- For other places with the same name, see Modena (disambiguation).
Modena is a town of the Emilia-Romagna Region, in the middle of northern Italy.
The town is well-known all over the world, especially for some famous people who were born and lived here such as Enzo Ferrari and Luciano Pavarotti, and for some of its gastronomical products, such as tortellini, Lambrusco wine, balsamic vinegar, and Parmesan cheese.
It is a town that, since the 1970s, has become one of the richest and most socially advanced in Italy: 77 km of cycling paths, 16 cinemas, 25 libraries, and one of the oldest universities in Europe. It sits at the crossroads between the Brenner motorway and the Autostrada del Sole, 40 km from the important railway and airport node of Bologna. Tourists from all over the world visit the art treasures in Modena: the 12th-century cathedral and masterpieces of Italian Romanesque art, that together with the Piazza Grande and the Ghirlandina tower, create a complex of unique beauty, included by UNESCO in the "World Heritage list".
- 1 IAT Modena (Tourist Information and Assistance Office), Piazza Grande, 14, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Mo-Sat 09:00-18:00; Su 09:30-18:00.
The nearest airport is Bologna Guglielmo Marconi (BLQ IATA), 8 km from Bologna city and 40 km from Modena. A direct SACA bus runs every two hours from the airport to Modena, taking 50 min, fare €15 single or €25 return, buy on the bus. Otherwise travel via Bologna city centre.
You could also fly into Milan, which has many budget flights and good onward transport..
Fast trains run hourly from Milan, taking 75 min via Parma and Reggio Emilia, and continuing from Modena to Bologna, for trains to Rome. A regional train from Milan stops at Codogno, Piacenza, Fidenza, Parma and Fidenza but is overtaken by the following fast train.
1 Modena railway station is 500 m north of city centre. There's no left-luggage office.
- 2 [dead link] Autostazione (Bus station), Via Bacchini, 1, ☏ . Tickets 05:30-20:30. Modena can be reached by any of a large number of suburban buses, which connect it to the most relevant villages of the surrounding province (Carpi, Sassuolo, Fiorano, Campogalliano, Correggio, Soliera, Vignola, Pavullo, Nonantola, Maranello, and others). Modena Province is divided into 41 districts, each with a different fee. The ticket is valid for a limited amount of time once you get on the bus, depending on the specific district.
The town can be reached by motorway A1 Milano-Napoli. Exit Modena Nord (5km from the town centre) or Modena Sud (10 km from the town centre). The town is at the south end of motorway A22.
By public transit
Modena is well served by a trolleybus service, one of the largest in Italy, composed of 3 lines, and a bus service. All public transport is provided by SETA.
Urban public transport run from 06:00-21:00. The night urban line 7N runs from 20:30-22:30. Extra-urban buses run through the surrounding province at many different times and on many different routes.
Tickets can be bought directly on the bus (automatic ticket machine), outside the railway station or at the autostazione (also on the mobile app Roger of Tper spa).
Modena is crossed by a major road, the Via Emilia, a historic Roman road that connected Modena with other important towns and cities of the region, and that still represents one of the main traffic ways in Italy. The road runs through the middle of the town, in an east-west direction.
The historic centre of the town is a restricted area (ZTL), meaning only residents, commercial operators, or tourists staying at hotels in the centre and with a special permit can go there. Access is regulated by an automated system, named Modena City Pass, which allows local police to monitor cars and motorbikes through a network of webcams placed at access points. These webcams are always on and continuously register the number plates of passing cars, sending the information to a control and alerting system.
In other areas, parking is in part free (identified by a white line) and in part with fee (blue line); the amount of the fee depends on the city area. Payments can be made with coins by nearby park meters. On Sundays and public holidays parking is free. Alternatively, payments can be made with a prepaid card (€20), purchased at ACI (Automobil Club Italia) offices or at some tobacconists in the town centre. Parking is usually free at night (20:00-08:00).
Two radio taxi services are available 24/7, also for trips in the province or even further. The services include booking by SMS and services for disabled people.
Bicycles can be rented at:
- C'entro in bici, Piazza Grande 14 (At the IAT Modena). 07:00-24:00. This is an Italian word pun that refers to the possibility of cycling to the centre. Modena offers everyone a free bicycle. You can take free yellow bicycles at the Tourist Information Office where you fill in a form and pay a deposit. Tourists must be of legal age and have a valid ID. This service is also available in a number of other locations, mostly at the north-east of Italy. Free service, deposit €20.
- Novi Sad Park, Viale Monte Kosica (On the side of the stage, behind the stands). M-F 07:00-19:00, Sa 07:00-12:00, closed Su.
