MODENA: THE CITY OF GHIRLANDINA
A famous Italian advertisement states that if Italy were to be home, Emilia Romagna’s region would the kitchen…and if Emilia Romagna was the kitchen, Modena would be the main course. If Italians think so, then it must be true!
But Modena is not only great food, excellent cuisine, Michelin-starred restaurants, luxurious cars and famous opera singers…Modena is also where a 12th century University has base, the Italian West Point (Military Academy), located in Piazza Roma and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Modena is truly a city where the old and the new meet and tradition goes hand in hand with innovation.
A city to walk around
Your Modena tour begins in ‘Piazza Grande’ with the Cathedral and the “Ghirlandina”. These three monuments have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1997.
Modena’s Cathedral is a supreme example of Romanesque art, together with its square and the ‘Ghirlandina’ tower, it testifies the faith of its builders and is considered a masterpiece of the human creative genius in which a new relationship has been created between the architecture and the sculpture.
The Modena complex is one of the best examples of cultural traditions of the 12th century, where religious and civil values combine in a medieval Christian village. “Piazza Grande” was and still is the political and topographic centre of the city. Where the old town hall was built.
At that time, Modena also boasted a great network of canals, which still echoes among the street names of the city.
Your tour goes on in the city centre, where the cobbled streets are full of glamorous shops, connecting “Piazza Grande” to “Piazza Mazzini”, the former Jewish Ghetto area, where you can admire one of the most beautiful synagogues from the 19th century.
For those who love history and culture
Just behind “Piazza Grande”, the lively “Albinelli Market” meets the food needs of the locals since 1931, offering slices of everyday life.
With the Este’s family arrival in 1598, the urban structure of Modena changed to adapt to the needs of the new court. At that time, Modena needed a new urban appearance, with new noble villas and courtesan houses, summer residences and churches. Wide, straight streets have today replaced some medieval streets and a part of the city has acquired a new urban aspect, the “Ducal Palace” has replaced the old castle. Your tour ends in “Piazza Roma” in front of the baroque façade of the ‘Ducal Palace’, which now is where the Military Academy is found.
Where to eat in Modena
Have you ever tried a gourmet pizza? If not, go try it at “TasteIT”, you will not be disappointed! Modena is the home of great chefs, for a Michelin star dinner, where you will have the unique opportunity to try Massimo Bottura’s great cuisine, we also recommend the famous “Osteria Francescana” and “Franceschetta58”, two above average restaurants, where Massimo Bottura’s students help manage and deliver unique service and high class cuisine dishes.
For a more locally typical dinner or lunch as Emilians would expect, try the “Aldina Trattoria” or go to the Albinelli indoor market for a good sandwich! For a fancy dinner with good wine, the “Antica Moka” in the city centre, definitely the place for you.
If you would like to eat some good fish, you should try “8 Brooklin”. For a revisited cuisine, both the “Osteria Morane” and the ‘Oca Bianca’ restaurants are very well known thanks to their menus, full of delicious dishes.