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Saturday, 01 May 2021

Slow Traveling in Emilia Romagna, Italy - Page 2

Written by Russ & Emily Firlik
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We spent most days in total bliss admiring the architecture and organic colors of the buildings in this, a walking city. At the corner of Piazza Di Santa Giovanna was a tiled devotional mosaic embedded in a wall, I remembered that the mosaic was placed high, and we had to look up to appreciate its beauty. Dominating the square was the Duomo, built in the 10th century, and altered in the 15th century. Especially significant was the altarpiece painting by Guercino, the 17th century Baroque painter from the Emilia region.


One of our several purposes to revisit Reggio Emilia was to spend time to learn more about the great puppeteer and actor, Otello Sarzi who lived in Reggio, and left a rich collection of puppets to the Reggio Emilia community. The Sarzi Family Foundation, at Via Bruno Buozzi, holds the House of the Puppets of Otello and we learned quite a bit from the director, Paulo, during several visits and lectures. Puppeteers visit the preschools of Reggio, and the children visit the House of Otello to engage with the puppets and learn about puppetry. This important tradition was in keeping the art and crafts of puppeteering alive for generations. Our interest in puppetry began when we lived in Oxfordshire, England many years ago, and took a nine week marionette course.


Reggio is a pedestrian and bicycle town - only taxis and residents' buses are permitted in the large pedestrian zone. The shops were a visual treat, exquisite, expensive and the windows displays were very well presented. Passing along Via Emilia San Pietro was the high end fashion house of Max Mara enterprises, which was founded in Reggio. Emilia Romagna is a wealthy area of Italy, and famous for its production of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and balsamic vinegar. In the last decade or so there has been a steady increase in immigrants which makes the town-city more inclusive, lively and organic. The people, history, cultural values, food and architecture are some of the reasons that Reggio is such a special city in Italy.

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Our slow travel stay in Reggio was not fully appreciated until we enjoyed a few Erbazzone Reggiano, the regional dish combining spinach, onions, garlic and parmigiano. We especially enjoyed Terme del Colesterolo Paninoteca, as Cocco and his wife, were delightful and the food, presentation and service was outstanding in every way. The food is the best in Italy - fresh- seasonal- carefully prepared and professionally served. You cannot eat a mediocre meal in any of Reggio’s restaurants or bars.


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Last modified on Saturday, 01 May 2021

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