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.
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.
|Shop Now: Buy Modena Photo on Canvas
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.