Modena is a province in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, with a population in 2020 of 705,076.
Cities and towns
- 1 Modena, embellished by the Este dynasty, has an elegant cathedral and is a major centre for car manufacture.
- 2 Nonantola had flood-prone land reclaimed by the monks of its fine abbey.
- 3 Carpi has a historic centre and textile industry.
- 4 Mirandola was badly damaged in the earthquake of 2012.
- 5 Castelfranco Emilia has a 17th century fortress built by Urban VIII.
- 6 Maranello is best known as the base for Ferrari and their racing team.
- 7 Castelvetro di Modena has a castle, old centre, and many nearby wineries.
- 8 Spilamberto has a stout castle.
- 9 Vignola nearby has an impressive 15th century fortress.
- 10 Pavullo nel Frignano has Montecuccolo castle.
- 11 Sestola in the hills has botanic gardens and a fortress rebuilt in the 16th century.
- 12 Pievepelago is a mountain resort with winter sports.
Modena Province stretches across the broad flat plain of the Po valley. Its southern part is in the Apennine mountains, with the rivers Secchia and Panaro flowing north into the plain to join the Po. For most of the medieval period the area was controlled by the Este dynasty, who embellished the palaces, castles and churches that remain Modena's major attractions. The province in its present footprint was created in 1859 in the run-up to the unification of Italy. It became industrial, with food production, ceramics and textiles, but is best known as the base for Ferrari automobiles: several museums mark this legacy.
The area suffered a chain of major earthquakes in May / June 2012, centred 36 km north of Bologna. Everywhere was affected, with the worst damage in Mirandola, Finale Emilia, Camposanto, Medolla and Cavezzo. 17 people died in this province. Restoration of the historic buildings remains a work in progress.
Intercity trains run hourly from Milan to Piacenza, Modena, Bologna and on south. Regional trains between Piacenza and Bologna also stop in Modena.
Intercity buses normally connect Modena to Bologna and Reggio Emilia, but are very sparse in early 2021.
Autostrada A1 runs along the valley, while A22 heads north to Mantua and Verona.
Buses fan out from Modena to all the towns in the province.
- Modena has the cathedral, and several palaces and churches clustered round its main piazza.
- Modena also has museums relating to Ferrari automobiles, based here.
- Carpi has a grand central piazza with two museums within its town hall and a cathedral.
- Maranello has Ferrari Galleria, a motor museum. It's close to Formagine, which has a medieval castle, and Sassuolo with its Ducal Palace.
- The mountain towns have hiking, with winter sports at Pievepelago.
- Football: Sassuolo Calcio play soccer in Serie A, the country's top tier, but since 2013 their home stadium is in Reggio Emilia.
- Modena specialties include zampone or cotechino sausage (often served with polenta and lentils), cappello del prete ("priest's cut") shoulder of beef, and crescentine thin round breads eaten with cold meats or with cunza, pork lard. Modena along with Reggio Emilia is the only source of balsamic vinegar, and one of the few sources of Parmesan cheese. See Emilia-Romagna for other regional specialties.
- Lambrusco is made in Modena and adjacent provinces.
- Standard advice about traffic and care of valuables.