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24 hours in Modena: what to see...and eat

Ferrari, Maserati, good food, history, art and culture. The world has always looked at the city of Modena as a particular place, in which special things originate and grow.

So, today that we inaugurate [PersonaliTER], the weekly theme dedicated to the great characters who have made, and still make, renowned the name of our country in the world, we have decided to tell you about a possible itinerary in Modena. But let's leave the chatter aside and start our itinerary, the clock is ticking and the time available is short.  

 

Morning
The Complex of Modena's Cathedral

Masterpiece of Romanesque style, the cathedral was built, at the behest of Modena's inhabitants, by architect Lanfranco around the 11th century. As most of the buildings of that time, the marble for the construction was taken from the ancient Roman structures, so much that even today you can find, here and there, some Latin inscriptions which are not part of the original design. Being the only evidence of the Romanesque style in general, the church soon became source of inspiration for the architects who built and modernized important buildings like the cathedrals of Ferrara, Piacenza, Parma or the Abbey of Nonantola. The cathedral of Modena, with the Ghirlandina tower and Grande square, were declared World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1997. 

 


The House Museum Enzo Ferrari

Opened in March 2012, after a careful restoration, the museum complex dedicated to Enzo Ferrari and to sports cars hosts the Birthplace and the new exhibition gallery. This is a place that we could define a sanctuary of car racing! Walking inside the exhibition area of MEF may seem strange, there is in fact a kind of religious silence while passing through the cars and exhibitions that have made the history of car racing. Gilles Villeneuve, Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna ... are just some of the names and characters that you will have the pleasure of meeting in this magical place where it is still possible to feel the scent of hot asphalt and hear the deafening noise of single-seaters of Formula 1 history.

 

 

Afternoon

The Ferrari Museum in Maranello
We now move a few kilometres from the city of Modena to get to Maranello, historic seat of Ferrari. Here all refers to races, and it is enough to cross the streets of the town to realize it.  Buses with number plates of every country crowd the square in front of the museum and the factories of the Cavallino Rampante (Prancing Horse) peep at every corner.  The museum is a unique and extraordinary experience. There are many of the Ferraris which have filled the history and the dreams of thousands of fans of the "Red car", from the first cars to those single-seaters that won the World Championships, and there is also the reproduction of a "box wall" where watching live all the emotions and sounds of a real Formula 1 race!

Museum of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

In Spilamberto, on the first hills of Modena, among vines and beautiful landscapes we find the Museum of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. One cannot say to have known this city of Emilia without having tasted its famous traditional balsamic vinegar, also known as the "black gold" of Modena. The operations that bring the balsamic vinegar to the tables are coded in a sort of ritual where nothing is left to chance, where even the most insignificant action has its own reason. It is made with the same skill and attention to details reserved to the composition of a racing engine but applied to a product that has become over time a hallmark of good Italian cuisine. It is said that every self-respecting Modena's family guards in its cellar some centuries-old barrels for the production of balsamic vinegar: a precious secret that has been handed down for generations, in the darkness of the basements of the city. 

 

Dinner

We came at the end of our time dedicated to Modena, but we cannot leave the city without having tasted its renowned cuisine at least once. If you are looking for restaurants just ask passersby, people from Modena are really proud of their cuisine and everybody will make you a list of the best places where to taste the famous traditional dishes. However, an ideal menu of Modena must start with cold cuts, first among them the Modena's Ham.  Among the main courses, the place of honour goes to tortellini and, among second courses, to the pig's trotter: a mixture of minced pork meat processed in the skin of the pig's leg. The Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena cannot be left out and is usually served in drops on another typical product of this area, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.  A dinner in Modena is an experience for your palate that we recommend to try, perhaps at the end of a day of visits and excursions, when tiredness comes over and you can refresh yourselves in front of a hearty dish of the Emilian tradition.

 

Author

Walter Manni
Walter Manni

Adventurer and traveler ... loves to ride the waves of the sea, climb the peaks of the mountains... and sailing on the web routes! Tw: @W_yz

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