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Modena. The town of slow food and fast Ferraris

By Tuesday, 01 November 2022 10:36

Modena, which is in central Italy between its two more famous sisters Bologna and Parma, is famous as the town of slow food and fast Ferraris

The birthplace of Ferrari and Pavarotti

Although relatively small (the population is just 185,000) it is packed with personality. An hour by train, or two by car, from Florence, it is a must-visit for its foodie scene with Parmesan, prosciutto and balsamic vinegar topping the bill. Packed with history and art Modena is also the birthplace of automobile genius Enzo Ferrari and tenor Luciano Pavarotti. 

A motor-lovers paradise

Being smack in the heart of Italy’s Motor Valley it is also home to such famous brands as Lamborghini and Maserati and the Maserati Factory, together with the Enzo Ferrari Museum, is a must for anyone even remotely interested in cars.  Modena shot to international culinary fame in 2016 when Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana was voted the number one restaurant in the world. This feat was repeated again in 2018 and Bottura continues to be up there with the world’s best and most innovative cutting-edge chefs. 

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Medieval to 18th-century architecture and art 

Culture lovers will marvel at the Cathedral and they can climb the Ghirlanda Tower which, like the cathedral and the main Piazza Grande square, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Much of the architecture and art in the town is thanks to the Estes, the princely Lombardy family that played a great part in the history of Medieval and Renaissance Italy and ruled in Modena from the Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century. 

An Art Nouveau food market

For foodies there are visits to cheese factories, to farmhouses that produce the prized balsamic vinegar and to wineries that produces the charming and much underrated sparkling Lambrusco red wine.  Another must is a visit to the town’s Albinelli Market which opened in 1931 and is Modena’s oldest. In Art Nouveau style it is also one of Italy’s most beautiful food markets and the vendors delight in letting customers try their produce. They also like to share the secrets of how best to cook and serve the goods on display, turning a simple market visit into a journey into the lore of Modena’s extraordinary gastronomic traditions.

A paradise for gourmets

Modena is also famous for its tortellini, hand-rolled egg pasta dumplings with meat, vegetables or cheese that can be served in broth or tossed in tomato sauce. It also has two nationally revered specialties linked to Yuletide, the zampone which is a cured stuffed trotter and the cotechino which is made with pork intestines. For information https://www.visitmodena.it

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