Luzzara

Luzzara has a fascinating typical Po River Valley landscape. It is located at the extreme north edge of the Province of Reggio Emilia, where the Reggio Emilia lowlands merge with the Mantua Oltrepo (on the opposite side of the Po River). It has always been especially linked to the character and destiny of the Po River.

Information

Altitude: 22 m
Inhabitants: 9.337 (updated to January 1, 2015)
Post code: 42045
Weekly market day: Monday in Luzzara, Thursday in Villarotta
Patron Saint: San Giorgio (April 23)
Hamlets: Casoni, Codisotto, Villarotta

Contacts

Phone 0039 0522 223811 - Municipality
Website Comune di Luzzara (Luzzara Municipality)

How to get there

Luzzara

By car
From A22 Brennero Motorway: it is possible to reach Luzzara by either taking Pegognaga or Reggiolo exits.

By train
From the Reggio Emilia Railway Station: regional train to Parma and then Tper train Parma-Suzzara.

Location

Luzzara offers a fascinating typical Po Valley landscape.
It’s situated at the extreme north edge of the Province of Reggio Emilia, where the Reggio Emilia lowlands merge with the Mantua Oltrepò (on the opposite side of the River Po).
It’s always been inextricably linked to the character and destiny of the River Po.

Historical notes

The distinctive banks of the Po River mark the boundary with the Region of Lombardy, also providing a choreographic backdrop to extensive woodlands and fertile farmland making up 60% of the Luzzara local council area.
According to the official historical account, the town of Luzzara was besieged during the Lombard period after the battle of Mantua in 604 A.D.
Tradition has it that the name of the town originates from "Luciaia", the land of the carp.

The Po River valley fishing waters are really well stocked with this fish. Notwithstanding this, the name Luzzara appears for the first time in a document dated 781 in which Charlemagne took the Reggio Emilia Church under his high protection.
During the long, dark years of struggle between the Church and Empire, Luzzara experienced numerous vicissitudes until it passed to the dominion of the most prestigious rulers, the Gonzaga family in 1354.
The Gonzaga dynasty indeed, sought to fortify the town and the "Luzzara Fair".
In 1411 the family inaugurated a series of benefits and incentives to encourage artists, craftsmen and writers to work in the area.
Luzzara thus became a classical example of a small Renaissance centre on the banks of the Po River.
Looking at a street plan of the town even today one can still see squares, civic and religious buildings as they were originally conceived in the architectural designs of 1400.

During the XVIII century Luzzara experienced bloody and painful conflicts in efforts to gain a partial political and social independence.
On the death of Carlo and the ending of the Gonzaga dynasty, Luzzara passed under the protectorate of the Dukedom of Parma with Maria Teresa of Austria, in 1747.
It was transferred again in 1748, this time to Filippo di Borbone who introduced important economic incentives leading to a substantial increase in economic activities.
With the French Revolution, Luzzara became part of the Cisalpine Republic, later forming part of the Crostolo administrative "Compartment".
Napoleonic decrees introduced a number of changes, cemeteries were built both for the town and outlying villages and the new metric system was introduced.

After the fall of the Napoleonic Empire Luzzara was reoccupied by the Austrian troops and once again transferred to Maria Luisa of Austria.
When the Duchess died in 1848 the town passed to Francesco V of the House of Este.
The II War of Independence led to the downfall of the Este family and, following the plebiscite of 1860, Luzzara was finally annexed to Piedmont and later to the Kingdom of Italy.
In the administrative reorganization of the Kingdom of Italy, the local council area of Luzzara was transferred to the Province of Reggio Emilia.
From this point, administrative and territorial boundaries have remained unchanged.

Reasons to visit

It’s an ideal destination for “informed” tourism, not only for the naturalistic aspects but also for its genuine products (Lambrusco and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for example), with a cuisine centred on its typical flavours of cappelletti, tortelli di zucca, cold pork meats and freshwater fish dishes.
Thanks to the work of its most famous son Cesare Zavattini, Luzzara, the surrounding countryside and the world of the river, have reached well beyond their geographical limits and have become places of the spirit, to be discovered on foot, by mountain bike, by horse or by canoe.
In order to visit the Annunziata Church, previously an Augustinian convent as well as the Naïve-Arts National Museum (the only one of its kind, is named but which, unfortunately, is closed due to the damage caused by the earthquake in 2012), follow the road signs to Mantua.

Just before the edge of the town you will see a spacious and shady car park.
In order to arrive at the Corte Mazo or Villa Paralupi follow the road signs to Guastalla.

Not to be missed

Next to the town centre of Luzzara, with its ancient porticoes and its imposing high Tower (the highest in the province, as the local people proudly claim), the networks of reclamations and valleys but, most of all, the Po and the floodplain, have all been well conserved.
Here, among poplars and birches, or directly on the banks of the river, huts emerge in the greenery, often hoisted on stilts and surrounded by vegetable gardens, as well as quince, plum and walnut trees.

The Church of St. George, in Baroque style, conserves the apse and some Romanesque-style details.
The restoration of the former Luccio Quarry, the artificial lake deriving from a quarry for the extraction of clay, and the surrounding area, with the creation of pedestrian and educational trails, are particulary interesting.

The San Giorgio Church, in Baroque style, maintains the apse and some Romanesque-style details. 
The restoration of the former Luccio Quarry, the artificial lake deriving from a quarry for the extraction of clay, and the surrounding area, with the creation of pedestrian and educational trails, are particularly interesting.

Entertainment

The "River Park" is located inside the natural area of the Po River, in a magnificent centuries-old oak wood.
The surrounding environment is particularly quiet, with green spaces and clean air, away from the urban area.
Suitable for both old and young people, the park has paths of different levels of difficulty, developed in full safety and completely respectful of nature.
Inside the park are benches and picnic tables for eating in the open air. In the surrounding area, on the banks of the Po River, is a kiosk-bar, where it is possible to eat hamburgers, sandwiches, salads and barbecues with live music on weekends.

Keeping fit

Luzzara’s floodplain is included in the main cycle routes of Emilia and Lombardy, making it possible to visit small and large towns full of historical and cultural elements, with an enviable culinary tradition.
Luzzara links easily to the cycle routes of Parma, Mantua and Lake Garda.
It is also part of shorter, but equally important and fascinating routes, such as the one that goes from Brescello to Suzzara (passing through Gualtieri, Guastalla and Luzzara), the Three Bridges tour (Borgoforte, Correggioverde, Luzzara, Suzzara) and the route going from Luzzara to the mouth of the Secchia River (Motteggiana, Bagnolo San Vito, San Benedetto Po).
The app "Terre di Po e dei Gonzaga in bici" ("Lands of the Po River and the Gonzaga by bicycle") is available with nine different bicycle routes connecting all the towns of the Lowlands of the Reggio Emilia Province, on App Store (for iPhones) and Google Play (for Androids).

Events

July Festival - Second weekend of July
Musical performances and entertainment.

Useful links

Museums in Luzzara
Churches in Luzzara
Where to stay in Luzzara
Where to eat in Luzzara
All files of Luzzara