Modena is a town of the Emilia-Romagna Region, in the middle of Italy.
The town is well-known all over the world, especially for some famous people who were born and lived here - such as Enzo Ferrari and Luciano Pavarotti, and for some of its gastronomical products. However, Modena should not only be known for these things. It is also a town that, in 40 years, has become one of the richest and most socially advanced in Italy: 48 miles of cycling paths, 16 cinemas, 25 libraries, and one of the oldest universities in Europe. Modena is favored by a few geographical and environmental factors: its location in the middle of the Po valley, in one of the most advanced areas in the whole continent (the evidence for this is unknown at this time), and it is positioned on the main trading routes between Northern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. It sits at the crossroads between the Brenner motorway and the "Autostrada del Sole", just a few miles from the important railway and airport node of Bologna. Tourists from all over the world are attracted to visit the art treasures in Modena: the 12th century Cathedral, masterpieces of Italian Romanesque art, that, together with Piazza Grande and the Ghirlandina tower, creates a complex of unique beauty, included by UNESCO among the "Wealth of Mankind". Modena is also known as the Land of Motors. You can find the main supercars factories in Modena or in the province like Ferrari, Maserati or Pagani Zonda. People can visit a lot of museums and private car collections like Museum Enzo Ferrari (in town), Museum Ferrari (in Maranello), Panini car collection, Stanguellini car collection and many others... The territory of Modena and province is synonymous of good food too. The precious Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese or Lambrusco wine are just some examples of it. Food lovers can visit the farms and see the making of these great products.
The nearest airport is Airport Guglielmo Marconi  of Bologna, which is about 6 km from Bologna train station and 40 km from Modena.
The airport can be reached:
Modena is on the train lines (Milano-) Piacenza-Parma-Modena-Bologna and Verona-Mantua-Modena, so it can easily be reached from the main nearest towns. The train station is not far from the town centre, so that you can go there on foot, if you like; otherwise, at the station you’ll find a number of buses of SETA (the local transport company), by which you can reach the main areas of the town or the locations in the surroundings. The main buses that connect the train station to the center are line n° 7 direction GAZZOTTI (Policlinico), line n° 4 direction LATINA, line° 11 direction ZODIACO. Train schedules can be found at Trenitalia . The station has no left-luggage office and the ticket window is open daily 6AM-9PM.
The town can be reached by motorway A1 Milano-Napoli, exit Modena Nord (5 km from the town centre) or Modena Sud (10 km from the town centre). The town is at the southern end of motorway A22 of Brennero.
The main coach station of Modena is located at Via Bacchini 1 and the ticket office is open daily 5:30AM-8:30PM. Modena can be reached by any of a large number of suburban buses, which connect it to the most relevant villages of the surrounding Province (Carpi, Sassuolo, Fiorano, Campogalliano, Correggio, Soliera, Vignola, Pavullo, Nonantola, Maranello and others). The transport company in the whole Province is SETA . The surface of the Province of Modena is divided into 41 districts, each with a different fee; the ticket is valid for a certain amount of time since you get on the bus, depending on the specific district.
The town is easily walkable, though it expands over more than 183,000 square meters. In the historic centre, closed by an imaginary line where the city wall once stood, we find the most important buildings. The town is crossed by a fundamental street, the Emilia way, the historic Roman way that once connected Modena with other important towns and cities of the Region, and that still represents one of the main traffic ways in Italy. The street runs right through the middle of the town, in an east-west direction.
Modena is well served by a wide trolleybus service – one of the biggest in Italy – composed of 3 lines, and a bus service; all the means of transport are provided by SETA (Società Emiliana Trasposrti Autofiloviari). Tickets can be bought directly on the bus, thanks to an automatic ticket machine (the machine is not giving change so it's better to have the exact amount in coins). Urban buses run from 6AM-9PM; the night urban line 7N runs from 8:30PM-10:30PM. Extra-urban buses run through all the surrounding Province at many different times and on many different routes.
The whole historic centre of Modena is a vehicle restricted area (ZTL), meaning only residents, commercial operators or tourists staying at hotels in the centre and with a special permit can go there. The access is regulated by an automatic system, named Modena City Pass, which allows local police to monitor the access of cars and motorbikes through a network of webcams placed at the main access points; these webcams are always on and continuously register the number plate of passing cars, sending the information to an automatic control and alerting system.
In other areas, parking is in part free (identified by a white line) and in part with fee (blue line); the amount of the fee depends on the city area. Payments can be made with coins by nearby park meters; on Sundays and public holidays parking is free. Alternatively, payments can be made with a prepaid card (20 €), to be purchased at ACI (Automobil Club Italia) offices or at some tobacconist's in the town centre. Parking is usually free at night (generally 8PM-8AM).
