The classic tour of the half-day historic center of Modena begins with a visit to the outside of the Palazzo Ducale. The palace was built on the remains of a medieval fortress by the Este family as soon as Modena became the new capital of the duchy in the early seventeenth century. The majestic Bernini-inspired façade presents a Baroque stylistic unity despite the enlargements that followed until the last century. It is now the headquarters of the Military Academy for Cadet Officers.
We pass through the Jewish ghetto created by Francesco I d’Este in 1638. Here the Modena Jewish community continues to meet in the synagogue, a monumental nineteenth-century building
We arrive in Piazza Grande, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The square is the center of city life and many elements show us the public importance of the place. Here we will visit the Duomo and, next to it, we will see the bell tower of Ghirlandina: those are extraordinary buildings initiated by Wiligelmo and Lanfranco, two of the greatest exponents of the Romanesque in Europe, and finished with Gothic lines at the beginning of the XIV century by the Campionesi Masters. Here there are also the precious relics of San Geminiano, patron saint of the city.
From the square, we will then enter in the Palazzo Comunale with its prestigious frescoes and the famous “Stolen Bucket” during the battle of Zappolino in 1325.
In case of free lunch, the visit could end at the characteristic covered market Albinelli, inaugurated in 1931, where it is possible to introduce the products of the area, as the Lambrusco wine, the traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena and the Parmigiano Reggiano.
The visiting order of the monuments is not the one listed above and is adjusted according to the needs of visitors. We do not assume responsibility for ticket increases or changes of monuments opening hours that may occur during the year.
For some questions you find a faster answer here than writing us:
Where can I park?
If you are by car, the parking Libero in Piazza Ten An Men and the one at Via Manfredo Fanti behind the train station are free. They are both a 15/20 minute walking from the city center. Otherwise you can park at the Novi Park car park, € 1 per hour, € 8 all day. There are also many areas with parking meters in the historic center.
If you are by bus the most convenient drop off/ drop on point is near the Teatro Storchi in Largo Garibaldi or at the bus station next to the Novisad park.
Where do I meet the guide?
If you are already in the city center the guide can meet you at your hotel, at a restaurant or in front of the Cathedral entrance. If you arrive directly for the guided tour then the guide can pick you up in the car parks or at the drop off/ drop on points.
Can mobility impaired people enter everywhere?
The monuments of this itinerary are also accessible for mobility impaired people except some little areas (eg. the Duomo’s crypt).
There will be entry fees for the monuments?
Is it necessary to book the entrance at the monuments?
It is mandatory to book the Duomo (rules and procedures on http://www.duomodimodena.it/regolamento-visite-duomo-modena/) and strongly recommended to book the Palazzo Comunale.
Is it possible to pay the tickets in advance or with credit card?
There are no entry fees.
Where are the tourist information offices?
There is one under the arcades of Palazzo Comunale.
Are there public toilets?
Yes, in Piazza XX Settembre, close to Piazza Grande – € 0,50 per person.