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Fri Apr 27 2012, 11:57am

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AICCRE Emilia-Romagna is an organization that collects several local authorities on the regional level (Municipalities, Provinces, Unions, etc.) and its main purposes are to support the creation of new partnerships on the international level and to promote active citizenship. Furthermore, it is committed to foster the values of and the opportunities offered by the European Union, involving in particular those areas at risk of exclusion. These goals are achieved through the participation to EU projects as well as through the organization of awareness-raising actions (informative seminars, meetings, workshops, etc.) focused on the current and future relevance of the European issues. Given to the particular nature of the organization, these activities are often carried out in collaboration with one or more member authorities, to whom the training seminars held yearly about the EU projects’ management are directly addressed. In other words, AICCRE Emilia-Romagna is strongly committed in promoting international relationships and collaborations among European local entities as a form of evolution, or better natural follow-up, that goes well beyond the traditional town-twinnings.  
POPULATION: aprox. 25.000;
LOCATION: 95 mt/sea level;
TERRITORY: 48,6 sq km.
Scandiano is not only the most inhabited Municipality of the Province of Reggio Emilia, but also one of its most important economic centres. Its historical and artistic heritage marks this “small capital city” as one of the most interesting towns of the whole region. Embellished by the arcades of its squares and the ancient town's gates, the town offers to the tourists also the possibility to visit its fascinating and characteristic churches. The eno-gastronomy represents one of the excellences of the territory. Typical products: white wine “Bianco di Scandiano”, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, balsamic vinegar.
THE BOIARDO’S FORTRESS This fortress, originally constructed by the Da Fogliano family (XIV century) was essentially designed as a military stronghold. With the rise to power of the Boiardo family (1423), the old fortress began to be turned into a noble residence. During the centuries, the Boiardo family was succeeded by the Thiene, Bentivoglio and Este families, who kept expanding and transforming the fort into a grand palace.  
CASA SPALLANZANI This building is the birthplace of the famous scientist Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729-1799). The harmoniously balanced late Baroque architectural features of the current façade date back to the XVIII century. The interior is laid out in XVI cent. style, with many beautifully frescoed areas. The grand staircase includes decorative elements in the Baroque style. Declared a national monument on 11 February 1984, the building now houses the Municipality’s Culture, Sport and EU policies Dept.  
ARCETO’S CASTLE              The building represents an example of a well-preserved medieval castle. Inside the castle you can find the oratory, dedicated to St. Rocco, and the fortress, core of the military defence of the castle. The construction of the castle starts in the second half of the tenth century,  under the deed of the bishops of Reggio Emilia. Nowadays the Township of Scandiano owns only a part of the castle, involving the luxurious central staircase and some rooms of the noble wings. After a very important renovation work recently completed, it is now possible to visit these spaces, brought back to their original decorative richness of the XVII century.  
“FAMOUS CITIZENS”… Matteo Maria Boiardo was an Italian Renaissance poet, who was born in Scandiano around 1440; He was the son of Giovanni di Feltrino and Lucia Strozzi, so of noble lineage, ranking as Count of Scandiano, with seignorial power over Arceto, Casalgrande, Gesso, and Torricella. Boiardo was an ideal example of a gifted and accomplished courtier, possessing at the same time a manly heart and deep humanistic learning. In his youth Boiardo had been a successful imitator of Petrarca's love poems. He is best remembered, however, for his grandiose poem of chivalry and romance Orlando Innamorato. Lazzaro Spallanzani, born in Scandiano on Jan. 10th 1729, was an Italian Catholic priest, biologist and physiologist who made important contributions to the experimental study of bodily functions, animal reproduction (in particular vitro fertilization and artificial insemination), and essentially discovered echolocation. His research of biogenesis paved the way for the investigations of Louis Pasteur.      
ABOUT EMILIA-ROMAGNA REGION…   Emilia–Romagna is an administrative region of Northern Italy comprising the two historic regions of Emilia and Romagna. The capital is Bologna; it has an area of 22,446 km2 (8,666 sq miles) and about 4.4 million inhabitants. Emilia–Romagna today is considered as one of the richest and most developed regions in Europe and has the third highest GDP per capita in Italy. Bologna, the region's capital, has one of Italy's highest quality of life, and has highly advanced and modern social services. Emilia–Romagna is also a major cultural and touristic centre, being the home of the oldest university in the Western World, containing numerous Renaissance cities (such as Modena, Parma and Ferrara), being a major centre for food and automobile production (Emilia–Romagna is home of numerous iconic gastronomical and automotive industries, such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ducati) and having a lively and colourful coastline, with numerous tourist resorts, such as Rimini and Riccione.
