The perfect weekend in Modena? Strolling through the historic center, among works of art and trattorias where you can sample tortellini and gnocco fritto … for breakfast too.

Does the mention of Modena immediately make your mouth water? You are not alone: this is the home of the culinary arts, but the city’s allure certainly does not end there. Indeed, the city has a dual soul: it attracts not only foodies, but also connoisseurs of art and culture. Here is how to organize the perfect weekend in Modena to discover them both.

A stroll under the porticoes: what to visit in Modena

Let’s start from the city center. Located in the heart of the historic center, Piazza Grande is the site of a splendid Romanesque-style cathedral, flanked by the bell tower known as the Ghirlandina because of its marble decorations. The Duomo and Torre Civica are so beautiful and of such historical and artistic interest that Ferrara’s Piazza Grande has been named a UNESCO heritage site.

Weekend a Modena ecco cosa fare e dove mangiare - Piazza Grande

Paintings and aristocratic furnishings – a visit to the Estense Gallery

Having explored the city’s iconic monuments, let’s stay on the subject of masterpieces and focus on the paintings on display at the Estense Gallery, a few minutes’ walk from Piazza Grande.

Stroll between the canvases and admire the collection of the Dukes of Este as well as numerous later acquisitions. Some examples? The Pietà di Cima da Conegliano and the Triptych by El Greco just to mention some of the most prestigious works.

What to eat in Modena: homemade pasta

Modena’s food and trattorias are undoubtedly among the great prides of the city. There are numerous places to eat in Modena without spending a lot, including bars where you can taste gnocco fritto (yes, Modena’s locals call it “the” gnocco fritto!). In fact, this beloved typical specialty is also eaten for breakfast dipped in cappuccino. For an energy boost, here’s the perfect excuse!

What if you’re still hungry? Modena is famous for the bounty of its tortellini and for its rivalry with those of Bologna in terms of dough and stuffing. Some time ago, we recommended the best places to eat tortellini in Bologna. Taste them, try those of Modena, too and vote for the winner!


Weekend a Modena ecco cosa fare e dove mangiare - tortellini

What to do in Modena: a journey through tradition

Also starring in Modena’s cuisine are artisanal cured meats and a prized condiment: balsamic vinegar, to which even a museum has been dedicated just outside the city, in Spilamberto, also famous for its nocino liqueur.
Traditional cuisine in Modena is a serious thing, so much so that one of the unmissable restaurants where you can try Emilian cuisine is also the best restaurant in the world. We are talking about Massimo Bottura’s Three Michelin Stared Osteria Francescana, an ode to tradition in a revisited and exclusive style. The perfect reason to organize a weekend in Modena.


Weekend a Modena ecco cosa fare e dove mangiare - Osteria Francescana

© Osteria Francescana

To Modena with Italo

After you’ve compiled all your ideas for your weekend in the city, all that’s left to do is plan the trip. Take advantage of high-speed rail and combined train + Italobus solutions to reach Modena: from Reggio Emilia, for example, you can count on four daily connections and also travel swiftly from Florence, Rome, and Naples. There are many reasons to visit this enchanting city, including tortellini, art,  and the Ferrari Museum. Ready for your weekend in Modena? ?