- Policlinico (general Hospital) (Largo del Pozzo, before the entrance to the paid parking space). M-F 06:30-19:30, Sa 06:30-13:30, closed Su.
The town is easily walked, though it occupies more than 183,000 m². In the historic centre, inside where the city wall once stood, are found the most important buildings.
A UNESCO heritage site. It is the centre of life of the city. It is a festive, crowded place on Saint's Day (31 January) in honour of the local patron saint, San Geminiano, and on the Thursday before Lent. In front, in the apse of the cathedral, the pole, tile, brick, and fathom units of measure are engraved, to assure honest trading in the piazza. This bears witness to the fact that the piazza was a place of great economic importance and the heart of the city.
- 1 Cathedral. Audioguides can be useful to discover the cathedral, the cathedral museums, Piazza Grande, and the town hall. They are available in Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish. You can rent them, accompanied by a folding leaflet with maps of the monuments, at the museums of the cathedral and Tourist Information Office in Piazza Grande 14 for €4, plus entrance to the museums or monuments.
- [formerly dead link] Cathedral Museums, Via Lanfranco, 6. €4 (€6 — combined ticket to: Ghirlandina bell tower, the historic rooms in Palazzo Comunale, Municipal Vinegar Factory, Cathedral Museums).
- 2 Torre Ghirlandina (Ghirlandina Tower), Piazza Torre. Su & public holidays from Apr-Oct & 31 Jan, 09:30-12:30, 15:00-19:00. Closed in Aug and on Easter Su. 86 m high and the symbol of the city. UNESCO has added the Ghirlandina, together with the cathedral and Piazza Grande, to its list of heritage sites. €3.00 (also see Cathedral Museums).
- 3 Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall), Piazza Grande, 16. M-Sa 08:00-19:00, Su and public holidays 15:00-19:00. M-Sa free, Su and public holidays €2 (also see Cathedral Museums).
- 4 Palazzo dei Musei (Museum building), Viale Vittorio Veneto, 5, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 08:00-19:30. The Museum Building, built in the 18th century, was converted in 1881 into a museum housing the paintings and books of the Este family.
- 5 Palazzo Ducale di Modena (Ducal Palace of Modena), Piazza Roma, 15. The former palace of the Duke, who ruled Modena until 1859. Today the palace is the headquarters of the Military Academy. The museum of the military academy displays weapons, memorabilia, and military items (flags, uniforms, drums, etc.
- 6 Palazzo Santa Margherita.
- 7 Giardini Pubblici. The former gardens of the Ducal palace.
- Palazzina dei Giardini, Corso Canalgrande, 103, ☏ . It was built as a greenhouse, and now hosts Galleria Civica.
- Botanical Gardens.
- 8 Cimitero San Cataldo (Cemetery).
- 9 Sant'Agostino (St. Augustine parish church), Via Emilia (next to Palazzo dei Musei). A pantheon for the Estense family.
- 10 Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pomposa. One of the oldest chureches in Modena — it was mentioned 1st in 1153.
- 11 Chiesa di San Francesco, Rua Frati Minori 19. Next to the former St. Francis convent.
- 12 Chiesa di San Biagio del Carmine (della Beata Vergine Annunziata). Built in 1319, reconstructed in 1649.
- 13 Chiesa di San Bartolomeo. A Jesuit church built in the 17th century.
- 14 Abbazia dei padri Benedettini di San Pietro (Monastery and Church of San Pietro). Daily 06:15-12:00, 14:45-19:30.
- Automobili Pagani (In San Cesario sul Panaro, Via dell'Artigianato, 5 (Mo)). Guided tours of the factory are available only by reservation M-F, or on Saturday morning but without workers. The guided tour lasts approximately 45 minutes.
- 15 Enzo Ferrari Home Museum (Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari), Via Paolo Ferrari, 85. The house in which Enzo Ferrari was born in 1898. Its ultramodern external structure in yellow aluminium suggests the bonnet of a car. The museum's mission is to acquaint the public with Modena's dedication to the automobile and racing, as well as with the story of this great figure in the history of car design and manufacturing. Exhibits include multimedia installations and displays.
- Ferrari Museum is in Maranello.
- Righini Private Collection of Vintage Cars (Panzano of Castelfranco Emilia). Open on request.
- Stanguellini Vintage Car Museum, Via Emilia Est, 756, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Reservation only. Opened in 1996.
- Umberto Panini Vintage Car and Motorcycle Museum (at Hombre Farms where Parmigiano Reggiano is produced). Displays a variety of classic cars and motorcycles, including an exquisite group of Maseratis.
