After 14 years spent in Seattle my Italian accent still catches the attention of people that I encounter during my everyday life and the question is always the same:
"Oh I love your accent..where are you from"? And I proudly answer with a big smile "I am Italian from Modena!"
Now if you are planning a trip to my homeland soon you must definitely include Modena in your Italian itinerary.
At the heart of the North Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, Modena is a city that has seen significant changes over recent decades, and is the home of one of the most iconic brands in the world, Ferrari. Despite the wonderful advancements that the city has made in terms of technology and culture, it still retains and reveres its history, making it an interesting and varied place to visit. The former home of Luciano Pavarotti and Enzo Ferrari should definitely be on your itinerary if you are heading to Italy, and here are some reasons why you should be including Modena in your trip.
The City's Cultural Life
Modena is a city that has embraced culture over recent decades, and the emergence of Luciano Pavarotti has led to an even greater interest in opera and the arts in the city, with the community theater opera house in the city named for Luciano. There is also a great interest in music, with an annual festival of military bands being held in the city, while there are plenty of different museums that are worth exploring as well.
To Try The Best Balsamic Vinegar In The World
Modena is the area where balsamic vinegar originated, and today it is where the very best examples of traditional balsamic vinegar are produced. The vinegar is made from only two varieties of grape, with the syrup from the grapes being aged for at least 12 years before it is produced into the final product. A visit to Modena will give you the opportunity to explore one of the factories producing this wonderful ingredient, and even to get a taste.
To Explore The UNESCO Recognized Historic Center
At the heart of Modena is the historic center that is one of the most beautiful and impressive in the whole of Italy, and the symbol of the city is the Ghirlandina Tower which is 86 meters high and attached to the amazing cathedral. Another of the impressive pieces of architecture at the heart of the city is the Ducal Palace of Modena, which is a lovely building and is home to a museum that tracks many of the city's military achievements and artifacts, while also being home to a military academy.
The Amazing History Of The Ferrari Company
The man who built a supercar empire, Enzo Ferrari, was born in Modena, and his legacy to the city is the fact that many of the company's buildings and research facilities are based in and around the city. The Ferrari Museum is one of the most impressive buildings in the city, with a swooping aerodynamic roof with skylights that look like the vents of a racing car, and within there are some amazing examples of the early models produced by the company, and some great examples of the modern cars of the company too.
Wonderful European Night Life On The Piazza Grande
There is a certain culture to be found in the Mediterranean cultures where people enjoy coming together to share a few drinks and some food, and the bars and restaurants around the piazzas are certainly very interesting, with the biggest being the Piazza Grande.
Modena Is A Superb Destination For Food Lovers
Being just a short distance from Bologna, it is no surprise that Modena also has a lot of meat included in the local cuisine, with ham and salami among the most popular. One of the most impressive dishes worth enjoying is the Zampone sausage, which originates from the fifteenth century and is particularly hearty and made with several parts of the pig. Stuffed pasta is also popular here, and tortellini and tortelloni are both types of pasta stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables before cooking.
Don't miss the opportunity to eat at Osteria Francescana (Italian: [osteˈriːa frantʃeˈskaːna]; "Franciscan Tavern"), a restaurant owned and run by chef Massimo Bottura in Modena, Osteria Francescana has been named as the best restaurant in the world in The World's 50 Best Restaurants!