At 13 Km: Modena
Modena is enjoyable in every season and has extraordinary beauties to offer to tourists. These beauties are all concentrated in its graceful historic centre, and narrate the splendour of a city that for a long time was the capital of a duchy under the Este lords, who resided here from 1598. UNESCO has acknowledged the universal value of the city’s monumental treasures by declaring the Cathedral, Piazza Grande and the Ghirlandina Tower Unesco world heritage.
Piazza Grande is the heart-beat of Modena and the place where the most significant and most-loved monuments are located. The Cathedral is the work of great architect Lanfranco and master sculptor Wiligelmo. It is one of the finest masterpieces of European Romanesque. Piazza Grande is also home to the Palazzo Comunale. Its construction took place over several different stages starting from the Middle Ages and is currently home to the Town Hall. Not far from the Ghirlandina Tower, there is the 1600s Ducal Palace the work of Bartolomeo Avanzini and today home to the prestigious Military Academy.
Via Emilia, the important Roman road that crosses the city, leads to Piazza Sant’Agostino dominated by the Church of Sant’Agostino itself, the interior of which has an admirable and splendid “Lament for Christ Crucified” by Begarelli, a 1500s sculptor from Modena. There is also Palazzo dei Musei, home to numerous cultural institutes and art collections, such as the Civic Museum of Art, the Archeological Ethnological Museum and the Estense Gallery an important collection that bears witness to the interest of the Este lords in all kinds of art, as well as the Estense Library, with precious XIV-XVI century codex with miniature illustrations.
Enriching the city landscape is the spectacular MEF-Enzo Ferrari Museum opened in March 2012. This recently restored structure commemorates Enzo Ferrari in the house where he was born, with an exhibition which tells about the most important events of his extraordinary life, with the support of modern multimedia. There is also an art gallery, which is currently hosting temporary exhibitions about Ferrari’s career and cars, and the main stars and competitions of this Modena brand of race cars.
The illustrious Palazzo Santa Margherita houses the Museo della Figurina. This is a collection passionately operated by Giuseppe Panini that gathers picture cards as well as item akin in tecnique and function.
Every year in September, the Philosophy Festival animates the city for three days with lessons and conferences by leading contemporary philosophers and thinkers, who entertain audiences in the squares, theatres and churches of the city centre; exhibitions and installations, readings and performances, shows and films, concerts, games and great lunches.
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