What to do in Reggio Emilia in Emilia Romagna?
Getting lost in the streets of Reggio Emilia is delicious! Even if you have no idea where you are, you will always discover a special corner of this city so loved by locals and tourists alike! Let’s go to our post of the day: What to do in Reggio Emilia in Emilia Romagna? Stay with us and make the best of the boot country! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”.
Reggio Emiliana in the Region of Emilia Romagna is a city that, especially in recent decades, has definitively entered the scene and has been able to reassess itself, revive itself, and draw a lot of attention: in addition to having become a leader in child care services in the world (Reggio is where the best schools and nurseries in Europe are located), was able to make the most of it, too, from a tourist point of view, despite not having the popularity of neighboring cities.
Even so, Reggio has established itself and has become one of the most visited cities in the region and today we will find out why. The cobblestone streets give a charming and old-fashioned feel to the streets full of historic buildings, churches, shops, bars, and restaurants. And then, of course, we’ll also give you tips on the local cuisine, after all, skipping a meal there would be a real sacrilege! Talking about Reggio Emilia without a historical curiosity is impossible: it was in Reggio Emilia that the Italian flag was born, when representatives of the city, together with those of Modena, Bologna, and Ferrara, proclaimed the white, red, and green flag as the flag of the Cispadana Republic. Did you know that? Well… The rest is history!
1) What to do in Reggio Emilia in Emilia Romagna? VISIT MEDIOPADAN
Let’s start with Reggio Emilia of the future, that part of the city revisited by the most pop architect of all time, we’re talking about Santiago Calatrava. A few kilometers from the center, practically in open country, is the white, undulating complex of the new Mediopadana high-speed train station.
The futuristic design impresses and draws attention, the structure, together with the Velas and the three bridges signed by Calatrava present along the A1 motorway, represents the new and prestigious gateway to the city. Unfortunately, the bridges are only partially visible if you arrive by train, the biggest thrill is crossing them by car. From the high-speed station in the center, you can take the bus or a taxi. It’s near!
2) What to do in Reggio Emilia in Emilia Romagna? VISIT THE VENICE ALLEY
Once in the center, go straight ahead to a side street of Via Roma, the narrow Alley of Venice. At number 13, just before the entrance to the park that is there, we can see very faded writing on the wall that reads: “Il Popolo Giusto vuole la neve“. It is believed that it was built around 1940 and has received some meanings, this is because in this area of the city lived the so-called Popol Giost, which is the poor part of the population that lived on odd jobs, including snow shoveling: one of the two meanings of the writing is linked to this fact, but they also say that the writing would be political and would ask, in code, for the end of the fascist regime.
Schools and the Park
Following, two steps to the park, we find several schools and daycare centers. Reggio Emilia is famous around the world for its innovative approach to education. Thanks to the pedagogue Loris Malaguzzi, the so-called Reggio Emilia Approach was developed, an educational philosophy that gives the child a central role and whose creativity must be brought out and valued. A very important role is played in this by the surrounding environment, which becomes a pedagogical tool: this happens in the next stage of our itinerary, that is, the beautiful Diana School that is located inside the People’s Park. The park, which is the largest green area in the city, occupies the space where the citadel of Gonzaga used to be, and inside, you can see Lebanese cedars that reach 15 meters in height and are centenary. Very interesting!
3) What to do in Reggio Emilia in Emilia Romagna? VISIT THE PIAZZA DELLA VITTORIA AND PIAZZA DEI MARTIRI
From the Park, we go to Piazza della Vittoria and Piazza dei Martiri.
The Piazza della Vittoria
Piazza della Vittoria is home to the beautiful Municipal Theater (or Valli Theater) that steals the show from everything, but only when the fountain opposite has its jets coming out of the ground and has colored lights at night, it is not turned on (the fountain is in Piazza Martiri). The exterior of the Theater building is pink and has a neoclassical style. The interior is also beautiful and, if possible, be sure to visit!
The Piazza Martiri
Piazza Martiri was renamed this way after a sad event that happened here on July 7, 1960: five workers from Reggio were killed by the police during a union demonstration and, in memory of the victims, during the revitalization of the area in 2010, signs were placed where workers were killed and 5 trees were planted. A gesture that moved the city’s inhabitants, who have a great appreciation for this place.