Among free parking spaces around the centre there is Parking Novi Sad with about a hundred places and the parking space by Giovani di Tien An Men Place - Viale Monte Kosica with 462 places; another large parking space is in the front of the train station (parking space Porta Nord), while parking space ex AMCM in viale Carlo Sigonio can still offer dozens of places despite the area being under repair. Among paid parking spaces: parking space in Viale Rimembranze / Viale Martiri della Libertà (334 places), parking space in Viale Vittorio Veneto (271 places), parking space in Roma Square (166 places, ahead of Ducal Palace), parking space Bluparking La Civetta  (140 places; former fruit and vegetable market) with access from via Borelli.
A radio taxi service is available 24-7, also for trips in the Province or even farther. The services include booking by SMS and services for disabled people. Co.Ta.Mo – Consorzio Taxisti Modenesi, ☎ +39 059 374242 (fax: SMS: +39 335 1838555), .
Many car and van rentals are available in the town; some offer their services also directly at the airport in Bologna.
The Municipality of Modena offers everyone a free service of bicycle rental. Registration at the Municipality and a deposit of 20 € are required. Any bicycle available at one of several spots in the town can be used; at the end of the day the bike must be returned to the same place where it was taken. The service is open from 7AM-12AM.
Bicycles can also be rented at these points:
Erected in 1099 in the place where previously an early Christian church and the sepulchre of San Geminiano stood - whose body was solemnly transported to the cathedral on 30 April 1106 in the presence of the countess Matilde di Canossa - it was consecrated by Pope Lucius III on 12 July 1184. Designed by the architect Lanfranca, it is entirely covered with white marble and adorned with numerous sculptures. Remarkable are the reliefs on the façade with the Stories of Genesis made by Wiligelmo, as are the sculptures which adorn the central door. On the southern side there are the Principi door (by the school of Wiligelmo) and the Regia door (work of the Campionese Masters). The Pescheria door opening on Via Lanfranco has an archivolt sculpted with depictions of the Breton chivalresque cycle and the allegories of the months on the sides of the portal. The interior is basilican with three naves and presbytery, accessed through two staircases, and a crypt underneath. At the end of the central nave, the ambo and the pulpit stand out with the sculptures by the Campionese Masters dating back to the 12th and 13th century. Among the works preserved in the cathedral, the 15th century choir stalls with wooden inlays made by the Lendinaras can be admired, and in the crypt, the terracotta group created by Guido Mazzoni for the Porrini family around 1480. Since July 2011 the cathedral is once again under restoration and is half covered in scaffolding to at least October 2013.
The Piazza with its paving made of cobblestones and its Ghirlandina tower, delimited to the north and east by the Cathedral and the Town Hall, was recognised by UNESCO as heritage of mankind. It is the centre of life of the city. A weekly Saturday market used to take place here and on those occasions it was a colourful meeting place. In 1931 the market was moved, but the piazza has remained the centre of tradition: it is a festive and crowded place on Saint’s day (31 January) in honour of the local patron saint, San Geminiano, and on Thursday before Lent. On these occasions the piazza can be seen in its time-honoured bustle of stalls, umbrellas and people. The piazza also had a strong civil calling: testimony of this is the preda ringadora, in the north-eastern corner in front of the monumental staircase of the town hall. The name means that this was the corner from which to "harangue to crowds", the pulpit for speeches. In front, in the apse of the cathedral, the pole, tile, brick and fathom units of measure are engraved, which assured honest trading in the piazza. This bears witness to the fact that the piazza was a place of great economic importance and the heart of the city.
The Ghirlandina Tower, so called because of the double twist of balustrades which crown it like a garland, is 86 meters high and the symbol of the city. It harmoniously combines two styles of two different eras: the square-based part is coeval with the cathedral and follows the Roman architectural canons, while the octagonal-based part and the pyramid which constitutes the cusp are from a later period with a more clearly Gothic style (they were started in 1261 on design of Arrigo da Campione and completed in 1319). UNESCO has added the Ghirlandina, together with the Cathedral and Piazza Grande, to the list for preservation of the artistic heritage of mankind.
Open on Sundays and public holidays from April to October and 31st January (9.30-12.30 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.). Closed in August and on Easter Sunday.
