The history of Modena is more than 2.000 years old, the city was founded, indeed, as a Roman colony in 183 BC. After the early Middel Ages thanks to the construction of the Romanesque Cathedral (from 1099), dedicated to the Bishop San Geminiano (who died in 397) and thanks to the constitution of the free municipality, the city came across a new renaissance.
After various events Modena became the capital city of the Estense dukdom in 1598. The Este family from Ferrara was one of the most important families of the Italian Rainassance and ruled the city of Modena for a long time.
Their domains covered the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia to the Tyrrhenian Sea. The flourishing period of Este family ended in 1859, when they left the city with the Unification of Italy.
The Museums of Modena (like Estense Gallery, one of the most important galleries in the Country), the amazing churches, the wonderful Palaces (such as Palazzo Ducale) and the University (which is one of the most ancient in the world, founded in 1175) are some of the most remarkable traces of Modena's glorious past.
The Dome of Modena is right in the heart of the Old Town. It was designed by the architect Lanfranco and decorated by Wiligelmo's sculptures and is covered with white stones, like Ghirlandina Bell Tower (which is 86 meters high and is one of the most beautiful towers in Italy).
UNESCO awarded the Dome, as well as the Town Hall and Piazza Grande, as World Heritage Sites.
Along with these, there are three other elements that make Modena famous in the world.
The perfect race car gets broken only shortly after the finish line.
Modena and its territory are also called the "engines' land", some of the most famous car companies were, indeed, born here. In maranello you have the chance to visit Ferrari Museum, dedicated to Scuderia Ferrari - founded by Enzo Ferrari that won many Formula1 championships, as well as Casa Ferrari Museum, recently opened in Enzo's home, right in the city center.
Moreover you can visit the headquarters of Maserati and other collections, like the ones of Stanguellini and Panini.
The typical cuisine of Modena is also another distinctive feature of the city. The province of Modena offers a great variety of food products, which are ruled and protected by hallmarks, both nationals and European, such as Lambrusco wine, the most drunk Italian wine in the world, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, produced according to an ancient receipt and Modena's Traditional Aceto Balsamico, refined in wood barrels more than 12 years.
Along with these we can mention Modena ham, zampone and cotechino, tortellini and pastries (like tigelle and gnocco fritto).
I think that a life for music is a well-lived one and this is what I dedicated myself to.
Modena is worldwide famous as the capital city of Opera singing, too. Here is where some of the best 19th century Opera singer were born or worked. The Municipal Theater is dedicated to the famous singer Luciano Pavarotti (who died in 2007).
The soprano Mirella Freni is teaching in Modena in her own singing school; Nicolai Ghiaurov and Raina Kabaivanska are also considered as very good singers.
Modena is a city with a real strong personality, proud of its own history and excellence and jealous of its high quality of life.
Coming from the train station, walk on Crispi street to the neo-Romanesque Memorial Temple. From here if you go left you'll reach the Museum of Enzo Ferrari's home°°: where the Drake were born and which is now an amazing museum. Engines' lovers will surely go crazy for it.
On the way to the Old Town, along Vittorio Emanuele Street°, you can admire some beautiful houses of the 17th century, such as Palazzo D’Aragona Coccapani° and look at the back of the huge Palazzo Ducale°°, which is one of the most important baroque buildings in Italy (seat of the Prince during Estensi period).
Walking around Palazzo Ducale you will get to San Domenico Square° and Roma Square°° (from which you can see the Facade of Palazzo Ducale°°). Through Farini str. you will get to Via Emilia, the road crossing the whole city.
Walking on the right side of Mazzini Square°° you can see liberty-style buildings with the Jewish Ghetto (and that's why there is the Synagogue) and in front of them both the Town Hall and the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don't miss the ancient Romanesque Masterpiece of the Dome and the bell-tower Ghirlandina. If you wish to discover the treasures of the Cathedral take a look at the interesting Museums of the Dome°°.
A few meters away from Piazza Grande you can enjoy in the mornings the colorful liberty-style Albinelli°°covered market and taste the delicious Modena's cuisine specialty.
Near the market in Servi° street there is the baroque church of San Bartolomeo°°.
Get lost in the narrow streets of this side of the Old Town and walk under its arcades and small squares. Walk to the monastery of San Pietro°° and take a look at Canal Chiaro°° or at San Giacomo° small square.
Then walk along via Carteria (where you'll see San Barnaba°° little church) or Rua Muro° (a Renaissance street) and reach Sant'Agostino Square°°.
Here visit Sant'Agostino Church°°, Pantheon of Este Home and the Palace of the Museums°°. Go inside Estense Gallery, which is one of the most important in Italy, to admire the masterpieces of the most famous artists in the world and to learn about the history of the city in the Civic Museums°°.
Visit then Foro Boario°°, the long cattle market of the 18th century and immerse yourself in the lively square of Pomposa°. Through Taglio street you will get back to Palazzo Ducale°°, from which you can go on to Canal Grande°°: there you can admire the Palace of the Ducal Gardens°°, as well as Santa Margherita Palace°, the Civic Theater of Luciano Pavarotti°°, symbol of Modena's Opera Singing, San Vincenzo Church and old historical residences, too.
Walk from here to San Biagio Church°° and then get back to Via Emilia°°. Finish you tour under the arcades of Collegio San Carlo°°, the favorite meeting place of Modena citizens.
CANALINO 21 B&B is a few minutes walk away from the covered market in Albinelli street, in the Old Town. It has in total 4 elegant and comfortable recently renovated rooms, with air conditioning in a beautiful eighteenth-century building. Two rooms have their own bathroom and the other two rooms have shared bathroom.