The city of Modena is the most well known city in the Region of Emilia Romagna. Does Lamborghini, Ferrari, Luciano Pavarotti, Balsamic Vinegar and Massimo Bottura ring a bell ?
Its charming historical centre can have you wondering around for days. You can check out the historical sites and abundant incredibly good restaurants, delicatessens, growers markets and boutique balsamic vinegar stores.
Even though Modena is home to some of the most famous Italian products and personalities in the world it is not a city that exist for tourism. It is a living city where you will find locals shopping, drinking and eating around the main market, popular restaurants and bars.
I morning cappuccino at Caffe Concerto in Piazza Grande is an absolute must where you can enjoy the pretty square that looks on to the Gothic Duomo with its majestic Ghirlandina bella tower constructed with shades of intricate Pale Pink, cream and red marble and stone that were originally part of Roman Modena.
After breakfast enjoy wandering around the wonderful Albinelli Markets where you can experience the incredible selection of Emilian seasonal products at the growers market, stands selling a range of hand made pasta that include Cappellacci, Tortelloni, Tortellini & Tagliatelli. You will see cheese stands from 24 – 60 month old Parmigiano Reggiano, butchers, bakers and the fish market. What I love the most is seeing all of the locals buying there daily products.
Mostly all of the stands sell Regional fair although you can find a wonderful Gourmet Pizza by the slice at MozzaBella stop that is well worth trying. Pizza Dough is made using Italian Ancient Grain Flour and leavening is from 24 – 48 hours so tasty!
After spending some time shopping around town in stores like Popoli a wonderful home ware store where you can find top italian kitchen products and more.
Paper + Caffeine was one of my favourite stops a gorgeous cafe with fun design product that include cards, stationary, delicious chocolates, biscuits and great coffee.
If you don’t have time to visit Balsamic Vinegar Estates you can stop in to La Consorteria that has a fantastic range of 12-25 year old DOP Balsamic Vinegar from multiple Estates of which you can also taste.
Perfect! Its already lunch time and this is the best moment when visiting any Italian City as it is the main meal of the day and that means at least two courses with wine!
In Modena the choices are abundant you could basically stay for a month and try a different eatery every day!
Modena is home to one of Italy’s most famous chef Massimo Bottura you can book a place at his very small 3 star Michelin Restaurant Osteria Francescana or you can go for his lower profile space called Franceschetta 58 open for lunch and dinner six days per week where you can choose from à la carte menu to a tasting menu and we were lucky enough to bump into the Man himself !
The Salumeria Giusti that is the most antique Salumeria in Europe also houses the Hosteria Giusti. With booking only you can enjoy lunch at this wonderful Modenese Antique Store.
At Da Danillo you feel like you are dining at a family home. This Trattoria has been here since 1934 and it is packed daily for lunch with locals. The waiters are so friendly and explain each meal with such detail and passion and their house wine Lambrusco is fantastic!
Great Vegan Option is Bottega Vegana. I stopped in for breakfast one morning they have a great selection of juices with vegan brioche. Their daily seasonal menu is delicious
Where to Stay:
Milano Palace Hotel – A very nice four star in the city centre with a wonderful Buffett Breakfast
Hotel Cervetta 5 – Very modern with great staff and interesting contemporary installations
Stella 21 – is a quaint bed and breakfast situated in a historical building and directly in front of Osteria Francescano!
Fantastic local guide to Modena – Check out My Modena Diary
We have a selection of fun full day experiences to Modena from Florence or short stay tailor made programs check out our website or contact us for more details