The tradition of watermelon cultivation is centuries-old in the lower Reggio Emilia region.
The watermelon first reached Italy in the eleventh century, brought by the Arabs; it was first grown in the south and then as far up as Reggio Emilia where it became a deep-rooted crop.
Always present in the banquets of noble families during the Renaissance period, its wide diffusion made it a staple food for peasant families in the nineteenth century.
Famous is the episode of Garibaldi’s journey to Gualtieri (RE) – now the subject of a historical pageant – on 19 August 1859, when he saw some watermelons on display in a small shop and decided to make a stop. Together with his hot and tired escorting officers, he enjoyed and refreshed himself with this typical local product.
The first agricultural censuses, which appeared in the 19th century, document how the farmers of Novellara (RE) excelled in the cultivation of watermelons, demonstrating a high technical level, not found in the scientific texts of the time in other areas. This is a sign that centuries of cultivation tradition had refined the techniques to the point of making the watermelon an incomparable product as early as the 19th century.
The great changes that took place in agriculture after the Second World War led to a further improvement in the quality of this fruit, which has now become one of the most appreciated Italian excellences.
Today the Anguria Reggiana Watermelon is an outstanding product which has conquered the market thanks to its unique flavour, its tradition and its link with the local area.