One day in Modena | 5 Things to do
Once in you lifetime, have you certainty heard about Modena, being that for the Balsamic Vinegar or the fancy cars like Maserati or Ferrari. Then, if you are visiting Northern Italy, a stop by the city is worth it.
Modena is easily reachable by train or car (no, we don't have the airport). It's well connected to the main Italian northern cities like Milano, Bologna, Parma and Verona. We would suggest you to avoid car and opt for a more green solution like public transport: despite delays, Italian trains are still a cheap and comfortable solution (take Regionale or Regionale Veloce, schedule on trenitalia.com). The train station is located at the external border of the Old Town. You can reach almost everything in 20/30 minutes walking.
Modena's foundation dates back in pre-roman era, but it was during the Roman time that started to develop. Like most of the Italian cities, Modena enjoyed a quite long period of independence as city-state before turning into a semi-independent Duchy. It was under the Duke that the city knew its gold age.
The core of the city old town is Piazza Grande, with its UNESCO World Heritage Site: Duomo and Ghirlandina. The Duomo is almost one thousand year old (the first stone was placed in 1099) and represents one of the best and well-maintained example of Romanico style in the world. The tower is the highest point of the city and its symbol. The name's origin has many legends: the most curious one comes from Spain. After the Jews were expelled from Catholic Spain, they scattered around Europe. In Modena, they settled in the area of Piazza Mazzini - which would then become the infamous Ghetto - where a XIX century Synagogue still dominates the square. Looking at that Tower, it reminded them of Sevilla Bell Tower, the Giralda. Being the Modena's one shorter, they added the Italian diminutive -ina: Girarldina, pronunced Ghiraldina. It became Ghirlandina.
If, by chance, you are passing by on Saturday, do not miss the opportunity to join our Free Walking Tour Modena, every Saturday at 11.00 am in English and 3.30 pm in Italian.
If you are still reading, it means it's almost lunch time. Let's go to Mercato Albinelli. There you will find all the traditional products and dishes of our land: Tortellini, Prosciutto, Wine and a good selection of food shops to sit and enjoy your meal!
If instead you are looking to dive deep in the food world with someone wise, we have something for you: EAT Modena is a local street food experience made for those like you, food lovers. Discover more on EAT Modena - Street Food Tour
You still have time for some architectural dessert in the afternoon, such Palazzo Ducale, the house of the Duke of Modena - nowadays the Military Academy - in Piazza Roma, the Public Garden - once the private garden of the Duke, Chiostri di San Pietro, and Palazzo dei Musei.
If you think you'll need a guide to better move and discover around, just email or call us. We named it WALK, but you can call it your private tour of the city: an expert tour guide will escort you to all the wonders and beyond! Write Walk Modena - Private Tour and start your journey!