Italy
Modena

Here you’ll find travel reports about Modena. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

15 travelers at this place:

  • Day322

    Day 323: Modena and Bologna

    January 3 in Italy

    First of our day trips today, this time north-west to the town of Modena. Our first World Heritage site in a couple of weeks awaited - it felt a bit strange to have gone so long without visiting one! The train took about 45 minutes, then we walked the 10 minutes into the old centre of town.

    The site itself was the Cathedral, the bell-tower and the piazza adjacent to both. The cathedral was interesting, with a mix of Romanesque and Gothic touches, plus it was quite old. The tower had a pronounced lean, but still very impressive and tall. It was meant to compete with the two towers in Bologna which we were yet to see. The piazza was OK, nothing too special really - just a large square adjacent to the two important buildings. We had a look around and did the filming we needed, but after that just had a look around.

    It seemed like quite a nice town, probably wealthier than Bologna. It's the spiritual home to Italy's car industry - Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and several other smaller makers were founded here. Briefly considered going to the Ferrari museum on the edge of town at Enzo Ferrari's birthplace, but in the end decided we didn't have time.

    Headed back to Bologna around 1pm and spent the rest of the day wandering around the city. Bologna is famous for its porticoes, and indeed there were hundreds of them. Basically every street in the city is lined with columned porticoes, keeping the traffic at bay and the pedestrians dry. A couple of impressive monuments to see including the town hall, the main cathedral, and then the two towers.

    These towers are huge, and both have a very pronounced lean though are still apparently quite stable. Had a seat at nearby cafe for a while and relaxed, and struck up a conversation with an Australian girl/Italian guy couple at the next table - I heard them discussing our Australian accents and puzzlement that we had a dog with us. They were based in Turin and visiting for the weekend to see an art exhibition, so we traded contact details and will meet up next week when we make it to Turin.

    Back to the Airbnb where we relaxed for a bit, then headed out in the evening. Walked to a typical local marketplace out of the tourist area, where in the evening the typical produce market gave way to restaurants and bars. I had a lasagne (another local specialty!) while Shandos had seafood cous-cous. We also shared a plate of bruschetta and some arancini balls which were delicious. Exhausting day - almost 25,000 steps all up! More to come tomorrow!
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  • Day16

    Modena

    November 28, 2017 in Italy

    Modena. The town that gave us Ferrari cars and balsamic vinegar. It also lays claim to Luciano Pavarotti whose funeral was held in its Duomo. It's a lovely sweet little town with not much in terms of spectacular monuments. "The charm of Modena is Modena. It's little shops, it's bicycles..." said a man from Seattle who has been living in Modena for many years. In Modena, bicycles rule. Every cyclist must think they are behind the wheel of a Ferrari in a demolition derby. Fast, and if you’re in their way, they'll run you over. We have learnt to approach streets, alleys, junctions and corners with great care least a cyclist appears with intent to kill.

    Like all great Italian destinations, Modena is about food. Great food like nonna would cook. Giant raviolis filled with tasty pumpkin, tasty meats that are just boiled or grilled and with no fuss preparation. Just their yummy pesto, all served up with great service, smiles and grace; even to grubby, bedraggled travelers like us.

    Oh dear. News flash. I'm writing this whilst on the train. A cap from a spray can that I uncapped flew across the train, ricochet and landed amidst 4 very serious looking men in suits, with laptops, pens and paper, having what looked like a business meeting on the train. I cracked up laughing as 2 of the men very chivalrously went on their hands and knees to help retrieve the cap that is now sliding all over the floor. Grace insist that I also mention that passengers all around us were politely laughing. Anyway, capped retrieved, I apologised profusely as the men resumed their serious men's business.
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  • Day16

    Danilo e Patrizia

    July 20, 2017 in Italy

    We made a reservation for a highly rated restaurant called Danilo e Patrizia. If you think of Bologna as a circle, our hotel is at the bottom and the restaurant is in the top right quadrant. So, we had to take a bus for about half and hour, which worked out well because we got to see a lot of another area of the city.

