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Gioiosa Marea was founded following the earthquake of 1783 which severely hit the city of Gioiosa Guardia. However, it is said that not all the inhabitants wanted to leave their homes.
Following yet another earthquake in 1783 it was decided that staying in Gioiosa Guardia was not safe. It was thanks to the work of some men, including Don Diego Forzano, that the foundation of the new village was possible. In fact, it is said that he had the statue of the patron saint San Nicola transported to the new Gioiosa and that he convinced the skeptics who did not want to leave their home by dismantling the door of their house and bringing it to where the new home was to be built. In the new Gioiosa the same four churches of the city of origin were therefore built.

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