Reggio Emilia is the city that gave birth to Parmigiano Reggiano, to Ludovico Ariosto in 1474 and to the Italian flag in 1797 . If we add to this a vast historical and architectural heritage, we immediately understand why Reggio Emilia deserves to be visited at least once in a lifetime, and definitely on foot. Rich in monuments and attractions, the city is characterized by a very large number of arcades, squares and statues , except for the presence of palaces of great architectural value with a Renaissance appearance, which give it an unusual charm.

What to see in Reggio Emilia

1 – Reggio Emilia Cathedral
Built in 875 according to the dictates of Romanesque architecture, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, better known as the Cathedral of Reggio Emilia, has undergone several alterations over time, which have given it its current appearance. Prospectus Sogari, known as Clemente, is the artist who oversaw the work more than others, and some of his statues are still visible on the facade of the Cathedral. Inside the Cathedral we find the Crypt, whose construction dates back to the twelfth or thirteenth century. Of remarkable value, it is characterized by the 42 columns with fragmentary capitals that support the vault. The oldest part is the Altar, which houses the bodies of the saints Mariri, Cristiano and Daria

  • How to get there: the Cathedral is located right in the center of the city, and is easily reachable on foot from any point, admiring the other beauties that will appear in front of you along the way – Get directions
  • Hours: Weekdays from 7:30 to 12:00 and 16:00 to 18:30; Holidays from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00
  • Ticket cost: Free

2 – The Basilica of San Prospero
Photo by Paolo da Reggio. Piazza San Prospero is perhaps one of the most fascinating places in Reggio Emilia , given the characteristic arcades that surround it, together with the Basilica of San Prospero and its Tower. Built in 997, although in full Emilian Baroque style, the structure is characterized by the presence on the facade of six red marble lions, which decorate the churchyard. The interior of the Basilica is instead divided into three naves, while in the apse vault you can admire a series of frescoes by Camillo Procaccini, depicting the “Last Judgment” .

  • How to get there: about a six-minute walk from the center, along the 450 meters of Via Emilia A S.Pietro – Get directions
  • Hours: Weekdays from 8:30 to 12:00 and from 17:00 to 19:00, Holidays from 8:30 to 12:00
  • Ticket cost: Free

3 – The Basilica della Ghiara
The Basilica della Ghiara or Temple of the Beata Vergine della Ghiara , is one of the most important churches in the city, and is located on Corso Garibaldi, the main passageway. The structure and the casket of numerous works of art in Renaissance and Baroque style, including the “Crucifixion” by Guercino, and other masterpieces by artists of the seventeenth century, including: Ludovico Corracci, Alessandro Tiarini, Carlo Bononi, Lionello Spada and Luca Ferrari.

  • How to get there: to get to the Basilica you have to cover a good part of Corso Garibaldi – about 350 meters equivalent to 5 minutes – the main street of the city. Walking there is highly recommended Get Directions
  • Hours: Monday to Saturday: 7:15 am – 12:00 pm and 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm Sundays and holidays: during celebration times
  • Ticket cost: Free

4 – Calatrava
bridges The Calatrava bridges, present along the A1 motorway, are part of a redevelopment project of the area. The work consists of a complex of three bridges : a central arched bridge, perfectly visible even at a distance of several kilometers, consisting of a span of over 22 meters and a height of over 50 meters; two cable-stayed bridges, that is characterized by the presence of ropes, are located respectively to the north and south, on the junctions of the roundabout. The two side bridges are 179 meters long and 15 meters wide, which also make them visible from the motorway.

  • How to get there: the bridges are about 5.7 km from the center (12 minutes by car) – Get directions
  • Hours: always accessible
  • Ticket cost: Free

5 – Palazzo Becchi-Magnani
Palazzo Becchi-Magnani is a building built in the second half of the 16th century by the Becchi counts as a representative office for the family. The surface of the entire complex is about 3,000 square meters, divided into the noble palace, which constitutes the main building and is now used for the exhibition and cultural activities of the Palazzo Magnani Foundation , and from the body of the stables overlooking the east side in via Vicedomini . The facade of the building is in neoclassical style and offers a sequence of two rows of windows on the mezzanine floor, separated by the large central door while, on the main floor, there is a stone balcony embellished with bas-reliefs. The decoration is also embellished by the presence of the marble herm ofTwo- faced Janus , a subject chosen by the family as a protector and guardian of the family.

