CHAPTER #4: MODENA

Modena is interesting on a gloomy day too and if you arrive by train you will have to ponder how to begin your visit, in fact from the station there is the possibility to walk to the Enzo Ferrari House, the Ducal Gardens or the wonderful center.

I’ll tell you about my day of exploration starting from the Gallery of Statues, discovered by chance and that marked the beginning of my day in the best way; the gallery is home to the Venturi Art Institute and from outside it will be possible to see young hands shape terracotta, stucco and ceramics.

The marvelous Piazza Roma is waiting to be crossed with a visit to the atrium of the Military Academy, the pride of this city for the memory of those killed in the war, but also to emphasize military life as hard and necessary for our country.

Once you get out, put the building behind you and start the real exploration, go straight to an attraction that will leave you pleasantly open-mouthed and full then … while you walk the streets of Modena you won’t know where to turn your head, because from the floors to the ceilings of the arcades, everything is testimony to centuries of history or bold modern style tests.

When you will be in front of the Albinelli Market take a moment to light up all your senses and have a typical and traditional experience, it will immediately be your sense of smell to react because in the proximity of the market and a little in all the streets of the city from the morning you will smell the scent of ‘soffritto’ and freshly baked bread, to follow your hearing will make you understand the ancient and good manners of making traders and how they spoke to the mother of a family as children, but like her children, she never gets fooled, finally the vista will make your head spin in the bright colors of fruit and vegetables, beautiful pieces of meat ready to cook, the red of genuine wines and the perfection of sweets made as works of art.

After you have tested your watering, move to the Piazza Grande and feed your spirit of art with the historical rooms of the town hall, climbing the tower Ghirlandina and entering the Duomo; this concentrated circuit of palaces, history and art will make you postpone lunch for an hour, to feed the view again with examples of sculpture and architecture beautifully placed in harmony, you will also find curiosities and interesting stories that come from the past, such as that of Secchia or of the strange mythological animals that make up the outer sides of the Duomo, but I leave you to reveal these mysteries.

A passage that I found very nice is the Artistic Craft Market which on the Via Emilia for 6 months a year is the meeting place for artisans from all over Italy who sell unique pieces for material and workmanship and which show the potential of Italian creativity as well as remember the preciousness of objects made by slow and careful hands.

When it is finally time to have lunch you will be spoiled for choice and you will be free to lose yourself between aperitifs in the bars, eat in the market delis or stop in a traditional trattoria; my choice was the Trattoria Aldina which is located on the 1st floor of a condominium and just like a friend’s house hosts you, I highly recommend to book, or to have the patience to wait for a free table, guaranteeing that it’s worth it , feeling at home is the most beautiful experience, feeling like an Italian home is even better.

One thing that I often see are “solitary tourists” who with their beautiful guide try to discover the classic myths of the city or are more curious and go where not even we inhabitants go; there is no single style to visit a city and the best is always the casual one that sometimes leads you to discover by chance the most beautiful wonders.

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