Reggio Emilia is a city in northern Italy, in the Emilia-Romagna region. It has about 171,944 inhabitants and is the main comune (municipality) of the Province of Reggio Emilia.
The town is also referred to by its more official name of Reggio nell’Emilia About this sound listen (help·info). The inhabitants of Reggio nell’Emilia (called Reggiani, while the inhabitants of Reggio di Calabria are called Reggini) usually call their town by the simple name of Reggio. In some ancient maps the town is also named Reggio di Lombardia.
The old town has a hexagonal form, which derives from the ancient walls, and the main buildings are from the 16th–17th centuries. The comune’s territory is totally on a plain, crossed by the Crostolo stream.
The climate in Reggio Emilia is temperate continental, with hot rather moist summers (the temperatures can sometimes rise above 35 °C) and fairly rigid winters with frequent frosts (the temperatures can go below -10 °C). Precipitations are evenly distributed all year long, but October, November and April are the most rainy months, while July and January are the most arid. In the city, you can rarely see snow, even though almost every year there is a period when it’s snowing, but due to the rather high temperatures, it does not settle, or if it does, the layer of snow is not very consistent. During autumn and winter it is very common, especially in the areas outside the city, to encounter very thick fog, even though nowadays it is less frequent than in the past.
The economy of the province of Reggio Emilia was for a long time based on agriculture. One typical product, known worldwide and imitated, is Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Another is Lambrusco wine. Reggio Emilia produce also the “Balsamic Vinegar” a condiment for salad but also cheese, strawberries and many other dishes. In the twentieth century Reggio Emilia and its territory saw also a rapid development of small industries, particularly in the sector of mechanics for agriculture. A few of those industries became large companies, with an international market: Lombardini Motori, Landini.
Reggio Emilia is also the place of some fashion groups of various range and importance, since the last half of the twentieth century; the Max Mara clothing line is headquartered in the city. Another well-established branch is ceramic tiles industry (mainly in the district of Scandiano and Casalgrande).
New developments in mechanics and information technology are at the origin of some new companies operating in mechatronics.
Since more than 100 years, a strong tradition supports building and banking cooperatives, as well as consumers’cooperatives. The industrial growth has attracted immigration from North and Central Africa, East Europe, and Far East (China, Pakistan, India). The immigration rate in the province is about 25%. Researches on the quality of life indicate that in recent years Reggio Emilia is in very good position among Italian provinces.
Reggio Emilia railway station, opened in 1859, forms part of the Milan–Bologna railway. It is also a terminus of three secondary railways, linking Reggio Emilia with Ciano d’Enza, Guastalla and Sassuolo, respectively. The station is situated at Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, at the eastern edge of the city centre.
The other major railway station, Reggio Emilia AV Mediopadana, is on the Milan–Bologna high-speed railway (there is also a connection with Reggio Emilia-Guastalla railway). It is located at the Mancasale locality, approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) north from the city centre.
The Reggio Emilia approach to preschool education was started by the schools of Reggio Emilia after World War II and is well-known around the world. It is based and inspired on theories of Malaguzzi, Bruner, Vygotsky, Dewey, Piaget and Gardner. Reggio Emilia holds the Loris Malaguzzi International Centre, a modern structure where the Reggio Emilia approach is implemented, exported and spread around the world.