  • How to get there: it is recommended to go there on foot; is 400 meters from the center (5 minutes) – Get directions
  • Hours: the Palace is the seat of exhibitions, and therefore can only be visited on the occasion of scheduled exhibitions or events but, in any case, it deserves to be seen only from the outside.
  • Ticket cost: depending on the exhibition or event scheduled. For more information visit the official website

6 – The Sala del Tricolore
The Sala del Tricolore and the council chamber of the municipality of Reggio nell’Emilia. Located inside the Town Hall of the city, in this same room, on 7 January 1797 , the Italian national flag was born. The origins of the hall date back to 1768, when the Duke of Modena and Reggio Francesco III d’Este decided to build a central state archive. Shortly after the end of the works it was decided to change its intended use, given that the large of documents contained therein could have caused a large fire. A commission was set up to decide on the intended use of the room

  • How to get there: the Tricolore hall is surrounded by various attractions of great beauty. It is therefore advisable to walk the 300 meters that separate it from the city center strictly on foot. Get directions
  • Hours: from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 12:30, by contacting the porters. On Monday it is closed to the public. On Sunday afternoons it is open only for guided tours or by reservation for groups. The hall is frequently used for weddings, during which access to the public is prohibited. To be sure to find the room free for the visit, it is therefore advisable to call (+39) 0522 456586, for information and visit the Sala del Tricolore, (+39) 0522 456033 for reservations and / or guided tours
  • Ticket cost: Free

7 – Museo del Tricolore
Set up in the Palazzo del Comune, in the rooms near the Tricolore hall, the Museum was subjected to extensions in 2017, which divided it over three different floors. The exhibition includes: documents and relics relating to the history of the national flag, evidence of the different forms it had up to the end of the Napoleonic era, and the nucleus of projects by 90 artists who collaborated on the project.

  • How to get there: the Tricolore Museum is surrounded by several attractions of great beauty. It is therefore advisable to walk the 300 meters that separate it from the city center strictly on foot – Get directions
  • Hours: September and June from Tuesday to Friday from 09:00 to 12:00 – Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00; July from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 21:00 to 23:00 – Sundays and holidays from 21:00 to 23:00; August from Tuesday to Sunday and holidays from 21:00 to 23:00 opening in the morning on request. Closed on Mondays. During the winter months, however, the opening hours are as follows: from Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 to 12:00, Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00
  • Ticket cost: Free

8 – Romolo Valli Municipal Theater and the Fountain
Photo by Lorenzo Gaudenzi. The majestic theater and the surrounding public gardens characterize the center of Reggio Emilia. Erected in the stationary space where the citadel once stood, the theater has a library, an archive and a discotheque open to the public. Along the entire facade of the theater, towards Piazza dei Martiri del 7 luglio, a fountain extends 46 meters long, 12 wide and 2 centimeters deep, the protagonist of wonderful water games during events related to the theater or the city.

  • How to get there: about 220 meters from the historic center, an approximate 6-minute walk, the theater is surrounded by a series of buildings of architectural value, which are worth seeing. It is therefore advisable to go to the area on foot – Get directions
  • Hours: To book a guided tour, write to [email protected] or call (+39) 0522458998 on weekdays, from 9:00 to 12:00. Archive / Mediatheque from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 13:00 – Monday and Thursday from 14:30 to 17:30
  • Ticket cost: Free

9 – Il Mauriziano
The Mauriziano is a fifteenth-century villa located on the banks of the Rhone, the summer residence of the poet Ludovico Ariosto . The villa is accessed by crossing a 16th century terracotta arch, built according to tradition by Orazio Malaguzzi, and along an avenue of over 250 meters flanked by poplars. The east wing is the most interesting of the building: here are preserved structures of the fifteenth century, and the three dressing rooms, “Camerino dei Poeti”, the “Camerino degli Orazi e Curiazi” and the “Camerino dell’Ariosto”, with frescoes sixteenth century depicting hunting scenes, landscapes, love scenes, episodes of history and figures of writers.

