The Marina Street of Reggio Calabria

The Marina Street of Reggio Calabria

The Lungomare di Reggio was built starting from 1785, under the crown of the Bourbons of the Kingdom of Naples, on the master plan of Giovambattista Mori (1784) following the devastating earthquake occurred in the first months of 1783. The new plan modified the typical tortuous appearance of the medieval city providing a road jersey with straight streets, orthogonal to each other, parallel to the coastline. At the end of the nineteenth century in the southern part of the promenade along the building called “Real Palazzina” found the “Domenico Spanò Bolani” Civic Museum.

During the Savoy period, the Lungomare was unfortunately defaced by the construction of the railway track, which entered into operation in 1866, which stood as a separation between the roadway and the coast line. At the moriodional and northern ends of the promenade two railway stations were built (Reggio Centrale and Reggio Lido).

In December 1908 the city was again destroyed by a massive earthquake. The master plan of Pietro De Nava (1911) foresaw the extension of the previous urban fabric along the north-south axis; the seafront was enlarged and, in respect of the new rules that attempted to limit the potential damage of earthquakes and tsunamis, was built in two arteries (among the first roads in Italy to be paved in asphalt tiles) separated by a central part used in gardens enriched with monumental trees of tropical origin – like the Ficus Macrophylla – which soon became a veritable open-air ortho-botanic. With the construction of the new promenade some archaeological sites previously uncovered but buried were brought to light; it is: a small tomb area from the Greek era; part of the city’s enclosure walls in the Hellenic era, from the 5th century BC; part of one of the eight spas existing in the city in Roman imperial times, of the II century AD

Between the ’70s and the’ 80s it was decided to bury a long stretch of the railway passing through the Lungomare to heal that wound between the city and the open sea 100 years earlier. Finally, between 1999 and 2000 the renovation of the Lungomare began, which involved the construction of an outdoor arena-theater, used for concerts during the hot season, the rearrangement of similar street lamps to the originals (which had been sold to a French commune), a marble stone that had been built in 1932 and the flooring, as well as the recovery of the Liberty style wrought iron railing.

Today the Lungomare provides, in addition to the upper and lower carriageway and the fringe of the botanic garden interspersed with these two, a wide walk at city level and a second walk at the beach level, which during the summer season is used as a leisure area , with the presence of outdoor dance halls or temporary fairs.

In the middle of the twentieth century the Lungomare di Reggio was defined by the journalist Nando Martellini, mistakenly or jokingly quoting Gabriele D’Annunzio as “The Most Beautiful Kilometer of Italy”.

article published by the Italian Touring Club