We detoured to a town off the tourist map called Reggio nell Emilia to visit Rebecca, a friend who moved from Australia to Italy several years ago and settled here.
We had arranged to meet Rebecca in the afternoon for coffee so in the morning we explored the old town.
The streets were much quieter here with a lot less traffic than places like Pisa and Florence. It was great to be the only tourists in town as well!!
The old town has an hexagonal form, which derives from the ancient walls, and the main buildings are from the 16th-17th centuries. Of the old city wall we only came across saw one of the old wall gates.
Reggio is known in Italy for the “Tricolore’s Room”, in the Town Hall, is where for the first time the Italian’s flag three colours were adopted.
We made our way to the Basilica Della Ghiara by following the streets towards the large dome, the door was open so we went inside. Wow! this has to be one of the best we have ever been in.
The church was built in response to an alleged miracle associated with a local votive image of the Madonna which had occurred in the year 1596. The place soon became the goal of pilgrimages. The church was consecrated on May 12, 1619. The interior is in Late Renaissance style, with rich decorations in gold, marbles, as well as large frescoes of the Carracci school covering the domes and the vaults. These depicts stories of women of the Old Testament. The incredible ceiling was painted by Alessandro Tiarini is considered his masterwork.
At the time of our visit there were only a couple of locals praying quietly we liked this church and were pleased it was not on the international tourist attraction list.
The Cathedral (9th-12th century). It was reconstructed in the second half of the 16th century. It has three naves with works by Guercino, Palma the Younger, Prospero Spani and Alessandro Tiarini.
We found some market stalls at the Piazza San Prospero in Reggio Emilia where Trish bought an orange top and scarfe.
Rebecca met us at the Hymermobile around 2pm and we went to a coffee shop to catch up with what we had been up for the last 10 years or so!! We spent a couple of hours or so together. A wasp snuck under Steven’s shirt and a wasp sting provided some unplanned excitement for a while!! It was soon time for us to head off before it got to late so we said our farewells and headed North to Verona.
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