23 May 2006

Reggio Emilia

...is perfect.
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.

1 comment:

  1. I think most of the towns in that area are pretty fabulous. I had lots of fun in all of them and mostly the people were pretty nice and friendly.

    Towards the end of my trip, I went to an Indian restaurant in Ravenna to shake things up a bit. I was the only patron but I had a nice little chat with my waiter and then the food came and I realized why I was the only patron. The chickpea masala was exactly the same as the Baingan Bharta (an eggplant curry).

    The next day I ran into the waiter at the hostel where I was staying (he worked there too apparently) and he politely inquired about the status of my stomach. I said: "fine" but him asking me made me doubt my answer although it was nice of him.