  • How to get there: it is located outside the city, but can be reached using the city bus line 2. Ticket cost € 1.50 if bought on the ground or € 2.00 on board – Get directions
  • Hours: The building is accessible and can only be visited internally for events. The park is always freely accessible. To book a guided tour, call (+39) 0522456361
  • Ticket cost: the cost of the ticket varies according to the hosted event. For more information visit the FB page

10 – The former Locatelli complex
The Locatelli buildings, among the most important and significant for the city of all those present in the industrial area, were purchased by the Municipality of Reggio Emilia and transformed into the “International Center for the culture and creativity of children. and little girls “. The Center presents itself as a meeting place for children and families, researchers and teachers, administrators and entrepreneursbut also as a particular opportunity for innovation and transformation of an important space in the city of Reggio Emilia covering 12,000 square meters, which today includes: music ateliers, theater, dance, multimedia communication, play areas, exhibition areas for permanent and temporary exhibitions, places for training and research for teachers, researchers, families, meeting and conference rooms, documentation and research center, bookshop, library, sound library, newspaper library, restaurant, self-service, bar, kindergarten and primary school

  • How to get there: using bus lines 1, 2, 4, 5, 9 cost of the ticket € 1.50 if bought on the ground, € 2.00 on board – Get directions
  • Hours: from 10:00 to 17:00 from Monday to Friday
  • Ticket price: access is free but you can book a guided tour at a cost of € 10.00 per person (only on Tuesdays and Thursdays)

11 – The cloisters of San Pietro
Photo by Caba2011. The works for the construction of the Cloisters began at the beginning of the sixteenth century, in order to build a new structure that housed a convent, destined to move from outside to inside the city. The convent was divided into two cloisters of different style, the first of small size and of a late fifteenth-century layout, the second, on the other hand, much larger and in a mannerist style. The small cloister was built between 1524 and 1525 by Bartolomeo Spani while the large cloister was built about sixty years later, by the hand of Prospero and Francesco Pacchioni: the construction as a whole was clearly designed on the footprint of Palazzo Te in Mantua, designed by Giulio Romano. In 1783 the monastery was used as a military warehouse, then asCourt of Justice while, during the Restoration the building became the seat of the Educandato delle Fanciulle . In this period the building was subjected to further works, which gave it a neoclassical style. The entrance from the churchyard was moved to the main street, marking a dividing line between church and monastery. In the prior to the unification of Italy, the building was transformed into a military barracks, the arches of the small cloister were plugged in, and a series of tenements were built, there where the vegetable gardens once stood. The restorations to which the cloisters are subjected today are aimed at restoring the complex to its original shape . Several frescoes have already been brought to light,

  • How to get there: the cloisters are located in the historic center, near the church of the same name, and it is recommended to reach them on foot, about 10 minutes from the center – Get directions
  • Hours: accessible during events and exhibitions
  • Ticket cost: based on the hosted event

12 – The Parmeggiani Gallery
Palazzo Parmeggiani was built by Luigi Parmeggiani between 1925 and 1928, to house his art collection. The building, both inside and out, can be considered a mix of styles, which fully reflect the variety of works of art preserved inside. The door, which dates back to the 15th century, comes from Palazzo Mosen Sorell in Valencia, while its architecture is inspired by the forms of cathedrals taken up in some Marcy goldsmith works, preserved inside.

