Things to do in Modena

Things to do in  Modena

Welcome to Modena

Modena sits at the intersection of Italy’s Motor Valley and Food Valley, making it a top destination for both gearheads and gourmands. Motor-minded visitors make a beeline for the city’s Enzo Ferrari Museum to delve into the world of this iconic sports car, while foodies hit the local balsamic vinegar and Parmigiano Reggiano producers for food tours and tastings. Other popular things to do include excursions to the outlying Lambrusco wineries, market tours and cooking classes in town, and guided walks through Modena’s handsome historic center.

Top 2 attractions in Modena

Enzo Ferrari Museum (Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari)

In the center of Modena, a historical brick factory building is dwarfed by the adjacent contemporary glass-and-steel hangar topped with a bright yellow car hood–shaped roof. Together, these two structures and their contents tell the story of Enzo Ferrari, race car driver and founder of one of the most famous car brands in the world.More

Barozzi Palace (Palazzo Barozzi)

Home to one of the most dazzling spiral staircases in Italy, the 16th-century Barozzi Palace (Palazzo Barozzi) is by far the main attraction of sleepy Vignola—a town just outside Modena. Take a jaunt through the area’s famed cherry orchards and admire the elegant structure, created by Renaissance architect Jacopo Barozzi.More

Top activities in Modena

Lamborghini and Ferrari Day Tour

Lamborghini and Ferrari Day Tour

Modena food tour

Modena food tour

Modena Traditional Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience
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Share your Pasta Love: Small group Pasta and Tiramisu class in Modena
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Cesarine: Pasta & Tiramisu Class at a Local's Home in Modena
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Small Group Market tour and Cooking class in Modena
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Private Modena old town walking tour

Private Modena old town walking tour

per group
Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Factory Tour & Tasting Experience
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All about Modena


A local’s pocket guide to Modena

Rebecca Winke

Food and travel writer Rebecca can never stay away from Modena and its out-of-this-world dining scene for long.

The first thing you should do in Modena is ...

plot out your meals. Modena’s biggest draw is the dining scene (Osteria Francescana, often named the world’s best restaurant, is here) so don’t sacrifice a stellar dinner to poor planning.

A perfect Saturday in Modena...

begins at Mercato Albinelli for gourmet souvenirs, then a stroll through the porticoed old town. You’ve already made lunch and dinner reservations (see above), so the lion’s share of your day is running the gastronomic marathon.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

balsamic vinegar tasting. Modena is the world capital of balsamic vinegar, and after one taste of the real stuff, you’ll understand what all the fuss is about.

To discover the "real" Modena...

dive right into the lively aperitivo scene in Piazza Grande come early evening with a glass of Lambrusco and a plate of parmigiano and prosciutto di Parma. Just don’t spoil your dinner.

For the best view of the town...

pay €3 to climb the listing Torre Ghirlandina bell tower adjacent to the Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the highest point in the old town.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking that dining in Modena is a dressy affair. With a few notable exceptions, most of Modena’s landmark restaurants are traditional “trattorias,” casual eateries known for more for their dishes than their atmosphere.

People Also Ask

What is Modena famous for?

Modena sits at the heart of what’s known as Emilia-Romagna’s Food Valley and Motor Valley. It’s known specifically for its prestigious balsamic vinegar—aceto balsamico di Modena—and its rarified sports cars, including Ferrari and Lamborghini. Modena is also famous for its opera tradition; Luciano Pavarotti was born here.

How do I spend a day in Modena?

Begin your day by exploring the old town on foot or by bike to take its portico-lined lanes and Romanesque cathedral, plus stop at the Enzo Ferrari Museum to marvel at Italy’s iconic sports cars. Carve out time for a leisurely lunch at one of Modena’s local restaurants, too.

Is one day in Modena enough?

Yes, Modena is small and you can visit the old town, automotive museums, gourmet shops, and restaurants in one day. You can also use the city as a base to explore what’s known as the Food Valley and Motor Valley nearby—in this case, plan to stay at least three days.

Is it worth going to the Ferrari museum?

Yes, the Ferrari Museum is one of the top automotive museums in Italy. There are two Ferrari museums in the area: The Enzo Ferrari Museum is located in central Modena and includes the original machine shop. The Ferrari Museum is just outside Modena in Maranello, connected to the Ferrari factory.

What food should I try in Modena?

Aged balsamic vinegar is Modena’s most famous local specialty, but the town marks the center of what’s known as Italy’s Food Valley, where some of the country’s most prestigious gourmet specialties are produced. Try Parmigiano-Reggiano and prosciutto di Parma from neighboring Parma plus Lambrusco wine from the surrounding vineyards.

Where in Italy is Modena?

Set in Italy’s northern region of Emilia-Romagna, Modena is located about halfway between Parma and Bologna. It sits in the Po River Valley, which is famous for its fertile farmland where many of the top Italian specialties are produced, as well as one of Italy’s most important manufacturing areas.

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