Thursday, July 8, 2010

Life in Reggio

Every day, we take a 20 minute walk to the Loris Malaguzzi Centre. The streets are pedestrian and bike friendly with few cars in the city. Many people are on bikes--the very young and very old. There are no Vespas zooming around like other Italian cities.

The historic part of the city feels like a maze with 4-5 story buildings lining the streets and alleys. We pass churches, museums and the many shops that sell food, clothing and of course, shoes. Businesses and cultural landmarks seem to open around 9:00 am and close for siesta from 1 pm to 4 pm. They re-open in the late afternoon and close for the day around 7:30 pm. Our sessions seem to run during these business hours, so it has been difficult to experience all the city has to offer.

Last night, as we hear is true of every Wednesday, there was a festival in the town called Reggio in Rosa. Every piazza and restaurant was transformed with pinks and purples and cultural opportunities to provide a place for the citizens to gather and enjoy the city. Bands and duets were playing live music at every turn. Historic images of the town projected on screens and we even saw a belly dancer. People also gathered to watch the semi-final game of the World Cup. The shops and restaurants stayed open until 11 pm but the party in the streets lasted well into the night.

Italian fashion right now seems to be infused with purple, raspberry and lavender, in both men's and women's clothing. Other popular styles include shoes with ankle cuffs (like a combination boot/sandal); linen clothing; shirts, skirts and pants that poof like a bubble at the hem; and men wearing colorful scarves. The people watching in Reggio has been most enjoyable!

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