Europe > Italy > Northeast Italy > Emilia-Romagna > Reggio Emilia (province)
Reggio Emilia is a province in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
- 1 Reggio Emilia the chief city has a cathedral, museum and several old churches.
- 2 Montecchio Emilia has a stout castle, much contested in medieval times.
- 3 Bibbiano has half-a-dozen old churches.
- 4 Quattro Castella only has one, the Bianello castle.
- 5 Scandiano produces Bianco di Scandiano wine.
- 6 Correggio is named for the greater painter Correggio, Antonio Allegri.
- 7 Novellara was an independent city state for almost 400 years. It has a harmonious Renaissance centre.
- 8 Fabbrico has the church of Santa Maria Assunta and Guidotti Castle.
- 9 Reggiolo was a fortified outpost of Reggio.
Reggio Emilia (or Reggio nell'Emilia) is one of the nine provinces of Emilia Romagna, with Parma west and Modena east. Like the others, it's bounded to the north by the River Po, with a broad tract of lowland, then stretches up into the Apennine mountains. The Romans colonised this area and built the Via Aemilia from Piacenza to Rimini in 187 BC, with Reggio city a staging post along the way. Several invaders held it in the dying years of the Roman Empire; in 1002 AD the area became part of the March of Tuscany, later ruled by Matilda of Canossa. A series of quarrelsome dynasties and factions held sway in the local towns until the area came under the Duchy of Modena in 1452. Thus it remained until in 1861 it joined the new state of Italy: the national Tricolore was created in Reggio.
Inhabitants of this area are called Reggiani, while those of Reggio di Calabria in the southwest are called Reggini.
By air use one of the Milan airports. Bologna is slightly closer but has few flights.
Regional trains from Milan may also stop at Piacenza, Parma and San Ilario d'Enza. Those from Bologna may also stop at Anzola, Samoggia, Modena, Castelfranco Emilia and Rubiera. A branch-line train plies from Reggio to Ciano d'Enza, Guastalla and Sassuolo.
Autostrada A1 (E45) follows the Po valley from Milan bypassing Piacenza, Parma, Reggio, Modena, Bologna then heading south beyond Rimini. The historic highway SS9 runs through the town centres.
The towns are compact and walkable. The outlying towns have buses from Reggio but slow and indirect, you could use a car.
- Reggio has the greatest concentration of sights, with its cathedral, basilicas of San Prospero and the Virgin of Ghiara, and the cloisters of the monastery of San Pietro.
- Forts are well-preserved in Montecchio, Novellara, Reggiolo and Scandiano.
- Football: Sassuolo Calcio play soccer in Serie A, Italy's top tier, and since 2013 their home ground is Mapei Stadium, capacity 21,500, two km north of Reggio city centre. They ground-share with AC Reggiana 1919 who languish in Serie C.
- 1 Parco Nazionale dell'Appennino Tosco-Emiliano, established in 2001, spans the mountains along the boundary between Emilia Romagna and Tuscany. It's best accessed from Reggio along SS63 which twists and turns over the ridge towards La Spezia. Lots of opportunies for wildlife-spotting, hiking and climbing - the highest peak is Monte Cusna, 2121 m.
- All the traditional Emilia Romagna specialties are found here.
- Reggio along with Modena is the only source of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale - DOP balsamic vinegar. The label must say "Tradizionale" otherwise it's cheap stuff being passed off.
The main wines of this area are Malvasia (usually Bianca di Candia), and Barbera and Bonarda which are ruby red. You won't go wrong with any of them. Lambrusco is also produced locally but not everyone enjoys that.
Standard advice about traffic, care of valuables, and suitable clothing and footwear in the mountains where the weather can quickly turn bitter.