Historical rooms of the Town Hall
The Town Hall occupies two sides of Piazza Grande and is the result of a standardization and regularization project of the various buildings constructed in different periods beginning in the 17th century with building of porticos along the Palazzo della Ragione continuing up to the Clock Tower, and in the 19th century up to Castellaro. The staterooms in the town hall can be visited.
From the Camerino dei Confirmati where the Secchia Rapita can be admired - a 14th century trophy taken from the Bolognese - the Sala del Fuoco is accessed, decorated with frescoes by Nicolò dell’Abate, and the Sala del Vecchio Consiglio painted by Bartolomeo Schedoni and Ercole dell’Abate at the beginning of the 17th century, and the Sala degli Arazzi whose walls are decorated with 18th-century paintings on tapestry-like canvas by Girolamo Vannulli.
Open from Monday to Saturday 8 a.m.- 7 p.m.; Sunday and public holidays 3-7 p.m. Closed in August and on Easter Day and Christmas Day. Admissions: Sunday and public holidays € 1,00; combined with a visit to the Ghirlandina Tower: € 1,50; free in weekdays.
Information IAT – Information and Tourists Welcome Via Scudari – Modena Phone: + 39 059/2032660; for schools and groups phone: + 39 059/2032564
Ducal Palace – Military Academy
The Ducal Palace, whose construction began in 1634 on design of Avanzini, distinguishes itself as illustrious example of 18th century civil architecture and one of the largest Baroque palaces in Italy. The elegant façade has three windows placed side-by-side and crowned by balustrades with statues. The central and lateral parts are raised. The courtyard of honour with an elegant two-storey arcade is considered a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. From here you access the monumental staircase of honour adorned with Roman statues, which leads to the numerous rooms of the Estense Residence. Special mention should be made of the Sala del Trono, Salottino d'Oro, Salone d'Onore and the Sala dello Stringa. Today the palace is the headquarters of the Military Academy. The History Museum of the Military Academy holds weapons and armatures, memorabilia, relics and military items (flags, uniforms, drums, etc.)
Visiting hours: The Ducal Palace can be visited (guided tours only) every Sunday throughout the year (except August) from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Visits must be previously booked by calling the information desk on + 39 059/206660. The cost of the guided tour is € 7 per person. Free of charge for children under 12.
IAT – Information and Tourist Welcome Via Scudari – Modena + 39 059/206660
Modenatur Via Scudari – Modena + 39 059/220022
The Museum Building, built in the eighteenth century, was converted in 1881 into a museum housing the paintings and books of the Este family and the Civic Cultural Institutes. It includes:
Museum Building Viale Vittorio Veneto, 5 Information + 39 059/2033125 E-mail email@example.com Hours: everyday 8 a.m.-7.30.
Founded in 1959 by the City Administration, the Galleria Civica of Modena is today one of the most authoritative centres of culture in Italy. Through temporary exhibitions of contemporary art and photography, and thanks to the numerous co operations with prestigious museums, associations and galleries throughout the world, this museum has achieved international renown, particularly in recent years.
It has two exhibition halls:
- Palazzo Santa Margherita in Corso Canalgrande 103, first and second floor, with broad, articulated spaces for exhibitions mainly of drawings and photographs, small personal exhibitions, cycles displaying and recognizing the research conducted by the last generation of artists. - Palazzina dei Giardini in Corso Canalgrande, a XVII century building, a suggestive site for monographic and retrospective exhibitions.
It also has some permanent collections: - the Collection of Contemporary Design - the Collection of Contemporary Photography - the Collection of Contemporary Graphic Art - the Museum of picture cards
Galleria Civica Corso Canalgrande, 103 Phone (information) + 39 059/2032940; call center + 39 059/2032911 Fax: + 39 059/2032932 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
San Cataldo cemetery
A masterful expression of the poetics of Aldo Rossi, the cemetery is an analogical route through the collective images of the “house of the dead”, filtered through the personal memory of the architect. The cemetery remains a public building with the necessary clarity and rationality of the paths with the right utilisation of the terrain. It is enclosed by a windowed wall to provide the citizens and visitors with an image focalised on the idea of space. The melancholy of the theme of death does however not detach it from the other public buildings. Its order and position also comprise the bureaucratic aspect of death. The building, today partially completed, is structured in such a way as to confine wide green spaces further marked by a criss-cross of pedestrian paths. The various building complexes run parallel to each other towards the central “vertebral” axis which objectively, almost “physically”, links the orientational lines of this section of the project. These compositive lines volumetrically degrading in north-south direction will make up a “rib” inscribable in a triangle which, when construction has been completed, will represent one of the characterising elements of the whole works. The rhythmic articulation of the openings, framed by the cold neatness of the surrounding walls are to this day interrupted in counterpoint only by the central cubic element destined for the ossuary which, when the works have been completed, will be in visual balance with the conic tower of the common grave, also thanks to a decisive colour differentiation of the walls, instrumental for clear perception and identification within the sphere of the surrounding townscape.
