Found in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, the charming old city of Modena, with it’s magnificent marble duomo, cobblestone streets, and old markets, is a romantic place to get away, with a few notable sights to see while you’re there.
Enzo Ferrari Museum. Enzo Ferrari grew up in Modena, and in his honor, a museum now stands, with classic cars, boats, and engines on show. There is a second museum in nearby Maranello where you also have the option to test drive a Ferrari. Tickets and hours of operation can be found here. Note: Check here for details as pricing was 250 Euro for 1/2 hour when we checked, and an international drivers license was required.
Mercato Albinelli. This century old covered market has been a long coveted local meeting place, with fresh cheeses, meats, fish, fruit, flowers, and baked goods stalls. Stop to buy some fresh figs and an amaretti (Italian almond cookie), and find a seat to enjoy, as you watch the bustling activity going on about you.
Stop by Acetaia di Giorgio for a Balsamic Vinegar tasting. acetaiadigiorgio.i. You may think tasting balsamic vinegar is an odd thing to do, but this family, whose home you will walk through during the tour, has been producing balsamic vinegar in their attic dating as far back as the late 1800’s. During the tour, you’ll learn about the grapes used for producing balsamic vinegar, the fermentation process, the different types of wood used for the barrels, and how balsamic vinegar is aged (often for up to 25 years!). At the end of the tour, you’ll get a sample of a select few vinegars- all different, and all delicious in their own unique ways. The tour is free, but you should email or call in advance to arrange your appointment. If you’d like to buy a bottle at the end of your visit, plan to spend 45 Euro on the low end, and up to 135 Euro on the high end. Fun fact: The Giorgio family sent their vinegar to President Obama as a gift, and in the hallway of their home, you’ll find a letter from the White House, thanking them for their generosity!
Lambrusco. This is a fizzy red wine which is quite famous in the Modena region. Tastes vary from very sweet to very dry, and unless you are a Lambrusco connaisseur, it can be difficult to know what to order. Insider tip: Ask your waiter what s/he recommends, and try a few, as you may not enjoy it at first taste.
Must bar hop
Caffe del Collegio. This is a trendy bar at the edge of the old city, fantastic for an appertivo, with great drinks and a full buffet of complimentary gourmet appetizers. Insider tip: We recommend the spritz, but all drinks were mixed and garnished with care, so you’ll be happy with anything you order.
Juta Cafe. A little less trendy, a little more grungy, but still a great time, Juta Cafe is known for their mojitos. It’s a great place to unwind at later on in the evening, as their sidewalk tables make for perfect people watching.
Must experience – Events
Check this site for events going on in Modena while you’ll be in town. We were lucky enough to stumble upon a small block party with a band, food stalls, and Lambrusco vendors, as well as a live band performance in the main square, but both at chance. Likely, there will be something going on while you’re there!