Top 6 things to do in Modena and around.

May 18, 2020Niry Fidelis
Duomo Modena

The Covid-19 virus spreading everywhere has interrupted for a while our incredible journey around the World and now after 3 months of staying in quarantine at home, Italy is slowly moving forward the reopening. At this stage we are not more forced to stay at home, for the moment we can go around the Region we live. So, here we go!! It’s time to see what’s happening around us. It’s time to discover our local gems.

Accademia militare Modena

We had to cancel many of our flights and vacations abroad and I know you had to do the same but for now we are pretty happy about the idea that we can finally get out of the house. With proper precautions obviously. While waiting for the entire world to recover let me write something about Modena, the city that I really love.

Most tourists don’t think about this town as a touristic destination and many just stop in Bologna but believe me it is a big mistake. Modena and the cities of its province offer really a lot, especially when it comes to food it is absolutely unbeatable: remember that the world famous number 1 restaurant (Bottura’s Osteria Francescana) is in Modena!

Considering its strategic geographic position, a fast stopover during the road trip in Italy is not stuffy at all. Here are my top six things to do in Modena.


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Duomo Modena
Modena random pictures

1. The cathedral in the city centre, located in the middle of the Piazza Grande. It is fascinating inside and wonderful outside. Remember that as usual in most of the cities in Italy, it is closed during lunch time. The entrance to the church is free while you pay € 3.00 for the tower (ghirlandina). Even if you are not directly headed to Modena, as I said before, a stopover while driving from Bologna to Milan or viceversa is really worth

Modena City Centre
Modena random pictures

2. My second favourite goes for the Salse di Nirano. It is such an unusual place! It is a real geological wonder made of cold mud volcanos located in a small town called Fiorano Modenese. Not more than 20 minutes by car from the city centre of Modena you can easily arrive at the bottom of the national park by car and walk up until you reach close to the volcanos. Believe me, it is a must when you are around, especially if travelling with children. The admission to the park is totally free for self-visitors. There are some newly built trails inside the park where doing some hiking or simply a pleasant walk.

Modena Pavarotti
Modena random pictures

3. Modena is known as a Motor Valley: You can visit so many car museums here. What you can learn here about motors has nothing compared to the information you get out of the city. This year specially came to my attention the Panini private collection (HOMBRE). Mr. Umberto Panini, has bought the whole Maserati collection during its time of crisis in order to keep the collection inside the country. Remain to be seen also the abandoned “Automobili Bugatti” factory; not only for the style within it has been built but also for its history. Maserati factory has also recently opened its door to visitors. There are then the Ferrari Museums and Horacio Pagani in San Cesario. Seems that there is a new cycleway project which will soon connect the Ferrrari Museum of Modena to the Ferrari Museum of Maranello.

Modena centro storico
Modena random pictures

4. How many of you know that Modena is a motherland for the world-famous Parmesan cheese and the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar? Those both things can be bought for a very “cheap price” here. Yep, while I was in Milan I saw some inaccessible prices. The 30 months old Parmesan costs not more than € 18.00.

It’s said that the best Parmesan comes from San Dalmazio, a hill village close to Modena but I’m sure you can buy a good one also at the Albinelli Market in the city centre, which is open from Monday to Saturday in the morning only. It’s a century old market selling local products that you may want to add to your list of things to do in Modena.

Piazza Pomposa Modena
Modena random pictures

5. As I already told you first, when it comes to food Modena is unbeatable. My advice goes for Trattoria Ermes in Via Ganaceto. It is the oldest restaurant in the city centre (1963). This restaurant was once owned once by an old couple, Ermes and Bruna, but now, due to Ermes’ bad health conditions, they handed out the activity. Bruna is still in the kitchen meanwhile Ermes sometimes goes just for a visit. There are so many other food options in the city centre of Modena: Aldina, Taverna dei Servi, Tagliatella and Il Fantino are certainly restaurants where trying the traditional food of Modena. In case you are looking for a dining option off the beaten path in Modena, my suggestion goes to the Touring in Fiorano Modenese. It is one of best restaurants in the area, especially if you want to eat fish and seafood.