4) What to do in Reggio Emilia in Emilia Romagna? VISIT THE TEMPLE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN OF GHIARA
Before we reach the heart of the city, head to the Temple of the Blessed Virgin of Ghiara. It is one of the main religious buildings in the city and was built after a miracle in Reggio on the 29th of April 1596: a deaf and dumb young man was praying in front of an image of the Madonna, painted by Bertone (which can be seen inside the church, in the second chapel on the right), and, miraculously, he began to speak and listen.
The interior cannot be photographed, but it is surprising. The shrine has been defined as “the most important monument of Italian Mannerism”. It is also impossible not to mention the cloisters of the basilica: the largest of them now houses an inn and in the beautiful courtyard, during the summer, there are some small and incredible restaurants.
5) What to do in Reggio Emilia in Emilia Romagna? VISIT PAMPOLINI PIAZZA
From the temple, we can head to the sumptuous Piazza Prampolini which is also known as Piazza Grande. Despite the name, it was called that only because, compared to the nearby Piazza San Prospero, the Piazza Grande is bigger! Hahaha… On the four sides of the square are some of the city’s main attractions.
We will start with the Duomo, which is dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta and has an imposing and curious façade: visibly unfinished, we can see that it is ‘divided’ in two; it is dominated by an octagonal tower that contains a large 16th-century gilded bronze statue representing Our Lady with Jesus and the patrons. The interior of the Church has several works, but the most interesting element is undoubtedly the crypt, which dates from the 12th or 13th century, the exact date has never been confirmed. We also have the Baptistery, a building that is not particularly flashy but has its charm.
The Palazzo del Monte di Pieta
In Piazza Prampolini, the most striking beauty is the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, recognizable by the bell tower above it. In front of the building is a statue of a handsome young man with an amphora in his hand: this is the Crostolo and the amphora represents the stream that once passed through Reggio Emilia, but the course has been diverted over the years because of works. The statue comes from the Villa Ducale di Rivalta, where once, together with the statues of the Secchia and Panaro rivers, it was part of the village’s ornamental complex.
Opposite the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, on the other side of the square, is the Palazzo Municipale, where the Sala del Tricolore is located, that is, the place where, on January 7, 1797, the Italian flag was born. In short, a significant part of Italian history and one that deserves to be known. On the two upper floors of the room, the small but interesting Museo del Tricolore is developed, where all the alternatives of the Italian flag are gathered to document the historical and political context in which its birth is placed.
Also in Piazza Grande is the Torre del Bordello, on the corner between the City Hall and the Duomo. It is a civic tower built in 1489 and was named after a brothel there. Of course, it is impossible to talk about all the buildings and attractions in the square, but if you have time, take a closer look: there is a lot to see there!
Piazza San Prospero and Via Emilia
From there, head to Piazza San Prospero and then to Via Emilia, which crosses Via Roma. Here, on the ground, there is a plaque that represents what was once the cross between the Cardo and the Decumanus and has been identified as the physical center of Reggio Emilia, the point from which the city was designed, where its first cobblestone was placed: this is where it all started for Reggio Emilia!
6) What to do in Reggio Emilia in Emilia Romagna? GET TO KNOW LOCAL GASTRONOMY
Shall we talk about food? Go to Cappelletti with Brodo, Erbazzone (vegetable pie with cheese), or fried gnocco (a type of fried pastry dough accompanied by cold cuts), to drink, of course: go for Lambrusco (You can’t go wrong! ).
Tips of the Day
– Visit a Parmigiano Reggiano producer in the Reggio Emilia region on this fantastic culinary and cultural tour with a professional guide. Learn about all the stages of production of this historic product and even try a few! Reggio Emilia: The Secrets of Parmigiano Reggiano, click here to learn more!
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What to do in Reggio Emilia in Emilia Romagna? Reggio Emilia is a city delight! Everything there calls our attention in a smooth, delicate, and striking way; if you are close by, be sure to visit this unique city!
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