Churches in the historic centre
The Church of St. Augustine. Erected in 1338 on an existing construction, it was completely transformed in 1663 on commission of the duchess Laura Martinozzi to celebrate the obsequies of her husband and destine it as cemetery and pantheon for the Estense family. The interior is in the shape of a Latin cross and richly adorned with stuccos, statues, busts and bas-reliefs regarding the house of d’Este with a beautiful coffered ceiling painted by famous artists. The first chapel to the right of the entrance hosts the Mourning on the body of Christ by Antonio Begarelli. Underneath the right-hand choir is a fresco from the old church depicting the Madonna of Consolation with Child attributed to Tommaso da Modena. At the end of the right-hand cross is a rich carved and gilded wooden altar of the 17th century inside which there is a painting by Francesco Stringa painted when the church was restructured. Enframed in an oval is the image of the Virgin placed here instead of the fresco by Tommaso da Modena and venerated as Madonna of St.Augustine or of the belt.
The Church and ex College of San Bartolomeo.
Church Belonging to the Jesuit order, the building was started in 1607, but the façade completed only in 1727. The furnishings and paintings in large part date back to the 17th century. The magic view reproduced in the interior of the church is magnificent. The rostrums made by Lana and the paintings which adorn the side chapels with the Glories of St. Ignatius are exquisite.
Ex College The building complex of San Bartolomeo dating back to 1607, originally hosted a College of the Jesuit Fathers where the young Modenese received religious education and got underway studying literature and science. When the Society of Jesus was suppressed in 1773, the College became the property of the Patrimonio di Studi and from 1798 to 1821 the rooms were occupied by the Supreme Council of Justice. After the Austro-Estensi returned to Modena in 1814 and the Society was restored, the Jesuits came back to San Bartolomeo in 1821, but little over 30 years later, with the end of the dukedom, they finally abandoned the city and the rooms were destined for the public school. For over a century, from 1860 to 1973, the building was the headquarters of the Liceo Classico Muratori (secondary school), while the 18th century chapel of the Dames, next to the main entrance, at the beginning of the 20th century became the headquarters of the fire brigade, then gymnasium and finally multi-purpose hall. In 1985 the building, temporarily hosting the San Carlo secondary school, was hit by fire.
The Church of St. Biagio. The church, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Carmine, was erected in 1319 according to a plaque inside the church. It was reconstructed, although preserving the original framework, on design of Cristoforo Malagola, called the Galaverna, as well as embellished in decorations and paintings. The old church of St. Biagio, situated on Via Emilia in the area where today the Palazzo Montecuccoli of the Erris rises, was demolished in 1768 and the parish moved to Carmine, the latter assuming the name of St. Biagio of Carmine. The interior with only one nave with six arches per side which host the side altars has a deep apse. The choir and the large cupola were painted by Mattia Preti. Of the 18th century frescoes by Agostino Mitelli and Angelo Colonna which adorned the vault of the sacristy, today only the central part remains. Facing the cloister dating back to the 14th century and situated to the side of the church is a small chapel with a beautiful gilded coffered ceiling and a detached fresco depicting the Madonna breast-feeding the Child, attributed to Tommaso da Modena.
The Church of St. Francis. The church was constructed over a very long period of time - started in 1244 it had not yet been completed in 1445. In 1535 it was completely restructured together with the adjacent monastery. In 1798 it was adapted for military use, thus suffering a rapid decline until in 1826 the duke Francis IV had it restored, reopening it for worship. In the interior the Deposition of Christ being lowered from the Cross can be admired, as well as a group of thirteen statues sculpted around 1523 by Begarelli. The Fountain of St. Francis is found in the court which opens on the northern side of the church of the same name. Rising from it is the bronze statue of St. Francis preaching to the fish, designed by the engineer Cavazzuti. The statue is the work of Giuseppe Graziosi and dates back to 1938.
