Reggio Emilia is a city with a practical and generous soul, its roots embedded in the peasant tradition, where people work hard and have managed, through times, to stand out in many different economic fields.
Between them we find textile production, which dates back to the introduction of the silk manufacturing in 1502 by Lucrezia Borgia, duchess of the Este family of Ferrara at the time, a noble woman used to the splendor of Roman fashion.
In time, this textile tradition resulted into a well settled and worldwide famous fashion industry, reaching good results especially in the prêt-à-porter thanks to the company MaxMara, here founded in 1951; its historical headquarters are now housing a rich collection of contemporary art, the Collezione Maramotti.
A very high level of specialization has been reached by the production in the mechatronic sector, bringing together the best of electronics, mechanics and automotive engineering. The excellences achieved in this field by Reggio Emilia’s factories have a very interesting example in the history of Officine Meccaniche Reggiane, a factory and foundry that opened its gates in 1901 and was soon converted into a wartime factory during World War I, then dedicated to the groundbreaking production of military airplanes just before and during World War II.
Officine Meccaniche Reggiane is also linked to the heart of the events in Italy in the 40s, for the history of the factory is made by the people who worked in it and protested against the war, had their role in the Resistance movement and tried to demonstrate that a requalification after war was possible by projecting and producing agricultural machineries during an occupation of the factory that lasted one entire year and was the longest ever occurred in Italy.
Today, part of the original factory has been restored by the municipality of Reggio Emilia and is now the home of Tecnopolo, a research center for innovation in mechanics, constructions, agribusiness, energy and environment.
Agriculture is indeed an important sector for Reggio Emilia province since, thanks to the fertility of Padan Plain’s ground, it has always been a primary resource for its inhabitants and in modern times has seen the application of the advanced technology designed in the province for agricultural machineries.
Besides agriculture, animal rising is also a traditional and central activity in the province, mainly serving the production of typical local and regional products which became symbols of gastronomic Italy all around the world like, for example the Parmigiano Reggiano.