Get lost in the city center and discover Modena’s street food and traditional dishes: a culinary experience in between art and history.
If you’re looking for experiences related to food, art, and cars all in one city, Modena is the right place for you! The hometown of Luciano Pavarotti and Enzo Ferrari, played by Adam Driver in the new Ferrari Movie, is only a hop, skip and a jump from Bologna and is loaded with unique architecture and unbeatable foodie spots. From fine dining restaurants such as Osteria Francescana, to the home of three Michelin star chef Massimo Bottura, there is no shortage of culinary excellence here. Add in the local “Trattorie” with a menu full of traditional dishes and that leaves us with only one question to ask; are you hungry enough to plan a trip to Modena?
Food tour tips
You can’t visit Modena without trying some of its most iconic dishes. The culinary experience that this city has to offer is one of a kind and carries a lot of history and tradition behind its back. Let’s discover Modena’s must-try specialties.
- Crescentine (also known as Tigelle)
Start the tour with Emilia-Romagna’s most popular street food. They’re usually split open and stuffed with a delicious array of cured meats such as Mortadella and Prosciutto Crudo as well as different cheeses to create an incredibly good sandwich.
- Gnocco fritto
This has nothing to do with the Gnocchi you’re used to. It is fried bread dough cut into squares and normally served with a charcuterie board. Gnocco fritto is also part of the typical Modenese breakfast. Try it with some jam on top and a Cappucino on the side, you won’t regret it!
- Tortellini di Modena
The origin of Tortellini has been disputed over the years with both Bologna and Modena taking credit and claiming to be their rightful birthplace. No matter where they’re from, we can assure you they will taste amazing! Tortellini are traditionally stuffed with different meats (pork loin, Prosciutto Crudo, Mortadella) and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, served in a broth. There are many varieties of this dish, and every Italian grandma has her own recipe.
Not only food: discover the city’s history
The city center is the perfect location for a food tour that also allows you to admire the beauty of the streets, monuments, and churches that will surround you during your long walks. Here are a few spots you can’t miss while visiting Modena.
Declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, after nearly 900 years from its foundation, Modena Cathedral has a complex and truly unique architecture. This masterpiece is a magnificent example of Romanesque Art with beautiful details both inside and outside the building: such as statues of fantastic creatures and exotic animals.
Next to the the Cathedral stands the Ghirlandina tower, the city’s symbol. It was given this nickname by the locals due to the double ring of parapets that crown its steeple, looking like garlands, “ghirlande” in Italian.
The square was first and foremost home to the market and meeting place for all citizens. It is now considered the heart of Modena and it’s where both the Cathedral and the Ghirlandina Tower are located.
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