Reggio Emilia Prampolini square, between Modena and Parma in Emilia Romagna
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Italian Tricolour flag

Reggio Emilia is one of the art cities of Emilia Romagna region. In the northeastern of Italy, the Romans founded the town along the Via Emilia. Hence in the early Middle Ages, it was a fief of the Marquises of Canossa. Therefore, the Middle Ages sees continuous struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines. As follow, with the advent of the Este family of Ferrara in 1289, that lasts until 1306. Throughout the century, other popular governments and Lordships as those of the Gonzaga of Mantua ruled in the town.

From the Este dynasty to the Cispadane Republic

In 1409, the town passes again to the Este family. Hence Reggio follows the fate of the capital of the Duchy from Ferrara to Modena until 1860.
In December 1796, the delegates of Reggio Emilia with those of Bologna, Ferrara, and Modena proclaim the Cispadane Republic. As a result, the emblem that they adopt is the tricolor of green, white and red. In conclusion, on January 7th 1797, it becomes the flag of Italy.

Reggio Emilia

Founded on the Via Emilia with the name of Regium Lepidi, it was Byzantine and Lombard. As well as part of the first nucleus of the Canossa domains. Sided with Milan against Barbarossa, Reggio Emilia suffered the continuous internal struggles. Therefore, the town fell under different dominations. As the Este, the Gonzaga, and the Visconti. At the end, Reggio Emilia shared the fate of the Este dynasty. Before with Ferrara and after with Modena. Worth a note, the town gave the birth to Ludovico Ariosto.

Marcus Aemilius Lepidus

Marcus Aemilius Lepidus was a Roman consul. Hence his name was immortalized in the construction of the Via Emilia. In fact, his plan was to build a straight road of communication and defense between the Adriatic and the Mediterranean in the north of Italy. As a result, Marcus Aemilius ordered the construction of Reggio Emilia as part of this road that would split the town in two.

The town hall

They completed the façade of the town hall in 1417. Apart from functioning as an administrative center, the ancient building is also a monument to the glorious struggles for freedom of the city. A plaque at the entrance records the 1946 votes in the referendum for post war democracy. When 50000 city citizens voted for Italy to become a republic and just 12000 for the monarchy.

The hall of the ‘Tricolore’

Although not having been a capital and with no Courts, Reggio Emilia baptized the Italian tricolor. From December 27th 1796 to January 9th 1797, the town hosted the assembly of the delegates of Bologna, Ferrara, Modena, and Reggio itself. In conclusion, this assembly proclaimed the Cispadane Republic but remained without result. However, now the tricolor hall hangs a prototype of the green, white and red flag, the symbol of the Republic of Italy.

Around Prampolini square

Along the straight road of Via Emilia, Reggio has a monumental center that grows around Prampolini square. In the ‘Piazza Grande’ of the inhabitants, there is the town hall. As well as the Duomo, and the palace of the pawnshop. Not far away there is the great basilica of San Prospero, connected to the Prampolini square by the arches of the Broletto. Furthermore, close to the central square, we find the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin of Ghiara. Most of all, this church represents the triumph of the Baroque style in Reggio Emilia.

The Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Traditionally rich, Reggio Emilia shares with Parma the glories of the Parmigiano Reggiano. Interesting note, the birth of this product is a source of eternal disputes.

Reggio Emilia the Italian Tricolour flag town, guided tour

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