On the Lungomare ‘Falcomatà’, referred to by journalist Nando Martellini as ‘the most beautiful kilometre in Italy‘, you can admire one of the longest stretches of wall in Hellenistic Reggio.
The Structure of the Greek Walls
These fortifications have the classical structure of defensive walls of most polis in Magna Grecia between the late 4th and early 3rd century B.C.: i.e., sandstone blocks arranged in two parallel rows and reinforced on the inside by orthogonal transepts.
The still preserved part of the walls is particularly interesting. In this point, the fortification was most probably turning eastwards to close off the southern side of the city wall. The port was located here at the mouth of the old course of the river Apsìas, today the stream Calopinace.
Following the discovery of numerous fragments of pottery from the 5th century BC, scholars assume that the walls date back to the time of the tyrant Anassila. Conversely, the baked brick part can be traced back to the Hellenistic period, between 356 and 351 B.C., when the tyrant Dionysius II moved to Reggio. This is a more likely hypothesis, when the then king of Syracuse rebuilt the city on the shores of the Strait and called it Febea, after Phoebus Apollo. On this occasion, the walls of archaic and classical Rhegion were extended, from the top of the Angeli and Trabocchetto hills reaching down to today’s Via Aschenez.
Look for the quarry marks inscribed on the stone and the various stamps engraved or painted on the bricks with dedications to the walls themselves (TEICHEON, RHEGINON); or with the names of two of the employers who supplied the material for the construction of the walls (ORTHON and MENNAS).