  • How to get there: the gallery is located in the historic center and can therefore be reached on foot. For those arriving by car, on the other hand, it is possible to park at the Zucchi car park (Get directions) nearby with rates of € 1.50 per hour, with a maximum of € 6.00 for 24 hours of parking – Get directions
  • walk from the Via Allegri exit on the right
  • Hours: in winter from Tuesday to Friday, from 9:00 to 12:00, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00. July and August from Tuesday to Sunday and holidays from 21:00 to 23:00. Monday closed
  • Ticket price: access is free

13 – The Parco del Popolo
Photo by Giulia Bonacini Ph. The Public Gardens of Reggio Emilia or Parco del Popolo have their origin in 1876. In 1927, the year in which the monument to the fallen of the World War was built, the works also began restructuring of the park, which saw the insertion of new flower beds, pedestrian paths, benches and stone furnishings, including the statues of the four seasons and the Roman monument to the Concordi. In 2009, the maintenance interventions aimed at reconstructing the appearance of the park in the 1920s were completed. These included the recovery of the legibility and the original design of the gardens, the enhancement of the entrances through the arrangement of the central stone staircase; the redevelopment of the perimeter spaces of the park.

  • How to get there: to reach the park you pass near other city attractions, and it is therefore recommended to move on foot. For those who prefer to use public transport, it is possible to use any line that moves in the direction of the Zucchi Barracks with a ticket cost € 1.50 – Get directions
  • Hours: always open
  • Ticket price: access is free

Reggio Emilia itinerary in one day

MORNING – With just one day available to be able to visit all the attractions that Reggio Emilia offers to tourists is impossible: for this you have to make choices. We begin the visit of the city starting from the Panizzi Library where, in the Sol Lewitt reading room, the ceiling holds a surprise: a colored stain on the vault of the ceiling. It is the work “vortices and eddies” by the American artist Sol LeWitt, and it is an intertwining of spirals and colors in movement, a real chromatic feast for the eyes. Once out of the library, the time has come to head towards the places that saw the birth of the Italian flag: the museum and the Sala del Tricolore. Both attractions are part of the Palazzo del Comune and are practically adjacent so, while you wait for the opening hours, you could take the opportunity to have breakfast at the Bar Caffe Farini nearby. Reggio Emilia is characterized by a very large number of squares, each with its own history and charm. The most important of these is certainly Piazza Prampolini , the beating heart of the city, place of the most important city events and the weekly market. Here there are some of the main city buildings, which are worth seeing even from the outside: the Torre del Bordello, the Baptistery, the Palazzo delle Notarie and the Palazzo del Podesta with the clock tower. The Cathedral is also located here, which we recommend to visit, where the remains of Saints Christian and Daria are kept, and numerous other historical and non-historical treasures. At the end of the visit, it’s time for lunch, and we recommend a stop at the characteristic sandwich shop “the Terme del Cholesterololo”, one of the most famous take-away places in the center.

AFTERNOON – Before moving on to the next stage, it is good to make a trip to the Palazzo del Comune , the Town Hall since 1434. A date carved in a block of sandstone on the right side of the arch of via Farini reminds us that the construction of the municipal seat began in 1414. The Palace cannot be visited freely but there are still some accessible areas, which are worth taking a peek at. A few steps away we have Piazza San Prosperoand its numbered arches, overlooked by the Basilica dedicated to the homonymous saint. The interior of the Basilica is divided into three naves, and on the apse vault you can admire a series of frescoes by Camillo Procaccini, depicting the “Last Judgment” . A minute away from the Basilica, moving on via Giudelli towards via Tosca, you will find the new theater that Palazzo Mercanti della Lana , built at the end of the 15th century. From here, moving on via San Carlo you will cross the house of Gaetano Chierici , a painter of the nineteenth century while, walking another 200 meters you will arrive at Piazza Fontanesi: one of the most characteristic squares in the historic center, completely lined with trees and surrounded by arcades.
In addition to the historical beauties, you will also face various choices for dinner but, we recommend a stop at the Fattorie Canossa Bistrot, in order to taste Reggio cuisine characterized by a pinch of modernity. After the cna four steps are the right solution to promote digestion. In this regard, a short distance from Piazza Fontanesi you will find via Monte Cusna , which in the past had a very curious function: that of parking for donkeys. Those who arrived in the city aboard this alternative means of transport used, literally, to park them there, and then move towards the center on foot. In the middle of the street it is still possible to see some rings, which served precisely for this purpose. At the end of the road, along viale Montegrappainstead, it is possible to see the last shred of the ancient city walls, literally incorporated into a private house, which helped to avoid its demolition.

