reggio emilia

Remember when I crashed at the Blogville apartment in Bologna after I got some tan in the Tuscan Riviera? Well after that, we went on a day trip from Bologna to this really sweet and totally off the beaten path city in Emilia-Romagna region called Reggio Emilia. I was obviously excited to see a different side of Italy after all the usual cities like Rome, Florence and Milan and girl, was I happy to!

If you’re planning your trip to Italy soon and you want to go off-the-radar at some point and experience authentic Italy then I totally recommend Reggio Emilia.


It’s a beautiful, quaint city brimming with life. Interspersed with the fashion, food, and interesting shops are well-maintained palazzos and churches and narrow streets that ends in beautiful courtyards. The lovely Marialuisa from Italy Unplugged Tours showed us around the city.

reggio emilia day trip

reggio emilia square

reggio emilia building


It’s called the City of the Italian Flag because the Italian flag was first created in Reggio Emilia on January 7, 1797. You can visit the Tricolor Museum to see it for yourself.

original italian flag


It has a lot of quirky shops, interesting restaurant selection and cozy cafes…

reggio emilia bike


reggio emilia meat

reggio emilia restaurant


…with hot baristas. 😀

reggio emilia cafe


Seriously. You can just go around the center and find a lot of cool shops.

It’s still Italy minus the hoards of tourists. And you’ll only get to meet super friendly, smiling locals. It’s a rich city as well so you will meet fabulous people here and there.



reggio emilia style


And see lovely grannies gossiping in every corner of the square. I told you earlier this is authentic Italy!

reggio emilia grandma

reggio emilia people


I love cities that are bike-friendly and I immediately fell in love with Reggio Emilia because you see a lot of people biking. Even old people as you can see from the #gossipgrannies above. And not just that, the bikes they own are pretty handsome too. Check them out!

reggio emilia italy bike

reggio emilia bikes

reggio emilia dj yabis


The food is also to die for. I am loving all the pasta sprinkled with authentic Parmesan cheese made from the area.

italian food

reggio emilia food pasta


And you should try this local specialty, Erbazzone (spinach pie in English). It’s delicious and definitely a personal favorite.



Speaking of shopping, they have loads of great shops here. And I ended up buying this fur coat which I used on my trip to the Arctic Circle this January. It’s from a vintage shop for only 70 euros so it was quite a steal! Note: No animal was killed in taking this picture.

reggio emilia fur coat shopping


Before leaving, we went to check out the contemporary art at Collezione Maramotti. It has an amazing, international contemporary art collection spanning the years from 1945 till today. The collection is housed in the historical headquarters of the Max Mara company. No photos allowed so I got this from the interwebz.

Collezione Maramotti


How to get there:

From Bologna, you can take the train to Reggio Emilia with Trenitalia for only 9 euros and the trip takes 30 minutes. If you’re lucky you will arrive at the stylish, new train station designed by Calatrava.


Have you ever ventured outside the usual Italian destinations?


This trip is part of the Blogville campaign. Thanks to Ms Marialuisa for taking us around the city and to Nick, one of my favorite Italians who manages the Blogville apartment, for organizing the trip. All thoughts and pictures in this post are my own, except the Colezzione Maramotti photo.


DJ Yabis is the poster boy of Dream Euro Trip and a modern day renaissance man. Originally from the Philippines, he loves throwing dinner parties and stalking rock stars in music festivals. Subscribe or follow his adventures LIVE on Facebook or Instagram. Learn how to plan your own eurotrip.

What do YOU think?

16 Responses to “Off The Beaten Path Italy: Reggio Emilia” Subscribe

  1. reeta @houseofanais February 13, 2014 at 7:14 PM #

    Looks amazing and all that fresh, tasty food. This place was a novelty for me too, but then again I have only seen a couple of places in Italy by far…

  2. Mary @ Green Global Travel February 13, 2014 at 1:17 AM #

    We are huge fan of bike friendly towns. Reggio Emilia looks like a wonderful place to peddle through.

  3. Val-This Way To Paradise February 6, 2014 at 12:24 AM #

    I have only heard of this town because of Parmesan cheese…that coat looks AWESOME on you!

    • DJ Yabis February 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM #

      I’ve never even heard of this place until I went there. Glad I did!

  4. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas February 5, 2014 at 7:28 PM #

    How is it that even the smallest towns can be so effortlessly cool? I traveled to Bologna last year…yum. We had a great time.

    • DJ Yabis February 6, 2014 at 10:39 AM #

      I know right? It makes me feel bad for staying only for a day.

  5. wanderingeducators February 5, 2014 at 1:52 AM #

    I would LOVE to visit this place – what colors, smiles, and food!

    • DJ Yabis February 5, 2014 at 1:58 AM #

      I wanna go back and explore it more. I heard they have a lot of cultural stuff going on too. Their opera is drop-dead gorgeous. I don’t have good photos to show so I didn’t include it 😀

  6. Penny Sadller February 5, 2014 at 1:49 AM #

    Love the coat!

  7. Jennifer February 5, 2014 at 1:42 AM #

    Wow! Beautiful beautiful photos — and I’m not just talking about those baristas! I like the shot of you in that coat too — swanky man. 🙂

  8. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family January 29, 2014 at 6:11 AM #

    Agree! It looks completely charming but worth it for the food alone!!! Have you seen the episode of No Reservations where Anthony Bourdain goes to Reggio Emilia?

    • DJ Yabis January 29, 2014 at 7:32 PM #

      No I haven’t. I’ll go look for it now. Thanks for the heads up Bethaney!

  9. Corinne January 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM #

    What a charming place. For me, it’s all about the little villages off the beaten path. It’s what I live for…love the coat! I’m sure you bought it!

    • DJ Yabis January 28, 2014 at 8:26 PM #

      Yes it was really charming. And yes I had to buy it! 😀

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