Modena is a real gem, settled in the welcoming heart of Emilia Romagna, just 40 minutes away from Bologna by train and 2 hours from Milan.
A city where history, art, traditions, good food and super cars meet and offer a wide variety of tourist attractions.
Modena what to see
Walking slowly through the city centre is an exciting experience.
The main square of Modena is Piazza Grande and represents the heart of its historical centre. The square is overlooked by important historical buildings such as the seventeenth-century buildings of the Town Hall, the Ghirlandina Bell Tower, belonging to the Cathedral of Modena, located just behind the square.
In 1997 Piazza Grande has been included, together with the Duomo and the Torre Civica, in the UNESCO list.
The Cathedral is a masterpiece of the romantic style with its external facade structured in pillars and balconies but above all for the large bell tower, called the Ghirlandina Tower.
Another important square for the city is Piazza Roma.
The Ducal Palace, now the seat of the Military Academy, overlooks the square. In front of the palace, fountains and infinity water basins have recently been built. During the day the palaces reflect on the water and create very beautiful chromatic effects.
The historic Via Emilia in Modena divide the city centre and on this street you can find shops, bars and restaurants.
Piazza della Pomposa
One of the most evocative corners of the whole city is Piazza della Pomposa. The square, not very large, is dominated by the church of Santa Maria della Pomposa, also known as San Sebastiano.
Modena is also famous for its music, especially thanks to Luciano Pavarotti. In his honor has been named the historic theater of the city. Next to the theater there is a statue of the famous opera singer.
Enzo Ferrari Museum
Just at the border of the historic center and not far from train station there is the Museum dedicated to Enzo Ferrari called MEF. The futuristic structure of the museum, embraces and incorporates the old factory in a successful combination. Inside, in a modern cavea there are dozens of Ferrari models and on the walls a touching film about the history of the Drake starting once every hour!
Modena where and what to eat
Modena is famous for its food and local products.
In the heart of the historical center you can find one the most renowned Restaurant of the world: La Francescana. The Restaurant is owned by the chef Massimo Bottura and it has been ranked first restaurant in the world on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2016 and 2018.
Another important Restaurant located in the beautiful Pomposa square is “L’Erba del Re” owned by the chef Luca Marchini. Behind the reasturant there is a modern all equipped kitchen dedicated to cooking classes where the chef gives lessons with a maximum of 8/10 people.
During a day tour in the city a typical and nice place to have a lunch is the historical covered market “Mercato Albinelli”. This is a place that preserves the values and traditions of Modena’s gastronomy.
You can find fresh and genuine quality products. Strolling through the stalls is an experience that makes you live the city like a local.
One of the traditional mountain dishes of the province of Modena is the Tigella or rather better the “Crescentina“.
In the historical centre many restaurants offer menus based on tigelle and gnocco fritto, another typical dish, served with cold cuts and cheese.
If you want to eat them in a more informal way, however, you should go to Or-Ma, via Dei Gallucci 25.
In Modena you cannot miss a place where you can discover and observe closely the ancient tradition of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar production. The Acetaia Comunale, founded in 2003 thanks to the Consorteria dell’Aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena, is located in the attic of the Palazzo Comunale. Inside of the Acetaia there are three batteries of barrils and various objects related to the culture of vinegar such as the tragni, glazed terracotta vases to better preserve the vinegar.
And last but not least, a delicious ice cream.
In Modena there are many ice-cream shops offering excellent ice cream. One in particular has been awarded several times with the 3 cones: Bloom which is located in Piazza Mazzini, 42.
There you can find a homemade ice cream made with fresh and high quality products.
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