City of north-eastern Sicily (213.7 km2 with 227,424 ab. in 2020), provincial capital. It is located on the west coast of the strait that takes its name from it; a strip of land of falcata shape (the Peninsula of San Ranieri, ending with the Punta San Salvatore) forms a good natural harbor. The primitive center probably extended to the slopes of Mount Gonzaga; the classical core was located, instead, at the bottom of the port and partly on the Peninsula of San Ranieri. Severely damaged by the earthquake of 1783 and razed to the ground by that of 1908, M., after numerous controversies that put in perhaps the same rebirth, was rebuilt according to a town plan of 1911.
The city, after the substantial decrease in the population recorded between the censuses of 1981 and 1991, has lived, since the last decade of the 20 sec, a recovery thanks to which, having matured a high level of tertiary education, it began to diversify, both urbanistically and in functional qualifications. It has thus confirmed its role as a functional node at the center of the conurbation M.-Villa San Giovanni-Reggio di Calabria, able to coordinate a dense network of relational flows on the two sides of the Strait. Thanks to the Sicilian motorway circuit, M. it is part of the island’s urban network, which binds it to Catania and, therefore, to the metropolitan system of south-eastern Sicily. An obligatory point of traffic connected with the crossing of the Strait, the port of M. can be defined above all as a ferry port. The industry is active in the shipbuilding, chemical, metalworking and food sectors. The port traffic, carried out by a considerable number of ship companies, is linked to tourism, an important voice in the city’s economy. M. is a university.
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