Mr. Panini is known by people of my generation in Italy mainly for one reason:he created the most popular football players stickers. We really spent years collecting those stickers and exchanging them in order to get the album full. So I was a bit disappointed when I knew that he sold his stickers activity and now hosts a collection of Maserati cars. It is about 10 minuts out of the city of Modena by car. It hosts a big collection of Maserati cars and some other, like war motorbikes and one war bike which particulary caught my attention.
It is opened from monday to friday from march to october from 9.30 to 12.30 and from 15.30 untill 18.30 saturday only morning. Visits need to be booked and you can do that on their website.
Fini is the surname of a very important family here in Modena, they are now in the food industry busyness but in the past started with a osteria. This fountain has been given by the old Fini to the city of Modena because he was accused to put water into his wine in his osteria.
Via Emilia is a street built by romans, it was wanted by consol Marco Emilio Lepido and its porpous was to connect Rimini and Piacenza.Its importance for busyness and trade for the areas it gies through is relevant still today.
It is one of the most ancent street that Italy has and it goes through all Modena city it nearly separates the centre into two parts.
It is on Piazza Grande, if you have the chance go up the steps and ask to visit the rooms, they are opened to public untill 7 pm usually. The main room are sala del fuoco(fire room) with Nicolò dell'Abate frescos, sala del vecchio consiglio(room of old parlament) when you can find the Gonfalone painted by Ludovoco Lana in 1633 as a thanksgiving for the end of the pestilence.
In the palace you will meet a bucket and you'll wonder wy it is so special. Tradition says that bucket was taken by Modenese from Bolognese during the battle of of Zappolino in 1325 so now the "secchia rapita" the kidnapped bucket is a simbol of civli values, do not try to take a photo near there as there is an alarm system since a few years ago some students of Bologna university came here and got to steal it again, then they gave it back without being even asked to, it was just a sort of revenge/joke.
The Torre Ghirlandina (ghirlandina tower) is just next to the dome and it has been connected to it with an arch in order to get it more stable during the years. The first five floors of the tower were already terminated in 1169 and it got finished during 1319. It is 87 meters high and since the origin it had civil functions, infact the custodians from the top of the tower watched the treasure chest of the city.
It is opened on saturday and sunday from 9.30 to 12.30 and 15 to 19. The ticket is costs 2€ and you'll have to climb more than 200 steps to reach the top.
It was started since early 1099 and finally got consacrated in 1184 by Pope Lucio III. The dome is one of the best european romanic style masterpiece. But what caught my attention are the decoration of the ndoors. In the door next to the tower you find Fedro's stories (second photo) and on the other one Bibles stories such as the creation of woman and Caino and Abele particulary curious is the one of Caino beating Abele(third photo). Inside the dome you can find some examples of Modenese terracotta statues (which was considered poor art compared with the marmle modelling one) and the crypt with the tomb of the city patron Saint Geminiano. During Christmass time the tomb is opened and the skeleton of the Saint shown for a week.The dome is unesco heritage.
We stopped at the vineyards of Leonardi to see the the making of the real balsamic vinegar. We got to taste 10 year old balsamic vinegar, 30 year old balsamic vinegar and 100 year old balsamic vinegar. The vinegar is thick - a bit like jam and what a delicious taste - with an aroma left in your nose. It is a closed cycle farm because all the production steps take place in the same plant. Balsamic vinegar is produced in a limited quantity linked to the geographical areas of Modena. The special climate of this region - hot summers and chilly winters allow the grapes to ferment and mature in the best conditions. Balsamic means medicine - it helps digestion. Pavarotti always took Balsamic Vinegar to clear his throat. There are beautiful terra cotta floors in here - the tiles are long rectangles.
Lunch was included here which was cold cuts, parmesano cheese with balsamic vinegar, little pizzas and panettone with balsamic vinegar.
The vineyards had lovely ripe grapes and there rose bushes on the end of each row. We have seen this on Long Island in the vineyards there. Mainly Trebbiano grapes (white) and Lambrusco (white) grapes. There were also fig and peach trees growing on the grounds of this place. there were also potted lime and lemon trees growing here.