- Balsamic Vinegar Factory Tour, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. To visit a balsamic vinegar production "acetaia", you can contact the Modena tourist office. They'll book a tour for you in one of the factories on the day you request. Free.
- Modena Food Tour, email@example.com A food walking tour in the centre of Modena that includes a visit to Mercato Albinelli, Parmigiano Reggiano and Balsamic vinegar tasting. Small groups up to 8 people.
- [dead link] International Festival of Military Bands (Festival Internazionale delle Bande Militari), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. First half of Jul. Modena international military tattoo. Musicians from militaries around the world parade, give concerts, and great performances.
- [formerly dead link] Modena World of Motors (Modena terra di motori). 1st-2nd week of Apr. Exhibition of luxury vehicles in the historic centre. Exhibition and show of cars and motorcycles by Ferrari, Maserati, et al.
- Philosophy Festival (Festivalfilosofia), Largo Porta Sant' Agostino 337 (Modena, Carpi, Sassuolo), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Mid-Sep. For 3 days Modena, Carpi, and Sassuolo offer meetings with the greats of contemporary thought with philosophic dinners, films, shows, and exhibitions.
- Cinema Teatro Michelangelo, Via Giardini, 257, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Luciano Pavarotti Municipal Theatre, Corso Canalgrande, 85, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com.
- Teatro delle Passioni, Viale Carlo Sigonio, 382, ☏ , (to book), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Teatro Storchi, Largo Garibaldi, 15, ☏ , (to book), fax: , ✉ email@example.com.
- 1 Trattoria Aldina, Via Luigi Albinelli 40, ☏ . M-Sa 12:00-14:30, F Sa also 20:00-22:30. Specialities: tortellini, veal escalope in balsamico sauce, brassato (beef in red wine sauce).
- 2 Antica Pasticceria S. Biagio, Via Emilia Centro 77, ☏ . M-Sa 09:30-13:00, 15:30-19:30. Speciailties are 'barozzi (chocolate cake) and rosine.
- 3 [dead link] La Messicana Torrefazione, Via Farini 37, ☏ . M-Sa 08:00-23:00. Coffee tasting at its best.
- Caffeteria Giusti, Via Farini 71, ☏ . Daily 07:30-22:00.
- 4 Osteria Francescana, Via Stella 22, ☏ . M-F 12:00-21:30, Sa 06:00-21:30. Constantly voted as one of the world's best restaurants, Osteria Francescana under the guidance of head chef Massimo Bottura elevates Italian cuisine to its finest. Prices starts at €130 excluding wine.
On Via Taglio, Via Gallucci, and Piazza della Pomposa there are many cafés and pubs, wine bars, and brunch-cafés.
- Baluardo della Cittadella (Giovani di Tien An Men Square), ☏ .
- 1 Caffè Concerto, Piazza Grande, 26, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 08:00-03:00.
- Ostello San Filippo Neri is a basic hostel on Via Sant' Orsola a block south of the railway station.
- PHI Canalgrande, Corso Canalgrande 6, ☏ . Decent central mid-price hotel. B&B double €90.
- Hotel Cervetta, Via Cervetta 5, ☏ . Smart stylish hotel. B&B double €110.
- 1 Villa Gaidello Bed & Breakfast, Via Gaidello 18, ☏ , fax: . A large farm and estate of renovated farmhouses dating back to the 1700-1800s, surrounded by lush grounds.
- 2 Hotel Real Fini Baia Del Re, Via Vignolese 1684, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Business hotel with 84 rooms, outside the city along the highway. From €132.
- Mercato Albinelli, Via Luigi Albinelli 13. Daily 06:30-14:30, Sa also 16:30-19:30. Art nouveau market hall with lots of pasta, vegetables, fruits, cheese and sausage specialities.
- Enogastronomia Giusti, Via Farini 74, ☏ . M-Sa 09:30-13:00, 15:30-19:30. All types of regional specialities, great selection of wines
- Azienda Pedroni, Via Risala 4, ☏ . M-Sa 12:00-15:00, F Sa also 20:00-00:00. Great choice of balsamico vinegar.
As of May 2021, Modena has 4G with Iliad, TIM and Vodafone, and 5G with Wind Tre.
The main Post Office is on Via Modonella, corner with Via Emila, open M-F 08:30-19:00, Sa 08:30-12:30.
- Carpi 15 km north is an agreeable town centred around an elegant piazza.
- Nonantola 5 km northeast has a fine abbey.
- Maranello has the Ferrari museum and test track.