The Church of St. Peter. In ancient times annexed to the Benedictine Abbey founded in 983, the church was reconstructed between 1476 and 1518. The façade of the church, in terracotta, is crossed by an exquisite frieze, also in terracotta, composed of intertwined seascapes with winged satyrs realised around 1530. The interior, divided into five naves, is rich in works made between 1400 and 1500 and is virtually an exhibition of the local artists of the time. The six large terracotta statues leaning against the pillars of the central nave were sculpted by Begarelli and depict the Madonna of the Conception and the various saints. Of particular importance is the ninth chapel in which the Apogee of Begarelli, the last work of the artist, is found, depicting the Madonna in Glory and the saints Peter, Paul, Geminiano and Benedict. At the end of the right nave the Pietà can be admired. Of particular value is the sacristy with the racks in splendid inlaid work carried out by Gianfrancesco da Cremona in 1548.
Modena: a land of engines
An entrepreneurial spirit, a passion for engineering and the myth of speed are the ingredients underlying the undisputed motoring vocation that has earned Modena and its surroundings the nickname "Land of Engines".
The industrial and cultural motoring heritage of the area around Modena boasts such famous names as Ferrari, Maserati, Pagani Automobili, B.G.Engineering, De Tomaso and Bugatti. Discovering the world of motor vehicles in and around Modena focuses on galleries and collections open to visitors where enthusiasts and the merely curious can enter a world of custom-built cars, legendary vintage cars, races and championships, speed and emotions.
Among car museums and gallery: Umberto Panini Vintage Car and Motor-Cycle Museum (Cittanova of Modena) Stanguellini Vintage Car Museum (Modena) Righini Private Collection of Vintage Cars (Panzano of Castelfranco Emilia) Ferrari Gallery (Maranello of Modena)
In the town centre there are many theatres, which offer lots of performances: ballets, operas, dramas.
Festivalfilosofia (Philosophy festival). For 3 days Modena, Carpi and Sassuolo offer meetings with the greats of contemporary thought with philosophic dinners, films, shows and exhibitions.
Organized by: Fondazione San Carlo Phone + 39 059/421210 Fax + 39 059/421260 Period: mid September Place: Modena, Carpi, Sassuolo E-mail: email@example.com
Festival Internazionale delle Bande Militari (International festival of military bands) – Modena international military tattoo. Musicians in uniform from around the world parade, give concerts and great performances with parades and carousels.
Organized by: Fondazione Teatro Comunale Phone for information + 39 059/2033020 Box office + 39 059/2033010 Fax + 39 059/2033021 Period: first half of July Place: squares and streets in the historic centre E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Modena terra di motori – Exhibition of luxury vehicles in the historic centre. Exhibition and show of cars and motorcycles by manufacturers as Ferrari and Maserati.
Period: 1st and 2nd week of April or 2nd and 4th of May Place: squares and streets in the historic centre Organized by: Mitogroup + 39 059/234880
Modenantiquaria Antiques exhibition and Petra, antiques exhibition for gardens furniture
Organized by: Studio Lobo Phone +39 0522/631042 Period: February Place: fair district E-mail: email@example.com
Here, the pleasures of the table are an art handed down over the generations where rich and tasty dishes combine humble roots and a refined culture of gastronomy - the pride of the nobles and the elegant court of the Este dukes. Visitors can start their tour of the tastes and flavours of cuisine in Modena from the retail places, ideally in the Modena Indoor Food Market, and then travel to the production centres themselves: dairy farms, to enjoy tastings of parmigiano reggiano (Parmesan cheese), vinegar producers to delight in the unique, enticing taste of traditional balsamic vinegar, and then where hams are cured and wine cellars offering a fine glass of Lambrusco DOC, Modena's sparkling red wine. And since such visits will certainly stimulate the palate, this "tour" comes to a superb conclusion at table in one of the many welcoming restaurants in the city.
The social life of Modena is well represented in a few of streets in the historic centre: via Taglio, via Gallucci and Piazza della Pomposa. Here there are many cafés and pubs, wine bars and brunch-café. All youngster and older people meet everyday, especially in the summer nights. The town presents also places which offer live music in the evening or cultural appointments, performances and exhibitions, such as Caffè Concerto, a restaurant and wine bar near the Cathedral, and Baluardo della Cittadella, not far from the centre, where people can dance as well.
Baluardo della Cittadella Giovani di Tien An Men Square – Modena Phone + 39 059/244309
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Services: camper services, electricity, water, battery charger
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Principal Office in via Emilia Centro, 86 – Phone + 39 059/2053337 Other offices are in the town (about 30). Opening hours (ca): 8-12.30 a.m., on Friday 8 a.m.-1.30 p.m.; the principal office opens from 8 a.m. to 6.30, on Saturday 8-12.30 a.m.
Internet points and wifi A wireless connection is available in many areas of the town. For the service it is necessary to ask the Municipality for an account; a deposit is required. Here below the offices where everyone can ask for the account.