23 May 2006
It's a little like Italian Pleasantville, but more genuine. Reggio Emilia is a 40 minute train ride from Bologna, and right smack dab in the heart of the "Red Belt." Left wing politics rules the day and in addition to being the birthplace of Parmesan cheese it also birthed the cutting edge Reggio philosophy of early childhood education.
Chiara and I went up to meet up with one of the key North American practitioners of the Reggio philosophy and all aorund great lady, Mary Hartzell. We had fanastic dinner with her and a great time exploring the town. We saw the building that gave us the Italian flag.
We also saw the opera house and their big ass park and lots of happy well-adjusted people. Of every colour of the rainbow. Tonnes of immigrants in the city and they all seemed legally gainfully employed, integrated and pregnant. Actually everybody was pregnant, not just immigrants.
Everybody was so helpful and pleasant, the streets were so clean, that I started to get nervous. A little weirded out by the whole affair.
In the end I was won over: Reggio is a great, arts focused left-leaning centre of innovation. With great cheese.