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Giarèda Festival

Religious festival and trade fair for artistic and traditional crafts. In Corso Garibaldi, Piazza Gioberti and Via Emilia Santo Stefano. XXXXV Edition.

September 5-8, 2024

Four centuries of history, faith and culture. The profound link between the town of Reggio Emilia and the Ghiara Basilica finds its roots in the past centuries. The event recalls the miracle occurred on the occasion of the healing of the deaf-mute Marchino.

The event catalyzed the religious and social interests of the Reggio community in the period between the XVII century and 1861 when, May 6, a disastrous snowfall destroyed the festival structures so the festival was suspended.



The construction of the Basilica is linked to the miracle which occurred on 29 April 1596 when the young Marchino, deaf and dumb from birth, was miraculously given the powers of speech and hearing while praying before an image of the Madonna painted by Bertone. In that spot, to the left of the church, today there is a marble memorial. The church's design is attributed to the Architect, Alessandro Balbi from Ferrara; it was built by Pacchioni Francesco from Reggio, who began construction in 1597. A peculiarity of the Basilica is the extraordinary series of frescoes and altar pieces executed by the best XVII-century Emilian artists: Ludovico Carracci, Gianfrancesco Barbieri (Il Guercino), Lionello Spada, Alessandro Tiarini, Carlo Bononi and Luca Ferrari. The art guilds made valuable contributions: the stoup from the wool and silk craft guilds; the Municipality commissioned a work from Guercino which is held to be his masterpiece: the "Crucifixion of Christ with, at his feet, the Madonna and the Saints, Mary Magdalen, St. John and St. Prospero". Not to be missed: the room holding the holy vestments and fabrics from the XVI to the XIX century; the Ghiara's treasures are composed of relics, monstrances, chalices, highly valuable votive offerings. Finally, the museum in which, among the precious items on show, there is Lelio Orsi's original design which inspired Bertone's fresco, and the crown donated by the Reggio Civic Committee to the Madonna.


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