Travel : Modena, Italy

Our visit to Modena was possibly my most favourite day of our Italian holiday this summer....
I completely fell in love with it, head over heels.

We first spent the morning in Maranello, home of Ferrari & about 20 minutes away from Modena.

Even if, like me, you're not that interested in cars, the Museo Ferrari is absolutely worth a visit ....rooms full of the most stylish & beautiful cars you'll possibly ever see....
very old Ferraris, the newest models, Ferraris from famous movies, an enormous room devoted to Formula 1 : cars, trophies, wonderful old newsreels....
I must admit that I suddenly understood the appeal of F1, I may even be a convert ;)

It was just the coolest place to visit....super-stylishly presented as only the Italians can, even the cafe was sleek & gorgeous!
Definitely go if you're ever nearby.

We then drove to Modena....
usually I'm the girl-with-the-guidebook but actually this time I didn't do that & on arriving all I knew about Modena was that it's famous for balsamic vinegar, Ferrari & Luciano Pavarotti.

It would be very hard not to fall under the spell of any Italian town or city to be quite honest, but there is was something about Modena that completely entranced me....
it was so beautiful that I almost felt as though I was in a dream, it also made me feel as though I'd be there before, such was the connection that I felt with it.

We parked, by chance (since we were without a map), very near to the old quarter of the city....
& simply wandered the cobbled streets for several hours, stopping several times for coffee & pastries and once for the most delicious ice cream....
everyone we met was exceptionally friendly.
The old streets are full of small trattoria & osteria plus some beautiful cafes, my coffee was perfect.

It was just after lunch when we arrived so many of the shops were shut....
which was lovely actually, it felt calm and peaceful....
there were very few cars, but lots of bicycles, which I loved, there was something genteel & rather other-worldly about it.

It is a very old university city & reminded me very much of Cambridge with students cycling around the narrow streets, disappearing into gateways & parking outside the university buildings.

Modena is in Emilia-Romagna, about 4 hours from Rome & 3 hours from Florence and only 1 hour or so from both Parma & Bologna....
if you are looking for a wonderful authentic Italian city to visit, then I can't recommend it enough - I got the impression that most of the students hadn't yet returned so I am sure it does get busier, but it was beautiful, peaceful & just a fabulously "un-touristy" place to spend time in.  


  1. I've never been to this part of Italy so, of course, I loved your post! And, those frescos on the ceiling of the arcade are just beautiful. OK, now I realize why it was quiet on the street when you were there. Perfect timing for good photos. Now, I think I need to go to the Ferrari museum too. xx's

  2. What a wonderful post!! I definitely need to add Modena on my itinerary for my next trip to Italy (the list keeps on growing so I think I will need to just move to Italy for a year!). Thanks for sharing!

  3. It looks absolutely wonderful...we'll be visiting on our next trip to Italy.
    Great photographs you've really captured the light...beautiful.
    Enjoy your week, Simone.

  4. What a gorgeous spot Simone ~ love finding places like this that become favourites.

  5. These images are divine, what a beautiful little place I've never heard of. Sounds like a fabulous time xx

  6. Oh Simone ... this post made me smile so much, I'm Venetian but studied in Bologna and Modena, so close by, was often one of my favourite places to see friends.
    I love the way you talk about it, so happy you enjoyed...
    Next time, please come to Venice I'll be your personal guide!! ahahahah
    ciaooo un bacio

  7. What a wonderful description of your day in Modena Simone......I was there in my mind! I am finally going to Rome for the first time next month for the weekend (can not believe it has taken me all these years!) but Mondena is next on my list.....sounds gorgeous!

    Sophia x

  8. What a beautiful place, Simone - I have been living vicariously thru your beautiful Italian adventures! This past weekend, I met some of my cousins from Switzerland and had so much fun talking about all the wonderful places to visit in Europe! Have a beautiful week, lovely lady! xxoo

  9. As I was browsing through your beautiful photos of Modena I noted that it is only about 20 minutes from Maranello - just hadn't looked at the map. We're leaving for Italy on Tuesday and the HUGE surprise for my spouse is an hour's driving time in a Ferrari (yup - I sold our grown children for this - I'm kidding). Think we'll make a side trip to visit Modena - it's gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing these. MMR


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