The ancient heart of the capital of the Dukedom of Este, Modena is a city of art that embraces architectural jewels admired throughout the world. The Cathedral, together with the Ghirlandina belltower and Piazza Grande, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, a masterpiece of Italian Romanesque style. The seventeenth-century Palazzo Ducale, today home to the Military Academy, used to house the Court of the House of Este, which moved from Ferrara to Modena in 1598. The Estense Gallery and Library, where the most valuable works of art are preserved.
Must see in Modena
Novi Ark Archaeological Park
Novi Sad Park
The most significant archaeological finds of the excavation of Novi Sad are on levels of the Roman period: the area was a peripheral area of the city of Mutina crossed by a large cobblestone street. The excavation has also brought to light a necropolis with numerous tombs and funerary monuments, two rural buildings, tanks and production facilities, and three large waste dumps containing amphorae and other archeological materials.
Timetable: 24/24 h every day (free)
Archaeological and Ethnological Museum
Palazzo dei Musei (Museums Building)
The archaeological collections, arranged chronologically and topographically, are composed of works from an advanced moment in the inferior Palaeolithic period to the Middle Ages.
Particularly significant are the prehistoric findings, above all the Neolithic ones of Fiorano and Pescale (5th-4th millennium B.C.) originating from the excavations of F. Malavolti, and those of the terramare inhabitants of the Bronze Age – which represent the fundamental nucleus of the museum – with numerous ceramic, bronze and deer-horn objects.
Timetable:From Tuesday to Friday: from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm (with the possibility of afternoon opening by reservation, for groups of at least 20 people; On Saturday, Sunday and during public holidays: from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and from 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm.
The “Piazza Grande”, the Cathedral and the “Ghirlandina” (UNESCO site)
The Cathedral of Modena is the symbol of the devotion and worship and of the Modena Christian community. It was built as “domus Clari Geminiani”, the house of San Geminianus, the patron saint of Modena (312-397). Alongside the apse of the cathedral, standing 89.32 metres tall, is the Ghirlandina belltower, the symbol of the city of Modena. The Ghirlandina was given this nickname by the city’s inhabitants due to the double ring of parapets that crown its steeple, “as light as garlands”, ghirlanda in Italian.
On www.unesco.modena.it you can take a virtual visit around the Modena UNESCO Site, freely moving from the outside to the inside of the World Heritage monuments, taking a close-up look at the sculptures and works, all with dedicated information sheets provided. Thanks to this tool, parts of the buildings not normally open for visits can be seen, such as the bell chamber and the steeple on the Ghirlandina.
The Cathedral: opens from Tuesday to Sunday from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm; on Monday, it opens from 7.00 am to 12.30 pm and from 3.30 pm to 7.00 pm. The visits are not allowed during celebrations (free).
The Ghirlandina:. from 01/10 to 31/03: Tuesday to Friday 9.30 am – 1.00 pm / 2.30 pm – 5.30 pm; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 9.30 am – 5.30 pm. The ticket office closes half an hour before the closing time given.
Archaeological park and open-air museum Terramara Montale
The excavations in Montale hill brought to light the remains of a terramara which can be visited in a museum. Terramare are villages arose in Emilia and in the central area of the Po Valley in the mid-second millennium BC. In the outdoor museum has been rebuilt a part of the village with moat, embankment and two houses decorated with pottery, tools, weapons and clothes that faithfully reproduce the original of 3500 years ago.
The Tour continues
Modena is synonymous with good food all over the world. A fame that dates back to ancient times due to its genuineness, respect for tradition and preservation of traditional flavours. The traditional and innovative menus in restaurants here will delight any palate. Visits can be made to farms throughout the province that produce Parmigiano – Reggiano DOP cheese, Lambrusco di Modena DOP, Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP and IGP vinegars, Prosciutto di Modena DOP and other local foodstuffs.
Modena, birthplace of Enzo Ferrari, is a land of cars. Here in the heart of “motorvalley” mechanics are a passion with a long tradition and the myth of speed is an integral part of the culture. Racing and luxury cars are now part of a legend, having become collectors’ pieces and ambassadors for the name of Modena around the world. In addition to the new Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena and the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, in a radius of just a few kilometres there are several car-related factories, museums and private collections: the Stanguellini Museum, the Umberto Panini museum of vintage cars and motorbikes, the Righini collection, Pagani Automobili, the new Autodromo di Modena racetrack and, in nearby Bologna, Ducati and Lamborghini.
The whole of the province, with its beautiful towns and cities offers a wide range of tourism opportunities: Carpi, the jewel of the Renaissance, Nonantola with its Benedictine Abbey, Maranello and Ferrari, Sassuolo with the Palazzo Ducale and the nearby Terme di Salvarola spa centre, also popular for its treatments using wine, Spilamberto and the Museum of Balsamic Vinegar, Campogalliano with the original Museum of Scales and Balances, the enchanting village of Castelvetro and Levizzano castle, Vignola with the Rocca dei Contrari fortress and local cherries, Mirandola, Finale Emilia, San Felice sul Panaro and the circuit of the Este family fortresses, Montale with its Archaeological Park and Open-air Museum in Terramara and the nearby Modena Golf & Country Club.
On the modenese Apennines, Sestola and Fanano are top for winter sports, Pavullo, Zocca and the many villages, together with their unique surroundings, offer a chance to enjoy sport, excursions and visits to historical towns and castles.
Visitors come here from all over the world, attracted by a long list of events: the Festivalfilosofia, Vie Scena Contemporanea Festival, Grandezze e Meraviglie – the Este festival of music, dance and drama in the theatres of Modena and, in particular, the opera season in the Modena municipal theatre, named after the great maestro Luciano Pavarotti, the Motor Gallery and the Modena 100 Ore Classic car competition appeal to all car fans.
Discover more at www.visitmodena.it