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It rises on a flat area along the coast and is 30 metres above sea-level. The name of the small town derives from the town Gioiosa Guardia, distroyed by the earthquake of 1783 and its inhabitants founded the new centre. The addition Marea has been added to distinguish it from the old town.
The ancient centre was founded in 1366 by Vinciguerras on the mount of Gioiosa and it was left at the end of the XVIII century. New town centre later rose along the coast. The most interesting monuments are the Cathedral Church dedicated to St. Nicola of Bari; the church of St. Maria delle Grazie and the ruins of the ancient Gioiosa Guardia. Besides the archaeological remains found a north-east of the mount of Gioiosa are very interesting and they date back to the V century B.C.
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