HISTORY The name Emilia–Romagna has roots in the Ancient Rome legacy in these lands. Emilia refers to via Æmilia, an important Roman way connecting Rome to the northern part of Italy. The Via Aemilia was completed by, and named after, the Roman consul Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in 187 BC. Romagna represents a sound development from Romània; when Ravenna was the capital of the Italian portion of the Byzantine Empire, the Lombards extended the official name of the Empire to the lands around Ravenna. Emilia–Romagna was part of the Etruscan world before control passed to the Gauls and then the Romans. The Romans built the Aemilian Way, for which the region was named. The coastal area of Emilia, which was ruled under the Byzantines from 540 to 751, became known as the separate region of Romagna. During the Middle Ages trading activities, culture and religion flourished thanks to the region's monasteries and the University of Bologna - the oldest university in Europe - its bustling towns, and its politics - embodied in the historic figure of Empress Matilda of Canossa. In the Renaissance, it became the seat for refined seigniories such as the House of Este of Ferrara and the Malatesta of Rimini. In the centuries that followed, the region was divided between the rule of the Papal State, the Farnese Duchy of Parma and Piacenza, and the Duchy of Modena and Reggio. In the 16th century, most of these were included into the Papal States, but the territory of Parma, Piacenza, and Modena remained independent until Emilia–Romagna was included into the Italian kingdom in 1859–1861.
GEOGRAPHY The region of Emilia–Romagna consists of nine provinces and covers an area of 22,446 km2 (8,666 sq miles), ranking 6th in Italy. Nearly half of the region (48%) consists of plains while 27% is hilly and 25% mountainous. The region's section of the Apennines is marked by areas of flisch, badland erosion (calanques) and caves. The mountains stretch for more than 300 km (186.41 miles) from the north to the south-east, with only three peaks above 2,000 m - Monte Cimone (2,165 m), Monte Cusna (2,121 m) and Alpe di Succiso (2,017 m). The plain was formed by the gradual retreat of the sea from the Po basin and by the detritus deposited by the rivers. Almost entirely marshland in ancient times, its history is characterised by the hard work of its people to reclaim and reshape the land in order to achieve a better standard of living. The geology varies, with lagoons and saline areas in the north and many thermal springs throughout the rest of the region as a result of groundwater rising towards the surface at different periods of history. All the rivers rise locally in the Apennines except for the Po, which has its source in the Alps in Piedmont and follows the northern border of Emilia–Romagna for 263 km (163.42 miles). Vegetation in the region may be divided into belts: the common oak belt which is now covered (apart from the mesóla forest) with fruit orchards and fields of wheat and sugar beet, the pubescent and Adriatic oak belts on the lower slopes up to 900 m, the beech belt between 1,000 and 1,500 m and the final mountain heath belt.
CUSINE & GASTRONOMY Emilia–Romagna is known for its egg and filled pasta made with soft wheat flour. Bologna is notable for pasta dishes like tortellini, lasagne, gramigna and tagliatelle which are found also in many other parts of the region in different declinations. Polenta, a maize-based dish, is common both in Emilia and Romagna. The celebrated balsamic vinegar is made only in the Emilian cities of Modena and Reggio Emilia, following legally binding traditional procedures. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is produced in Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena and Bologna and is much used in cooking. Although the Adriatic coast is a major fishing area (well-known for its eels and clams), the region is more famous for its meat products, especially pork-based, that include: Parma's culatello and Felino salami, Piacenza's pancetta, coppa and salami, Bologna's mortadella and Modena's zampone, cotechino and capello di prete. Reggio Emilia is famous for its fresh egg-made pasta cappelletti (similar to Bologna's tortellini but differing in size), the typical erbazzone a spinach and Parmigiano Reggiano salted cake and its Gnocco Fritto some kind of mixed flour stripes fried in boiling oil, enjoyed in combination with ham or salami. Regional desserts include zuppa inglese, a custard-based dessert made with sponge cake and Alchermes liqueur. An exhaustive list of the most important regional wines should include Sangiovese from Romagna, Lambrusco from Reggio Emilia or Modena, Cagnina di Romagna, Colli Piacentini and Trebbiano from Piacenza.    

[ Edited Fri Apr 27 2012, 11:57am ]
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