Whether we’re in the U.S. or Italy, we’re often faced with the question, “Why did you pick Reggio Emilia?” In America, if you aren’t a preschool teacher, you probably have never even heard of this city. However, it is well-known for the Reggio Children educational approach by some early childhood educators. In Italy, it’s known by those who appreciate the famous Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese. But it has no large museums or churches and it’s not close to Tuscany or the lovely beaches of Italy — so why stay here?
Reggio’s Main Theater—Teatro Valli
We chose Reggio because of its convenient location for exploring Northern Italy. We also wanted to stay in a town that was large enough to have some cultural activities and a decent language school for me. I thought that a smaller, less famous city would offer more opportunities to speak Italian with the locals, and this has proven to be true in Reggio.
Bologna is thirty minutes by train—even the slower regional one
There are a multitude of cities and towns that would be a great base for exploring Italy, depending on your needs. Each time we visit Europe, we choose an area that we want to visit and we pick a town that is strategically located. If the town has a train station that connects to major cities, this makes traveling easier. But even a smaller town will usually have a decent bus system that connects to the city with the trains.
Our apartment is on a quiet street and walking distance to the town center
We’ve found many advantages to this system. First, an apartment is much more economical than a hotel room. It’s also fun to sample foods from the local markets and enjoy some meals at home. But the biggest advantage is that you get to know your new town and you don’t have to deal with the stress of figuring out a new city every few days while schlepping your luggage around.
But the question was, “Why Reggio?”— so here are a few answers:
But the most important reason for choosing Reggio is the people. You meet a lot of nice people in Reggio Emilia!