The Ars Canusina was launched by a book published in 1935 by Maria Bertolani del Rio, a psychiatrist in Reggio Emilia who had successfully helped retarded young patients by creating for them classes of arts and crafts: embroidery, leather, wrought iron. For inspiration she had looked at the decorations of local churches and other buildings dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries.
The school was closed in the ‘50s, but the Ars Canusina is still alive thanks to the activity of several craftsmen who work in the province of Reggio Emilia.
If you want to learn more about the embroidery techniques and designs of the Ars Canusina you can look at a web page through the link here below. It is in Italian, but the pictures are very detailed and helpful.
Some years ago a new Italian law (Italy is not a federal republic so we do not have regional law) which forbid the smoke in all restaurants and cafes, unless they can offer separeted rooms. In Reggio the 95% of restaurants I guess are now for non-smokers so it is quite common, during a dinner, that half of your mates go out and smoke. If you see a lot of ash trays outside bars or restaurants (shops as well, cinemas and theater of course), this is the reason.
Many Italians don’t have breakfast at all and drink only an espresso. if they do, they don’t take more than 5-10 min. We have caffelatte and biscuits or toasted bread with jams or cakes but do never take any cheese or ham or egg. Just if we are in an hotel with an international buffet, we could eat such stuff but never think to have them at home. Considering that we are in a hurry when we go to work (if you still think that life in Italy is relaxed come to my region and see how people is ALWAYS in a hurry), it’s popular to have breakfast in bar. The typical breakfast in bar is CAPPUCCINO+PASTA. CAPPUCCINO is made of weaped milk and espresso; the name is because its color remind the hut of certain monks.For pasta we don’t mean spaghetti but pastry. they costs from 2 € up to 2,50 € but you have to be standing. If you want to sit and being served by a waiter, the cost can be much higher. In my personal opinion I’d like to sit with a newspaper but without being served; in a such a way you shouldn’t pay extra. The PASTA can be a croissant or a Danish (but we call it Swedish!!!) or a madeleine (how could I forget Marcel Proust writing of what their taste could remind him) or many others.
I’ll write down bars in the Old Town where you can have, in my opinion, a very nice CAPPUCCINO and PASTA:
1. PASTICCERIA TORINESE via Fornaciari, near S.Prospero square. It’s a huge pastry and chocolate shop as well. Do not sit, it would be bloody expensive. Just stand or take away.
2. PASTICCERIA LIGUABUE via Emilia S. Pietro, in from of S. Pietro church
3. ANTICO CAFFE’ DEL TEATRO via S. Rocco, corner via Crispi
4. CAFFE’ TOSTATO via Emilia S. Pietro (same owner and same products of number 1)
5. GUIDELLI CAFFE’ via Guidelli
6. TORREFAZIONE LA MESSICANA via Farini, near to public library, full of studends. No great variety of pastry, no possibility to sit but great coffee. You can buy coffee for your home coffee machine at home as well
7. CAFFE EUROPA, Prampolini Square (town hall’s square); nice for cocktail, as well.
Everybody can agree that Italian food is the best of the world. After travelling I realized that no other saying cannot be more true that the above mentioned. Sorry for Spain, for Asian ones or souther American one but Italian food is definitely the best. BUT, perhaps many of you dont know that Italians dont eat pasta and pizza everyday. Perhaps pasta but definitely not pizza, not every day and you dont probably know that Italian food has an huge variaty of everything from meat to fish and seafood and it's very very different one region from an other. If I go for a sunday's lunch in a family in Tuscany, for example, the typical lunch there will be completely DIFFERENT from what we have in Emilia Romagna.
By the way, the food in Emilia Romagna is recognized to be one of the best food in Italy. So, please come to us and try our restaurants!!!