Click on the web page to see this magnificent farm house, the history and the process of making REAL BALSAMIC VINEGAR OF MODENA.
All in all a great tour stop.
The Dome of Modena is a wonderful church that have been added to the Unesco heritage list. His bell tower, called La Ghirlandina, and most of the building were covered with scaffolding when I visited in October 2011 as they are restoring them since 2008 so I can't tell much about the outside.
The inside of the church is amazing, there are a upper part you reach climbing some steps and a lower part with a very nice chappel with skinny columns and some amazing windows made out of something that look like amber or alabaster, I am not sure what it was but it was sure incredible.
The carvings and the statues are outstanding.
Began in 1184 this cathedral is a World Heritage Site. Saint Geminianus, Modena's patron saint is buried in a tomb inside. As he was born in Modena, The funeral Luciano Pavarotti, a native of Modena, was held in the cathedral.
If you are in the center of Modena, this is worth a visit.
Photos show some of the more unusual things.
If this is your first time to Modena, you MUST visit the market. Here you will see the many foods that make up the local cuisine of Modena. This area of Italy is known for great food, and they are proud of it.
In about one hour you can enjoy it all.
One could easily spend an hour or two walking through the large covered market of Modena.
Each section holds its type of food, pasta, meat, fish and vegetables with lots of chances to buy balsamic vinegar and wine along the way.
The Palazzo dei Musei is a large complex which is home to Modena's main galleries and museums. The most important attraction here is the Galleria Estense, located on the top floor of the building. Here you can see the impressive art collection of the Este family, which consists of paintings and sculptures dating back to the early Renaissance.
Located on the ground floor is the Biblioteca Estense, where you can see one of the country's most valuable collections of manuscripts, letters and books, including the most decorated Bible in existence, the Bibbio Borso.
Also contained in the Palazzo dei Musei is the Museo Civico Archeologico which has a range of Bronze Age exhibits, and the Museo Lapidario Estense with its displays of medieval stonework.
There are different admission fees for each museum/gallery.
“Among the princesses, who have worn the crown matrimonial of England, many have been born in a more elevated rank than Mary Beatrice of Modena; but few could boast of a more illustrious descent than she claimed as the daughter of the house of Este.”
— from “Lives of the Queens of England” 1848 by Agnes Strickland
In the courtyard of Palazzo dei Musei stands a white marble sculpture.
I am not sure who it is; most likely one of the Este dukes. Perhaps it is Francesco I, Duke of Modena, whose art collection makes up the bulk of Galleria Este on the fourth floor of the museum.
The netting, protecting the courtyard from incoming birds, had fallen around the sculpture when we visited. From certain vantage points the netting looked like a veil.
The Estense Epigraphic Museum is housed in the portico of the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Musei.
It was established in 1828 by Francis IV, duke of Modena; it was the first public museum in the city to display a collection of ancient and medieval stone artifacts gathered from the city and its territory. The museum was reopened in 2003, at the end of a comprehensive restoration.
The collection is made up of three main groups. The first group consists of inscriptions from the ancient gallery of drawings and medals from the collection of the dukes of Este; a second group includes tombstones of medieval and modern, from the nearby Church of St. Augustine, a third group consists of sarcophagus from the courtyard of the Canons of the Cathedral; this is the number of Roman sarcophagi representative of the region.
Several other exhibits were added in the 19th and 20th century, with donations from private collections and from excavations in public areas and from the necropolis of Roman Modena.
Located on the top floor of Palazzo dei Musei, Galleria Estense is among the most important Italian art collections; it reflects the dukes of Este’s interest in paintings and sculpture, as well as archaeology and the decorative arts. Notable items include the marble bust of Francesco I d’Este, duke of Modena by Gian Lorenzo Bernini; the same duke’s portrait by Velasquez; Saint Anthony of Padua by Cosmè Tura; Madonna and Child by Correggio; a small, portable altar triptyque by El Greco (Fabulous!) and a Crucifix by Guido Reni. Po Valley paintings from the 14th to the 18th century form an important part of the collection.