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Catania History, Italy

Catania, History – Early Times

Few people know about Catania History claiming that this city was actually a Greek colony, founded right after the appearance of the neighboring town of Naxos. With the passage of time, Catania continued in intimate relations with Sicily and with Greece as well, all of them sharing the same legislation. In 476 BC, Hieron of Syracuse expelled all the locals and repopulated the region with new colonists, proclaiming himself the founder of the new city and obtaining heroic honors from Catania’s citizens, after his death. However, a few years later, the old inhabitants of the city returned to their initial home, while the newly settled people were forced to retire to the fortress. In time, this region met a period of development and evolution and soon fell into the hands of the Carthaginians. It was restored however to liberty later and it appears to have continued gaining its liberty, until the first Punic War.

Catania, History – Middle Times

Despite having been conquered by the Romans, during the Punic War, Catania rose to a position of great prosperity. It soon turned into a flourishing city and one of the principal ports of Sicily for the commerce with corn. Throughout the Roman rule, it continued to develop and evolve to such an extent that in the 4th century the city was mentioned in the chronicles Ordo Nobilium Urbium. In 121 BC, a great part of this amazing city was destroyed because of the eruptions of Mount Etna, which lead to the exemption of Catania from its usual contribution to the Roman state. Even its role as an important port was affected by the natural disaster, reducing the demand and export of corn of the rich neighboring plains.

After the fall of the great Roman Empire, Catania was conquered by the Byzantine (6th–9th century), the Arabs (9th–11th century), the Normans (11th–12th century), the Spanish (15th–18th century), the House of Savoy and the Austrians early 18th century and the Bourbons 18th century up to the Unification of Italy in 1861.

Catania, History – Recent Times

In 1860, Catania became part of the unified Italy it shared the history with. With the passage of time, this beautiful southern city did its best to catch up with the rich and flourishing north and to solve the problems it had to deal with, such as the Italian mafia and the gap in the industrial development and infrastructure. From 1960 until 1990, the city regained its economic, cultural, and social effervescence, but in the 2000’s the city has faced again economic and social stagnation.

However, despite its present situation, Catania History is a glorious one, just like Naples History and Bari History, making Italy proud of its amazing past.

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