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V Partners Meeting (Reggio Calabria, Italy)

Reggio Calabria, city of the Strait, the Bronzes and the “Fata Morgana” phenomenon.

On 18th-23rd of March 2013 the fifth meeting of the project European Reader’s Club for Migrants was held in Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The coordinator country, Poland, couldn’t unfortunately attend it, due to earlie commitments at national level. Nevertheless, representatives from the polish foundation were always in contact with the other European partners, commenting and giving advices about the management and development of the activities and about the later partners’ tasks.

The fifth meeting objective was to discuss the implementation of the project and, particularly, the reading of the two remaining books: “Gulliver’s Travel” and “The Alchemist”. Partners had to provide each other the beneficiaries’ comments on the novels, and talk about the management of the “Reader’s Club” meetings, its obstacles and successes.

Then they negotiated possible dates to propose to the coordinator for the last meeting in Poland, and discussed their tasks for it.

Monday, 18/03/13

The participants arrived in Reggio Calabria, had their accommodation in the hotel and then the welcome dinner together.

Tuesday, 19/03/13

The participants met in the Europe Direct Centre of the town, where they were welcomed by Pronexus Direction and staff, and knew local government representatives talking about the local policies for the social integration of migrants.

They also listened to the personal testimony of a Russian migrant, member of the Reader’s Club, living in Reggio for about ten years.

In the afternoon they visited the University for Foreign People “Dante Alighieri”, where the university staff presented their premises, courses and activities.

Wednesday, 20/03/13

The participants met in the Service Centre “L’Acquario” where Pronexus premises is located, and every partner provided a presentation of the activities held in their countries. Then they discussed all the activities and results, the next steps of the Project to carry out and their respective tasks for the future.

Thursday, 21/02/13

That was the day of the socio-cultural programme “Crossing The Strait of Messina – a journey between Calabria and Sicily”, during which the participants could visit part of the Sicilian island and of the district of Reggio Calabria, getting to know their places, history, art and gastronomy.

Friday, 22/03/13

Departure day.

 

A few words about Reggio Calabria

Reggio (Rhegion) was founded in the mid 8 century BC by the Chalcis.

In 89 BC it became a Roman municipality and in 61 AD it was visited by Saint Paul, during one of his journeys. For more than five centuries the town remained under the Byzantines’dominion.

Starting from the 9th century, Reggio suffered repeated invasions by the Arabs of Sicily. In 1060 it was conquered by the Normans and in 1267 it was under Angioini’s rule. In 1433 the Aragon King Alfonso il Magnanimo conquered Reggio.

It was in 1543 that the Turk Khayr al-Din organized a raid to Reggio and then in 1594 another one was led by Scipione Sinan Cicala.

The Bourbon rule during the 18th century gave the town an economic recovery. Two tragic events happened during this period: a plague in 1743 and an earthquake in 1783, which caused huge damage and forced the town to be rebuilt.

On the 21st of August 1860 Reggio was invaded by Garibaldi’s troops and became part of the Reign of Italy in 1861.

In 1908 was devastated by a huge earthquake followed by a tsunami. The slow and difficult period of reconstruction which followed was managed by the engineer Pietro De Nava and the Mayor Giuseppe Valentino (1918-1923).