Modena is a little city and municipality on the south side of the Po Valley, in the Province of Modena in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. An ancient town, and seat of an archbishop, it is known for its automotive industry since the factories of the famous Italian sports car makers Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini, Pagani amd Maserati are or were. Located here and all, except Lamborghini, have headquaters in the city or nearby. One of Ferrrari’s cars, the 360 Modena, was named after the town itself.
The University of Modena, expanded by Francesco Este, has traditional strengths in economics, medicine and law and is the second oldest athenaeum in Italy. Italian military officers are trained at the Military Academy of Modena, and partly housed in the Baroque Ducal Palace. The Biblioteca Estense houses historical volumes and 3,000 manuscripts. The Cathedral of Modena, the Torre della Ghirlandina and Piazza Grande are a world heritage site.
Modena is also known in culinary for its production of balsamic vinegar, famous Modenesi include Mary of Modena, the Queen consort of England and Scotland, operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti and soprano Mirella Freni born in Modena itself. Enzo Ferrari, Massimo Bottura. Comic artist Franco Bonvicini and singer songwriter Francesco Guccini, who lived here for several decades.
Main reasons to visit Modena is Ducal Palace, which occupies the site of the former Este Castle, once located in the periphery of the city. The palace has a Baroque façade from which the Honour Court, where the military ceremonies are held, and the Honour Staircase can be accessed. The Town Hall, facing the Piazza Grande the Town Hall of Modena was put together in the 17th and 18th centuries from several pre-existing edifices built from 1046 as municipal offices.
The Cathedral of Modena and the annexed campanile are a World Heritage Site, under the direction of the Countess Matilda of Tuscany with its first stone. Its crypt ready for the city’s patron, Saint Geminianus, and consecrated only six years later, the Duomo of Modena was finished in 1184. The building of a great cathedral in this flood prone ravaged former center of Arianism was an act of urban renewal in itself, and an expression of the flood of piety that motivated the contemporary First Crusade.
Usually, the master builder’s name, Lanfranco, was celebrated in his own day which is the city chronicler expressed the popular confidence in the master mason from Como, Lanfranco by God’s mercy the man was found. Modena has a strong sporting tradition, linked mainly to motor racing as the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari, founder of the eponymous motor racing team and car manufacturer which is based in nearby Maranelllo. The Ferrari 360 Modena was named after the city. Modena is known as the world’s Supercar Capital, being the nearest large town to the homes of Maserati, Lamborghini, Pagani and previously also Buggatti and De Tomaso.
The city has two football clubs, Modena F.C., who currently play in Serie B, the Italian second division, and Carpi whose profile has risen rapidly with two promotions in the last three seasons. They play at the Studio Alberto Braglia, which has also hosted international rugby union. Volleyball plays an important role in Modena’s sport history, with Modena Volley having won 12 National championships, 4 Champion’s League seasons and a handful of other trophies. There is also a baseball club with 50 years’ tradition, it is the Modena BBC currently playing in the A Series of IBL Federal League.
There are many other churches you can visit like San Vincenzo which was erected in the 17th century over a church known from the 13th century. The dome was destroyed during World War 2; this church houses the funerary monuments of the Este Dukes. Santa Maria Della Pomposa also known as Aedes Muratoriana, is probably the most ancient religious edifice, being mentioned as early as 1135.
Little remains of the original Middle Ages temple can be seen. The church is mainly linked to Ludovico Antonio Mutatori who was its parish priest and rebuilt it almost from scratch. San Giovanni Decollato, the church of St. John Baptist Beheaded was built in the 16th century over a preexisting temple dedicated to St. Michael, and modified in the 18th century. And Saant’Agostino, the church of St. Augustine was built I the 14th century, but largely renovated for the funeral of Alfonso IV d’Este.
The sober original structure has now 17th stuccoes and a paneled ceiling. The most notable artwork is the Deposition by the Modenese Antonio Begarelli once in the church of St. John the Baptist.
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