Officially named Carlo Mezzacapo Square, the Reggio inhabitants call it Saint Augustine because of the church of the same name that overlooks it. The Square is dedicated to a hero of the Risorgimento, Carlo Mezzacapo, brother of Luigi, to whom the former military barracks adjacent to the square is named after. The Saint Augustine neighbourhood is historically the most multicultural neighbourhood in the city. It is here that the main communities of foreigners reside, and it is here that their commercial activities are concentrated (on Via S. Francesco da Paola there are ethnic mini-markets, ethnic restaurants, and other types of activities that are interesting from a tourist point of view).
Buildings and roads
The square has a rectangular plan and is one of the largest in Reggio. Its west side is bordered by Via San Francesco di Paola, to the south by Via Fratelli Cairoli, while on the north side, the beautiful Romanesque-Byzantine church of Saint Augustine soar, with an unusual structure compared to the other city churches, having in fact some domes of different sizes. The Mezzacapo Barracks occupies the last side of the square.
DID YOU KNOW THAT …?
Minimized to a parking area for years, some important restoration works made it completely pedestrian and usable, further embellishing it with tree-lined flowerbeds and Art Nouveau streetlights.
The former Mezzacapo barracks
The Luigi Mezzacapo barracks was completely rebuilt after the 1908 earthquake. Following its disposal as a barracks, today it houses some offices, the nearby police headquarters, and the prefecture. The structure is made up of four buildings with a large central courtyard known as the “piazza d’Armi”, where the flag-raising ceremony was held in the morning and where today a monument dedicated to the fallen is located.