6. Some people love visiting Museums, they get excited just thinking about seeing art works. That is not my case but I have to admit that the Museo Civico in Modena city centre which beneath the Este Gallery has some great masterpieces. Moreover, there are areas that occasionally host some interesting exhibitions. Last time Alessandro and I were there to see Steve McCurry’s photo exhibition which we really enjoyed.

Modena Musei civici
Modena Random Pictures

These are my must suggestions for Modena. I really hope it could help the ones visiting the area. There are much more, of course but I want to stop here since my intent is to satisfy that fast stopover in Modena. If you want to go deeper about the things to do in Modena, I suggest you also to read Stefania Fregni’s blog about Modena. She writes quite a lot about her city and I do believe it could help.

Comments (15)

  • Harmony Skillman

    June 30, 2017 at 1:53 am

    I've been all over Italy but never Modena! Isn't everybody town just amazing and beautiful?

  • escapesanddiaries

    June 30, 2017 at 3:10 am

    I dislike queuing for foods especially when I'm totally starving, but in this case if it's worth to wait then I will. Haven't been to Italy but based on your post, seems like a wonderful place to visit! Definitely visiting in the future!

  • Unknown

    June 30, 2017 at 4:40 am

    I have travelled to much of Italy, but not Modena. I love parmesan cheese and of course balsamic vinegar so I will add Modena to my list when I next visit Italy. Thanks for sharing this great information

  • Ambuj Saxena

    June 30, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I am glad you have explored a less explored destination! There are so many potential tourist sites everywhere but people go only to the tried and tested ones!By the way, I wasn't aware that Modena is the land of Parmisan cheese!

  • Lisa

    June 30, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Unfortunately I didn't get to visit Modena when in Italy, but I spent plenty of time in the north, (Veneto), but I still managed to eat plenty of parmesan, pecorino, asiago (will stop now!) and aceto balsamico throughout my travels 🙂

  • Anj Yap

    June 30, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Wow! Though it is not a touristic destination, it still offers a lot of things to do here so you wiuld definitely enjoy your trip here!

  • Reena

    June 30, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Great read! Had no idea about all of those places!

  • Gillian Ong

    June 30, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    I've never been to Italy myself, so I'll definitely take your recommendations into account.

  • Indrani

    July 1, 2017 at 4:02 am

    I remember my visit to Modena. It is listed in UNESCO World Heritage sites list and that made include it in my itinerary. I visited the cathedral and a beautiful park there. I wish I had the time to visit the museums you mentioned.

  • Sandy N Vyjay

    July 1, 2017 at 5:24 am

    Modena looks quaint and lovely. The fact that not many tourists head that way, makes the place more alluring. The cathedral looks lovely and the town too must be really picturesque. Italy is full of these charming little places that not many people are aware of.

  • JM Kayne

    July 1, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Never been to Italy, but planning to visit my in law soon. Hopefully we'll get a chance to visit Modena! Adding this on our list of places to visit.

    Thanks & God bless!

    JM Kayne | #InMyHeart♥

  • Neha

    July 2, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Looks like a very interesting place to visit. And the spots that you mentioned are so versatile and interesting. I had never heard of cold mud volcanos so I will definitely like to visit one. And the museums will definitely be of interest as well.

  • Ami

    July 3, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Did not know that Parmesan cheese comes from here. The city does have some intriguing facts that make it interesting. Must look up more on it.

  • Erica Poyauan

    July 3, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Museum and vinegar, though there is no apparent relation to this two, I like them. I think I'll enjoy Modena if I could go to a lit museum and I could have a tasty vinegar!!!

  • Nourishing Tweens

    May 8, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Modena sounds like a lovely city! We are planning to go to Italy next year and I am looking for ideas.

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