his quest for power failed and ended with his execution. But, his call to patriotism was remembered. More about the Risorgimento coming soon.
The Calabrian region has been devastated by numerous earthquakes that has changed the history of the region. Some of those earthquakes caused tidal waves and volcanic eruptions of Mount Etna in Sicily. To read more about earthquakes, click here. Abereshe In the 1400's King Ferdinand of The Kingdom Of Naples needed help to fight off the Ottoman Empire which was invading the kingdom's borders. He made an alliance with George Skanderbeg of Albania to protect the Kingdom with his warriors and in payment the King offered Skanderbeg and his warriors land in his Kingdom. Land given to these Albanian warriors was located in the regions of Apulia, Basilicata, Molise, Calabria and Sicily. Many settled in Calabria on the land awarded to them by the king and communities known as Abereshe communities were created. They are unique and are a combination of Albanian and Italian Culture. You can read more here.