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Rosarno

Rosarno is a comune (municipality) in the province of Reggio Calabria in the Italian region of Calabria. It is about southwest of Catanzaro and about northeast of Reggio Calabria. Rosarno stands on a natural terrace cloaked in olive plantations and vineyards on the left bank of the river Mesima, overlooking the Gioia Tauro plain. The town is an important agricultural and commercial centre and famous for the production of citrus fruits, olive oil, and wines. Its plain is among the most fertile in Italy.HistoryWithin the borders of Rosarno is the site of the ancient city of Medma. Present day Rosarno sprung up during the Byzantine Era and appeared for the first time in history in a document in 1037. Ownership of Rosarno was greatly contested, due to its strategic importance in giving a hold over of the fertile Mesima valley and was controlled by various feudal lords, including the Ruffo and the Pignatelli families.An earthquake in 1783 completely destroyed the town. In the plain surrounding Rosarno, the tremors caused huge landslides which blocked the course of rivers; the resulting marshes led to a malaria epidemic that killed more people than the earthquake itself. The town was quickly rebuilt and became a borough in 1816. The town plan is typified by large squares and straight, wide streets that cross each other perpendicularly. The remains of the old feudal castle are preserved, along with a 16th-century coastal tower, the clock tower, the beautiful church of St. John the Baptist, the small church of the Crucifix, and various noblemen's homes, many of which have magnificent marble doorways from the last century.
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