REGGIO NELL' EMILIA, a city and episcopal see of Emilia, Italy, the capital of the province of Reggio nell' Emilia (till 1859 part of the duchy of Modena), 38 m. by rail N.W. of Bologna. Pop. (1906) 19,681 (town); 64,548 (commune). The cathedral, originally erected in the 12th century, was reconstructed in the 15th and 16th; the façade shows traces of both periods, the Renaissance work being complete only in the lower portion.
S. Prospero, close by, has a facade of 1504, in which are incorporated six marble lions belonging to the original Romanesque edifice. The Madonna della Ghiara, built in 1597 in the form of a Greek cross, and restored in 1900, is beautifully proportioned and finely decorated in stucco and with frescoes of the Bolognese school of the early 17th century. There are several good palaces of the early Renaissance, a fine theatre (1857) and a museum containing important palaeo-ethnological collections, ancient and medieval sculptures, and the natural history collection of Spallanzani. Lodovico Ariosto, the poet (1474-1533), was born in Reggio, and his father's house is still preserved. The industries embrace the making of cheese, objects in cement, matches, and brushes, the production of silkworms, and printing; and the town is the centre of a rich agricultural district. It lies on the main line between Bologna and Milan, and is connected by branch lines with Guastalla and Sassuolo (hence a line to Modena).
Regium Lepidi or Regium Lepidum was probably founded by M. Aemilius Lepidus at the time of the construction of the Via Aemilia (187 B.C.). It lay upon this road, half-way between Mutina and Parma. It was during the Roman period a flourishing municipium, but perhaps never became a colony; and it is associated with no event more interesting than the assassination of M. Brutus, the father of Caesar's friend and foe. The bishopric dates perhaps from the 4th century A.D. Under the Lombards the town was the seat of dukes and counts; in the 12th and 13th centuries it formed a flourishing republic, busied in surrounding itself with walls (1229), controlling the Crostolo and constructing navigable canals to the Po, coining money of its own, and establishing prosperous schools. About 1290 it first passed into the hands of Obizzo d'Este, and the authority of the Este family was after many vicissitudes more formally recognized in 1409. In the contest for liberty which began in 1796 and closed with annexation to Piedmont in 1859, Reggio took vigorous part.
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