Calabrese - Settlements

Calabria is characterized by the form of settlement known as "agrotown": large, isolated towns centrally situated in a much more extensive territory made up of agricultural lands. The concentration of people in these centers is great: approximately 80 percent of the regional population is town-based, with less than 20 percent living in dispersed settlements across the countryside. Average settlement populations are between 2,000 and 8,000, and some are as large as 20,000 to 40,000. This settlement pattern derives from Roman times and was designed to facilitate defense in times of war or invasion. Most of the townspeople are landless, having only their manual labor to sell to the farmers of the surrounding area.

While urban in size and physical layout, these settlements are strongly focused on the rural, agricultural world, whose laborers they shelter and whose products they consume.

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