    We ended up way in the suburbs and found the restaurant nestled in a park like setting. Danilo himself greeted us and seated us outside (al fresco!). He told us all the pastas were handmade. We began to look at the primi menu, which is always the pasta course, and there were at least 20 pastas! One even had donkey meat. We passed on the donkey, but instead tried the tagliatelle with ragu, tortellini in brodo (a meat broth), and ravioli stuffed with cheese and bacon and topped with white truffles. It was all absolutely stunning! There isn't too much that beats fresh pasta! Brad and I also tried a local wine called Lambrusco, which is a sparkling red wine. It is lovely on a hot summer's day.

    For the secondi, Danilo recommended the suckling pork with roasted potatoes. He added some fried zucchini and fried cream for us (as in, he didn't charge us for these). Yes, fried cream! Apparently it's tradition to eat it with meat, and it is amazing! It is sweet and salty and crunchy - to die for. The pork was succulent as well.

    We shared a dolci of creme caramel and Danilo also gave us little pieces of an almond and chocolate cake as well. By this time we were stuffed! We eventually got our bill and then Danilo insisted we have an apertif. He brought out two bottles and two shot glasses and just left them on our table. Brad chose limoncello and I had a liqueur called Corvino which seemed like sherry. We were treated like family and we had such a lovely meal!

    Afterwards, we caught the bus home. Well, truthfully I got us on the wrong bus, so we had to get off and Brad got us going back in the right direction. Nonetheless we made it back to our hotel!
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  • Day17

    Food and Ferraris

    July 21, 2017 in Italy

    This morning we embarked on our much anticipated Food and Ferrari Tour. Our tour van met us two minutes from our hotel and off we went.

    Our first stop was a parmigiana regiano producer. The producer makes 100 000 wheels each year, so it's considered a large producer. We had to suit up in protective gear before entering the production facility.

    We first watched the cheese being cooked in large copper vats. Then we moved to the room where the cheese is first moulded in a plastic ring and then transferred to a metal ring. Once it maintains its shape, it's moved to a salt bath where it stays in the salted water for quite awhile. Finally we got to see the huge aging room where there was literally a library of cheese! We learned how they tap it to listen for bubbles and then how they flame stamp it to show that it's been approved.

    Finally, we got to taste both a 24 month old parmigiana and a 36 month old one. We expected the 36 month one to be quite sharp, but it was the opposite. The 36 month cheese was much milder than the 24. As a bonus, we got to wash it all down with a locally produced sparkling wine!

    The next stop was at a small prosciutto producer near Modena. They produce about 30-40 000 legs each year. Depending on the aging, each leg can go for €400-€700! We got to see the three cooling and salting stages of prosciutto. Then we saw where they hang the legs to age them, as well as how they run a lard and pepper combination on the legs to seal them. Legs can age anywhere from 2-5 years. At the end, we got to taste the prosciutto. It was so and velvety, unlike some of the more leather like prosciutto you sometimes gets at home. We also got a small glass of Lambrusco to go along with our tasting. It's never too early to drink here, apparently!

    Back on the bus, we drove to a balsamic vinegar producer. This family has been making balsamic vinegar for over 100 years! We got to see the room where the barrels of balsamic are kept and they explained how each year they harvest grapes, squeeze them, cook them, and then add liquid to the barrels. A young balsamic is aged for 12 years, but the longer it's aged the better it becomes. This is obviously a generational operation for good reason! We then tasted balsamic on cheese and on a vanilla gelato. It was interesting to try a 15 year old versus a 30 year old balsamic. Apparently it also has medicinal benefits as the wealthy used to have a teaspoon after dinner to ensure good digestion and good sleep.

    The fourth stop was Evan's most anticipated- the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. We got to tour the museum and explore the history of the Ferrari company and see many of the early Ferraris. Evan was quite excited by the newer Ferraris - the ones that look like race cars. He quite enjoyed taking pictures!

    It was 2:30 by this time and that meant it was time for lunch. We left Maranello and drove back towards Modena.

