Posted by: Debra Kolkka | August 20, 2016

Marvellous Modena

Modena is an ancient Etruscan town more recently known for the famous cars made in or near the city…Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini, Pagani and Maserati are, or were located in Modena.

The centre of Modena, Piazza Grande, is a Unesco World Heritage site.


Here you will find the magnificent Cathedral of Modena. It looks great from all angles.








It was built between 1099 and 1106 by architect Lanfranco. The gorgeous sculptures were carried out by Wiligelmo in the 12th century and the Maestri Campionesi in the 13th and 14th centuries.

The interior of the church is stunning.


The terracotta nativity scene dates from 1527.


The Renaissance Clock Tower in the Town Hall was built in the late 15th century. The building was constructed in the 17th and 18th centuries from pre-existing buildings.


La Bonissima, dating from 1268, stands on the corner of the building, keeping a eye on things.


Pietra Ringadora, a huge stone slab, was used between 11th and 13th centuries by orators and a stone of shame for insolvent debtors. It was also the place where justice was administered and commercial transactions were carried out. Now it is a good spot to lean bicycles.


The impressive Ducal Palace is where Italian Military officers are trained. It is not open to the public but looks stunning from the outside.


I want one of the lion’s head chain holders at the front entrance.


As well as the wonderful historic buildings, Modena is chock full of beautiful things to see. The elegant streets are full of great looking cafes and modern shops.



Giuseppe Giusto, a famous deli was recommended by a friend as a must see.


There are 4 tables at the back where you can have a delicious meal, but it was fully booked when we were time.

The covered food market in Modena is excellent.



A charming fellow in the markets recommended a good place for lunch nearby. I don’t remember then name of the restaurant, but it was upstairs opposite the exit from the market.


Modena was a pleasant surprise for us. It is a city that mixes old and new very well. There is an excellent museum full of treasures. I think it is going to become a regular place for us to visit. We drove from Bagni di Lucca across the mountains in about 2 hours, but it is also an easy place to get to by train…don’t miss it.


  1. Beautiful architecture. Thanks for sharing this – it looks to be a lovely place to visit!

    • The architecture is stunning. I spent ages looking at the sculptures around the church.

  2. One of my favourite places anywhere. . Thanks for this great profile in pictures Deb.

    • Modena is going become a regular place to visit for us…along with many other spots.

  3. I’m so glad you covered Modena. I especially like the fact that Massimo Bottura’s restaurant is in Modena. Nice to see the sights from your eyes. I was hoping to see a glimpse of Osteria Francescana. The Cathedral of Modena is beautiful. A very beautiful city!

    • Osteria Francescana was also booked out while we were there. I tried booking weeks in advance, but there were no tables available. We will definitely return to Modena and try again to go to the places we wanted to try.

  4. Gorgeous photos, as always. It looks like somewhere to put on my list – for next time.

    • Modena is a great place to visit. There is lots to see and many fabulous restaurants to try.

  5. Unbelievably gorgeous. The Italians must have made a conscious decision not to build glass towers in their cities, thank heavens. Not sure about the bloke sitting with his legs apart, though Is he bragging or what?

    • I wonder what he had in mind. It looks like an early flasher.

  6. Wonderful post Debra. I have never been so this was perfect as I traveled to Modena vicariously through you and your incredible photos and historical information

    • Modena is a lovely city. I will definitely be going back.

  7. Absolutely beautiful!

    • It is a great looking city. It was an interesting place to visit for a couple of days.

  8. Modena can be a pleasant day trip from Bagni di Lucca through the SS12 del Brennero, but I think that it is worth staying there a couple of nights. And that deli looks most interesting….

    • I am definitely going to book ahead for the deli next time.

  9. Such an elegant town, Debra. The architecture is lovely. I smiled at the modern use of the Pietra Ringadora. I’m sure they could never have imagined such a thing in the 11th and 13th centuries. 🙂

    • I think it is wonderful that these things still exist.

  10. It looks gorgeous-is it also where a lot of Balsamic Vinegar is from? I’m just thinking of where I’ve heard of it.

    • Yes, Modena is the home of balsamic vinegar. We bought a couple of bottles…it seemed the right thing to do.

  11. Love your blog..almost as good as doing it myself in a non travelling year.wonderful photos too!

    • Thank you, I enjoy collecting photos along the way. It makes me more observant and I get much more out of my travels.

  12. Beautiful Modena, beautifully captured in your images

    • Thank you. We found lots of gorgeous things to see in Modena.

  13. We also loved Modena. Only stayed the one night but wish we had more time to explore. The food looks wonderful.

    • It is a lovely city, well worth a few days.

  14. Modena is definitely on my husband’s bucket list because of his love of Italian cars. I expected Modena to be modern but your lovely photos tell me otherwise. I’m sure I’ll love exploring this beautiful place while John explores the cars…..Modena, here we come!

  15. I’m sure you will enjoy spending time in Modena, it has lots to offer.

  16. We had a lovely visit here. Restaurants do tend to close in August though. BTW the motorway service station does a good meal and has a good range of local produce on sale.

    • We were there in June. I don’t visit Italy in August…too hot and crowded for me.The Autogrills are great we use them all the time.

      • The Times Law section closes down in August so the Chelsea Fan has to take his holiday then. Everywhere is crowded except Modena, Parma, Bologna and other inland historic cities.

  17. Forgot to say thanks for including the Sheila-na-gig (female fertility figure) in your photos of Wiligelmo’s sculptures.

    • I was fascinated by those figures.

  18. Pagan, aren’t they?

    • I couldn’t find any information except who did them. There must be some significance to them.

  19. We have stayed in nearby Reggio Emilia and have visited the Ferrari museum but unfortunately have not been to the center of Modena. After seeing your wonderful photos, it will definitely be on my list now.

    • Modena was a delightful surprise for us.

  20. […] the year there were many visits to lovely Lucca, fabulous Florence, marvellous Modena, Castiglione Garfagnana with Victoria, Bologna and Parma with Cathy for the antique fare (I’m […]

  21. Thanks for sharing. I have travelled widely in Italy but have not made it to Modena yet and really want to go. I have just started a poetry blog here on WordPress in case you have time to look? Have a good afternoon, Sam 🙂

    • Modena is a great city to visit. Stay a couple of days to really have a good look. I will check out your blog.

      • Thanks for the tips 🙂

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