The history of Calabria is characterized by the alternation of many people and numerous cultures from all over the Mediterranean.
Traces of life have been found since the Paleolithic, as evidenced by the findings in the Scalea Caves (Torre Talao) and the graffiti of the Bos primigenius in Papasidero. We find evidence dating back to the Neolithic period scattered in several settlements with a greater presence in the eastern part of Calabria. With the advent of the Metal Age, numerous populations inhabited this land and certainly one of the most important settlements, dating back to the late Bronze Age, is the Torre Galli complex near Vibo Valentia.
The region was inhabited by several communities: Ausoni-Enotri, Itali, Morgeti, Siculi and Choni. From the name of the mythical king Italo who lived in the first half of the fifteenth century BC, remembered by the sources as a good and wise ruler, Calabria was called "Italy".
The coasts of Calabria then saw the landing of the Greeks who founded their colonies, cities that soon became rich and powerful to the point of being recognized with the name of Magna Grecia (Great Greece). Reggio Calabria was the first Greek colony founded by the Ionians, then a group of Achaeans founded Sibari, then Crotone and Locri, all from 744 BC to 670 BC. This phase is undoubtedly the most interesting from the historical point of view. The Greeks gave this tip of the peninsula the name of "Italy". With the Roman conquest of Calabria and the South, the name Italy was extended to include the entire peninsula at the time of Augustus in 42 BC.
With the fall of the Roman Empire (476 AD) Calabria was occupied and sacked by people from Northern Europe such as the Visigoths and the Goths. The region was subsequently conquered by the Byzantines who lived there for centuries under the domination of Byzantium. The Byzantine period coincided for Calabria with the construction of many monasteries and with the production of manuscripts that spread the ancient culture, an example is the magnificent Codex Purpureus Rossanensis preserved in Rossano.
The Byzantines defended the region from Arab invasions but around the year 1000 the Normans took over and unified Southern Italy with the creation of a great kingdom. Two great protagonists of monasticism lived in this period: Joachim of Fiore and Brunone of Cologne. It was then the turn of the Swabians and Frederick II who created in the southern regions one of the most civilized nations in the world, a meeting place of different cultures and civilizations. With the death of Frederick II the kingdom passed into the hands of the Angevins and after these to the Aragonese, the Spaniards, the Austrians and the Bourbons. During this period the population took refuge in the mountains and hills to escape malaria and the incursions of Saracen and Turkish pirates along all the Calabrian coasts.
In the eighteenth century there were catastrophic events such as a terrible famine and a very strong earthquake that devastated many countries.
With the unification of Italy (1861) there was hope for a change in the social and economic situation. The result was bankruptcy and produced emigration and misery and led to the spread of the scourge of banditry. Massive emigration led to the halving of the Calabrian population; today there are millions of Calabrians scattered throughout the world.
In recent years, Calabria has been investing in tourism and is trying to recover the rich heritage of traditions and culture inherited from the numerous populations that have inhabited the region.