One day itinerary at a glance

  1. Breakfast at Bar Caffe Farini – Get directions
  2. Panizzi Library – opening hours: every day from 9:00 to 20:00, Sunday from 10:00 to 13:00 – free admission
  3. Museum and Hall of the Tricolor (free visit)
  4. Piazza Camillo Prampolini (free visit)
  5. Duomo (free visit)
  6. Lunch at the Terme del Cholesterololo – Get directions
  7. Palazzo del Comune (free visit)
  8. Piazza San Prospero and Basilica (free visit)
  9. Palazzo Mercanti della Lana and Gaetano Chierici’s house (free visit)
  10. Piazza Antonio Fontanesi (free visit)
  11. Dinner at Fattorie Canossa Bistrot – Get directions
  12. via Monte Cusna and viale Montegrappa

Where to eat in Reggio Emilia

  1. Fattorie Canossa Bistrot : Italian, European and Reggio Emilia cuisine, characterized by a pinch of modernity
    Average price per person: € 20.00 to € 40.00
    Address and contacts: Piazza Fontanesi, 1 (Get directions) / tel: (+39) 0522 083102
  2. Terme del Cholesterololo : take-away sandwiches, filled with recipes and typical ingredients of Reggio Emilia
    Average price per person: € 5.00 to € 13.00
    Address and contacts: via Broletto 2 / G (Get directions) / tel: (+ 39) 3802665656
  3. Fuori Tema restaurant : Italian and fish cuisine
    Average price per person: € 15.00 to € 35.00
    Address and contacts: via Federico Garcia Lorca, 5 (Get directions) / tel: (+39) 0522340386

What to do in the evening: nightlife areas and the best clubs
Reggio Emilia offers night entertainment for all tastes. Bars and pubs are all concentrated towards the historic center area, with a few sporadic exceptions, instead, lovers of discos will have to move a little more out of the way

  • Republic pub : pub in the classic sense of the term, with live music and a huge selection of draft beers
    Address: Piazza XXIV Maggio (Get directions) / Facebook page
  • The Craftsman cocktail bar : jazz club with a well-stocked wine list and the possibility to order food
    Address: Piazza Antonio Fontanesi, 11 (Get directions) / Facebook page
  • Italghisa : cult disco of the place, meeting place for lovers of dance / house music and for those who love to dance until late at night
    Address: via del Gonaga, 41 (Get directions) / Facebook page

Plan your stay in Reggio Emilia: info and useful tips

  • How to get there: the reference airport for the city and Reggio Emilia Airport which is about 5 km (about 13 minutes by car) from the center, reachable both by train with lines 10 and 11 and with the buses managed by SETA. By train, getting off at the Mediopadana AV station, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava and an excellent opportunity to admire the building and the bridges. They arrive here with both Trenitalia and Italo trains, and there are many buses to the city center: line 5, ticket cost € 2.10, departing from the esplanade every 15 minutes. By bus, A1 motorway, Reggio Emilia exit, passing by the famous bridges
  • How to get around : given the wealth of attractions of the city, it is advisable to visit it on foot.
  • Where to park : free parking in the AV Mediopadana area, from here you can move towards the center using the aforementioned bus (Get directions). Alternatively, you can leave your car at the Piazzale Fiume car park a short distance from the center (Get directions), but it is much more difficult to find a place.
  • Where to sleep: Hotels and b & b from € 33.00 per room – see the offers
  • What to see in the surrounding area : Reggio Emilia and halfway from the cities of Parma (Get directions) and Modena (Get directions) both about 35 km away, equal to 40 minutes by car and 13 by train. From Bologna, on the other hand, the city is 34 minutes away by train, which becomes an hour by car, equal to 72 km (Get directions), while the 114 km that separate it from Ferrara are covered in a similar period of time both by car (1 hour and 19 minutes) and 1 hour and 27 minutes by train, due to the presence of changes.
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