Modena Travel Guide

Where Balsamic Excellence Meets Automotive Heritage. Discover the world's finest vinegar, Ferrari's birthplace, and culinary treasures.

What is perhaps the world’s most expensive condiment, Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena, has put this lovely, small Italian city on the map of epicureans worldwide. It is perfection with its inky black color, pungently sweet taste, and thick, syrupy consistency. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena inspires passion in Modena – where vinegar producers carefully age their creations for decades – and beyond – where connoisseurs happily pay as much as €500 per bottle for the most elite balsamic vinegar. The delicacy is at the heart of the city’s culinary tradition and tourist trade.

Settled in the Iron Age but later abandoned, Modena was founded by the Romans (who called it “Mutina”) in 183 BC. Sitting on the southern side of the Po Valley in what is now the heart of Italy’s northern Emilia-Romagna region, this was a fertile area with an excellent transportation network. During the 14th century, the Este family came to power and held control until 1598, when the city fell to the Pope. Modena was under Austrian rule from 1814 until 1860, when the territory became part of a unified Italy.

Modena’s excellence in gastronomy is comparable only to its automotive excellence. The town is also famous as Ferrari’s birthplace and Maserati’s home. Just beyond Modena’s center stands a monument to Enzo Ferrari, who lived nearby and opened the first Ferrari office in the 1930s. The Maserati factory, still in operation, is not far away. On the outskirts of town, you can visit the Panini Museum, where a high-end Parmesan cheesemaker has a fabulous collection of Maserati cars. Another famous son of Modena is Pavarotti, the great opera tenor.

Sports cars are in evidence in Modena, but modern automobiles won’t be your focus as you stroll through the heart of the old city. Instead, headfirst to the pulsating Piazza Grande, a busy plaza ringed by the Cathedral, the town hall, and the Ghirlandina Tower. Next, stop at the city’s cultural highlight, the Palazzo dei Musei, where several museums (many of them based upon the collections of the noble Este family) showcase Italian art and artifacts.

These days, Modena attracts foodies worldwide as it is on the “Gourmet Route” of Italy and home to fantastic restaurants and gourmet shops. Balsamic Vinegar, Parma and Culatello hams, and Parmigiano cheese are all locally made products in the fantastically welcoming region of Emilia Romagna.


  • Balsamic Vinegar with Parmesan Cheese
    Balsamic Vinegar with Parmesan Cheese

    Gastronomy & Wine


  • Piazza Grande

    The soul of Modena, this beautiful plaza is lined with some of the city’s main sights, including the Duomo and the Ghirlandina Tower.

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  • Duomo

    Begun in 1099 and finished a century later, this grand church boasts a beautiful rose window and three naves. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.

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  • Ghirlandina Tower

    Declared a UNESCO world heritage building, the bell tower standing near the Duomo was built in the 13th century and is one of the distinctive features of Modena’s skyline.

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  • Ducal Palace

    Now the headquarters of the military academy, this 17th-century palace dominates the Piazza Roma with its elaborate, Baroque façade.

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  • Piazza San Agostino

    Another lovely plaza, this one is home to the Church of San Agostino, home of beautiful works of art like Begarelli’s “Mourning the Body of Christ.”

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  • Palazzo dei Musei

    The “Museum Palace” is, as its name indicates, replete with art and cultural museums. The Municipal Museum, the Estense Gallery (an important Italian painting, sculpture and archaeological collection from the Este family), the Estense Epigraphic Museum and the Estense Library.

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Cellar Tours Private Luxury Food & Wine Tours

Cellar Tours

Welcome to Cellar Tours, the premier Luxury Travel Specialist since 2003. Our goal is to provide you with the ultimate food and wine vacation experience, with exclusive Mercedes chauffeured tours that showcase the best of local cuisine and wines.

Our team specializes in crafting bespoke, custom-designed vacations, events, and incentives tailored to your unique tastes and preferences. Travel is not just about seeing new places - it's about creating unforgettable memories and indulging in the finer things in life.

As members of Slow Food, OTAVA (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), we promote sustainable tourism and support local communities. We work closely with top-rated hotels, restaurants, and wineries to provide you with the highest level of service and attention to detail.

Whether you're planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a corporate retreat, let Cellar Tours be your guide. With our passion for food and wine, extensive knowledge of local culture, and dedication to exceptional customer service, we're confident we can exceed your expectations.

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