Hotel La Torre
Via Cervetta 5, Modena, 41100, Italy
More about Modena
Palazzo dei Musei, Courtyard, May 2010
Palazzo dei Musei, Modena, May 2010
Palazzo Comunale, Ceiling, Modena, May 2010
Palazzo Ducale, Hercules Modena May 2010
Travel Tips for Modena
The morning I left Modena, I...
The morning I left Modena, I was able to find the Maserati factory - a quiet Saturday morning, nobody was around (rats!) so I couldn't even walk into the offices to see about getting any brochures. Ah, well, there'a always next time... isn't there?
It is fairly common that historic (and modern) synagogues do not open to the public for general tours. The synagogue in Modena is no exception, but it is, nevertheless, quite pretty and a pleasure to photograph from the quiet park off of Via Emilia in which it is located. It was constructed between 1869 and 1873 by Ludovico Maglietta. It contains twelve columns, each one representing a tribe of Israel. The decorations in the interior were completed by Federico Manzini. The synagogue was once the centre of the ghetto, established in 1638, but the annexation of Modena to Italy in 1861 ended official segregation and the destruction of factories in front of the synagogue in 1904 opened its façade to the street. The synagogue suffered light damage in 2003, when a Jordanian national blew up his car packed full of petrol bombs next to the building, thus making this the site of the only suicide attack on Italian soil.
Modena’s Duomo: A Romanesque Masterpiece, Part VI
“It was most delicious weather, when we came into Modena, where the darkness of the sombre colonnades over the footways skirting the main street on either side, was made refreshing and agreeable by the bright sky, so wonderfully blue.”
— from “Pictures from Italy” 1846 by Charles Dickens
Take time to enjoy the many fine and wonderful works of art at Modena’s 900 year-old duomo. The devil is in the details, even in a church!
The baptismal fount, photo #1; the hand rail that terminates with an animal face, photo #2; the stained glass rose window, photo #3; the multi-colored marble inlaid ceiling, photo #4; and the lion column support, photo #5.
The Palazzo Ducale was constructed in 1634 on the site of an earlier Este castle and was used as the court of the Este family until 1861 (unification of Italy), when it became the seat of the Accademia Militare di Modena. It originally marked the edge of the city until Duke Ercole had the walls expanded and the Palazzo Ducale occupied a more important position in city life. It was started under the architect Vigarani and finished by Avanzini, but there were also modifications and restorations completed by da Cortona, Bernini and Borromini. This continual construction throughout the 1600s left the Palazzo with its distinctive Baroque façade. The outside of the building is an impressive chromatic play of different colours of marble, while the interior hosts some exquisite rooms designed specifically to commemorate high points in the Este rule over Modena. One particularly interesting point is that the panelling in the Salottino d'oro are removable, which has ensured that the original pieces are still on display, as they were taken down and hidden during occupations and sacking by various armies. The large parking lot in Piazza Roma is a bit anti-climactic, but it is still a bit fun to get an ice cream across the street and gawk at the splendour of the Palazzo as you walk around.
Chiesa di San Bartolomeo
The Chiesa di San Bartolomeo is a rather unassuming place of worship, primarily because it is not set off from the other houses or buildings on the Via dei Servi. Nevertheless, it is a pretty church, and worth at least a few minutes time for photographs of the exterior. Inside, this Baroque church has paintings by Crespi and other artists.