Form prehistory to the end of Roman Empire, the population who have inhabited this area left significant traces of their lifestyle, astonishing us with their knowledge in crafts and with their cultural baggage, demonstrating they were not so different from us after all!
The first signs of stable human settlement in this area date back to Bronze Age, when people used to live in typical settlements called Terramare, fortified villages surrounded by earthworks and a ditch. Later on, even the Etruscan civilization chose the territory of Reggio Emilia as their home, along with different ethnic groups such as the Celts, the Boi Gauls and the Ligurians; every population has left behind many evidences (ornaments, tools,…) now conserved in Reggio’s Civic Museums.
According to tradition, in 193 BC the Romans started the colonization of Reggio Emilia territory, portioning the land with “centuriation”, a regular and characteristic patchwork that is still visible and became of use for the agricultural land division through times.
Regium Lepidi (Reggio Emilia’s Roman name) became part of the Via Emilia strategic road network, and its internal streets presented the typical Roman chessboard street layout, which is still visible in the old city center along with many archeological findings from Roman Age discovered during renovation or buildings in modern time. Brescello (“Brixellum”)is another important city of Roman foundation to be found in Reggio’s territory: it was a major Roman river town and archeological excavations have unearthed a rare treasure consisting in gold works, Byzantine coins and barbarian jewelry.