    We had a six course lunch at a place called Ca Bianca. Our first course was a puffed pastry with prosciutto on top. Then we had three pasta courses: tortellini filled with spinach and ricotta; tortellini filled with meat; and a tagliatelle with ragu. We were feeling quite full at this point, but the dishes kept coming. The fifth course with grilled vegetables (eggplant, endive, zucchini), roast potatoes, and steak (grilled just medium rare - just!). The final course was a glass of lemon sorbet and a glass of whipped marscepone. We finished with a shot of espresso and were back on the bus towards Bologna, completely stuffed and exhausted.
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  • Day35

    Modena

    July 3 in Italy

    We started the day by touring the balsamic vinegar production at Acetaia di Giorgio. This is a family owned company and has been in the family for generations. We learned how traditionally a new batch of balsamic vinegar would begin at the birth of a girl in the family. The vinegar starts in a large barrel and over the years moves to smaller and smaller barrels. About 10% of vinegar in each barrel evaporates every year so vinegar from the larger barrels are added to the next smallest barrel in succession, and new vinegar is only ever added to the largest barrel. Traditionally, when the girl came of marrying age the vinegar from the smallest barely would be used as her dowry. While the use of vinegar as a dowry no longer occurs, the same barreling process occurs to this day. There are two classifications of balsamic vinegar in Modena. A traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena which must be aged for at least 12 years, and a vintage traditional Balsamic vinegar of Modena which must be aged for at least 25 years. We sampled 5 of their vinegars with variations of them being 12 vs 25 years as being aged in uniform oak barrels vs different types of wood for each barrel the vinegar moves between. My favorite types were of the vintage variety and mixed wood. I decided to splurge and ship one of these bottles to the US with the intention of opening it on my 25th birthday when I will be as old S. Vintage traditional balsamic vinegar of modena! It was impressive to see how much patience goes into the production of balsamic vinegar. It makes sense for it to be a family business, it has to be since there can only be a few batches of vinegar made in a lifetime! We then drove to the city to have lunch. Modena is the city where the first two episodes of season 2 of Master if None take place so we decided to stop by some of the places in the show! We walked around Mercato Albinelli, the market the Dev and Arny walked around and tried different cheeses. We then had lunch at bar M.Schiavdni which is the sandwich shop that Dev and Arny are at and took kiss and wave videos of themselves at. I made a video of myself doing the same thing there! The sausage sandwiches there were delicious! After lunch we drove out of Modena to make our way to Carpigiani Gelato Univeristy and museum! We started our trip with a cup of gelato each which was absolutely amazing. We later realized this was unnecessary since we had 3 more cups of gelato on our tour, but hey the more the merrier! This was the best gelato we have had in Italy so it was essential to enjoy it as much as possible! Our tour began with a tour of the museum were we learned about the history of gelato starting from simple ice desserts for the elite to hand spun machines to modern day technologies that do the difficult spinning for you! After the tour we went into this shop where we took the gelato master class and learned how to make gelato! In the class we actually made a sorbet instead of gelato since it is easier for a beginner as it doesn’t involve cream and milk, just water. At first they planned on having us make a banana flavor which we were luckily able to switch to apricot. I would say we did a great job making our sorbet and are on our way to becoming gelato experts! Who knows Dad may even take their 4 week long course at some point! After we were done with gelato university we went back to modena and walked around for a bit before dinner. We had dinner at the sister restaurant of the best restaurant in the world, Osteria Francesca. The sister restaurant was called Franceschetta 58 and it was amazing! We had a delicious cheese welcoming dish, a fancy burger appetizer, and then I had a squid ink pasta for my man course. Throughout my day in Modena and Gelato University I’ve realized that I agree with Devs jingle in Master of None. Eating in Italy is my favorite thing, eating in Italy is my favorite thing!Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Modena, مودينا, Горад Модэна, Модена, Mòdena, Modeno, Módena, مودنا, Modène, מודנה, モデナ, მოდენა, 모데나, Mutina, موڈینا, 摩德納

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