5 Places to discover Modena

Capital of the province in Emilia-Romagna, Modena is a historic town of 184,000 inhabitants lying in the greenery of the Po Valley, not far from the foothills of the Apennines, poetically based between two rivers (Secchia and Panaro) that surround it without crossing. Capital of the duchy of Este, one of the most influential families in the history of Italy, in 1598-1859, it is also an ancient university and the archbishop’s site and includes various Unesco World Heritage Sites. Modena is also home to some of the most important companies of the Belpaese, engaged in the food sector (Parmigiano Reggiano and delicatessen in particular) and metalworking (Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini), and it is also considered the world capital of ceramics. Many are the wonders that can be admired in the ancient Duchy of Este, and this week Italian Traditions will accompany you to discover 5 of the most famous jewels of this beautiful town.

Piazza Grande

Founded in the XII century, Piazza Grande changed shape several times over the centuries, remaining the true heart of the city and the symbol of the encounter between religious power (the Duomo) and temporal (the Palazzo del Comune). Here are also occurring all the events that have marked the history of the city: from the tomb of the patron san Geminiano in the 397 to the building of the church, from the birth of the free commune located in the current city hall to the death penalty, from the fightington the processions and Masses, until the daily market held here until the early ‘900. Since 1997 he has become with the Cathedral and the Civic Tower World Heritage Site.


The resurfacing of the main church of Modena was started in 1099, when the citizens decided spontaneously (as the bishop’s seat was vacant at the time) to arrange to extend the previous Roman basilica, so you can dedicate a shrine to san Geminiano, patron of the city. Over the centuries the facades and the interior of the church were changed countless times, including various styles and decorations, concerning a lot of leggends. Since 1997 Unesco World Heritage Site, and it is generally universally regarded as a rare and exceptionally well preserved testimony of the Romanesque style.

Ferrari Museum

Recently opened, the museum is a large complex that combines admirably history and innovation, just as it does the most famous car in the world. Right in the modest brick house, now a part of the museum building was born on February 18, 1898 the legendary Enzo Ferrari, and today in futuristic construction of prancing horse shape are exposed works of art, many cars among the most powerful and luxurious the world, but also memorabilia, photographs and memories that tell the whole story of the automaker and great founder, from birth to the great racing success in Formula 1, to celebrate a true icon of Made in Italy.

Galleria Estense

The Galleria Estense in Modena is one of the most important and oldest National Galleries of Italy: a rich collection of paintings is in fact also adds an important graphic arts collection (drawings and prints), a carefully chosen collection of sculptures, ancient and modern, a significant selection of decorative arts (metal, glass, ceramics and furniture) and a numismatic collection among the richest in the world (ancient and modern coins, medals and plaques, seals). The collection stems from the fabulous collections of the Este, great lovers of art and first Marquis, then the Dukes of Ferrara, who moved in 1598 to Modena, where the collections were mainly housed in the new and sumptuous Palazzo Ducale.

Palazzo Ducale

Majestic and rich, Palazzo Ducale is considered by many as the first Baroque palace in Europe, and in greatness and splendor can be counted among the most prestigious holds the entire continent. The present building stands on the site once occupied by the castle of the Este family, by the will of Francesco I, who in the early ‘600 commissioned to the best architects the project of a new and beautiful building, three times bigger than the old manor house. Solemn and elegant, Palazzo is home to the prestigious Military Academy of Modena, but also houses the historical museum and and the valuable library.

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