Known for its medieval history, its auto-making prowess (as home base of both Ferrari and Maserati) and its famous balsamic vinegar, Modena is a treat for visitors of all ages. The 12th-century Romanesque Cathedral of Modena, with its spectacular Ghirlandina bell tower (under restoration until the end of 2010), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just outside of town (and next to the car maker’s factory) in Maranello is Galleria Ferrari, dedicated to the brand and Italian motor racing industry.
Things to do in Modena
4.5 based on 1 reviews
My boyfriend and I were visiting the area and through luck managed to get a last minute spot at this world-famous restaurant. Our excitement was justified in terms of ambience, artistic merit and a delicious meal- albeit not the best I’ve ever had. We opted for the standard tasting menu but were convinced to add in the 5seasons of Parmesan- a fortunate addition as this really was the one outstanding dish. Everything else was however excellent and variety and imagination were what justified the expense if not taste alone.
A minor setback was the initial insistence in speaking English to us- potentially understandable given the mostly international clientele. Unfortunately our waiter’s English was pretty much incomprehensible which resulted in a rather embarrassing conversation where I had to pretend it was my English that was the rate-limiting factor that necessitated a switch to Italian. I in fact prefer to speak Italian in Italy but if you’re hoping to understand the subtleties of your dish in English, this might be worth bearing in mind.
The real reason however for the bitter taste that accompanied me out the restaurant was unfortunately one that is far more serious. I noticed almost immediately that the army of waiters that greeted and served us was entirely made up of men and wondered what the explanation could be. In a world where the majority of waiters are women, why had none reached the pinnacle of waitering jobs and gained employment at Bottura’s restaurant. This question played on my mind throughout the meal until eventually I dared to ask. Through misfortune I asked a waiter who confessed to being relatively new but suggested that it might well be that WOMEN CAN’T MAINTAIN THE SAME WORKING PACE AS MEN. I could barely believe such a comment could have been made- particularly as I am a female doctor who happens to work back-to-back 13 hour night shifts in a busy hospital- a pace that I imagine is certainly no less tough than that at the restaurant. Shocked into silence I left the restaurant wondering- could it really be that a forward-thinking man such as Bottura is actively discriminating against women? Or was it just pure chance that no women were there that day? Either way this waiter’s comment was a somewhat revolting reminder of how women are still often viewed in 2018. What a disappointment!
4.5 based on 2 reviews
Came here with my son on our first night in Modena - and what a wonderful first impression this gave us. The place is a hidden gem in the centre of the town.
Tasty, well presented, interesting food. Home made pasta, local cheeses and hams, tagelle bread - all ticked the right boxes.
The meal was also excellent value - total for the two of us was €56 and included three courses, wine (a nice Sangiovese) and coffees.
Finally our waitress was lovely - helpful, patient and very welcoming and friendly. Her English was great and she explained the various dishes well.
All in all highly recommended.
4.5 based on 311 reviews
We chose to eat here because it was close to our hotel and from the map looked like we could walk to it. And the reviews looked good.
When we got there we found it to be in a very ordinary location on a busy main road with no footpath, so we had to take the car anyway.
It has its own carpark. As we entered the restaurant we went past a large function room which was in use, but the restaurant entrance was quite nice and the greeting most welcoming. We were given a glass of presecco and some crostini while we ordered. I noticed that the prices seemed very reasonable.
Starters looked OK - my lobster spaghetti was very tasty, if a bit rustic. My wife's prawn confection was fine, though apparently lacked flavour. We both had prosciutto-wrapped rabbit fillet. It ate as if it had been pre-cooked and kept warm, which I would think odd as a fillet of rabbit can be pan-fried in just a few minutes. Accompaniments of potato and courgette were massively overcooked, watery and tasteless and the balsamic dressing was unremarkable. We had a very nice Pinot Noir from the Sudtirol. We declined desserts so the waiter brought us a plate of excellent petit fours - a nice touch.
During our meal, the very loud band in the function room started their set and there was a procession of people from the function walking to and from the toilets past the open front of the restaurant. Some unsupervised children burst into our room at one point.
All in all, it has some of the touches of a classy restaurant and service was engaging and professional. However, the quality of the food was really disappointing, somewhere just below the standard of an ordinary local trattoria. And the function room is a problem if you just want a quiet dinner.
4.5 based on 613 reviews
... Good Traditional Emilian Food and Original Balsamic Vinegar ...
After visiting Venice and Florence, we took a detour to Modena to see the Ferrari museum. We were looking for a place to eat and stumbled upon this gem. Lovely grounds and true Italian atmosphere. We opted for the tasting menu and were not disappointed! The food was excellent and prepared in house.The dessert tray was a sight to see and tasted great too. It was during the week near the end of lunch hour, so there was only one other table of locals. The hostess was very pleasant and helpful. Grazie Mille!
4.5 based on 461 reviews
On the 25th of April 1991 the Restaurant Europa 92 opened in the Modena countryside. The restaurant, highly sought after, loved and attentively attended by the great master Luciano Pavarotti, has always been a meeting point for gourmets and lovers of the typical flavors of Modenesi.
The best place to go for a meal, especially on a Sunday. We speak English, they spoke very little but between us we managed well. They were brillant. The waiters were fab. We loved the older gentleman who kissed my hand at the end of the night. The atmosphere was fab the service incredible and food perfecto!!!!! What can I say. Go visit them and the plus side is it is a favourite haunt of Pavarotti!
4.5 based on 485 reviews
This restaurant, tucked away in an unassuming location on the outskirts of Modena, serves the finest, most carefully prepared and presented Italian food. My wife and I and another couple recently had lunch there, and it was among the best meals I have ever had. Each dish was explained to us, and featured a variety of different flavors, each recognizable, but together forming a harmonious taste sensation.
The staff is friendly and attentive; the Chef came to our table to take our order (which allowed him to instantly answer my wife's question about getting a dish without mushrooms). Dessert was preceded by the "pre-dessert" and followed by the "post-dessert". Yeah, our wives were happy.
The food is relatively expensive but, in this instance, you get what you pay for. Highest recommendation.
4.5 based on 1 reviews
Wonderful restaurant with amazing food served in a great location. Lots of interesting dishes and wine list. Definitely worth a visit when in Modena.
4.5 based on 465 reviews
This place has won the award for the best Gnoccho Fritto in the world and the reputation is merited 100%. It is very simple and there is often a pretty long queue, the gnoccho Fritto was truly exceptional. Great cold cuts and cheeses, friendly warm and efficient service and very fair prices. Will come back again on our biannual trips to Modena. Top destination and great atmosphere.
4.5 based on 148 reviews
Piccolo ed elegante locale, vicino al centro di Modena, dove assaporare pesce crudo dalla Sicilia e le ostriche dalla Bretagna. Specializzati in metodi classici dall'Italia e dalla francia.
Elegant dining experience.
Although there was limited vegetarian options on the menu (the restaurant specialises in fish dishes) we enjoyed a beautiful meal of spinach and ricotta tortelloni in sage butter and typical Modena Deserts. All paired with a beautiful light sparkling rose wine.
The waiter spoke excellent English.
Catered for nut allergy without a problem.
A little pricey but worth it for a romantic and classy dining experience.
Obvious a place for locals rather than tourists which makes it a more authentic dining experience.
Would highly recommend.
4.5 based on 107 reviews
You have to book in advance, because it's very popular, and because this little place can only serve less than 20 people.
The restaurant is at an entrance to the city hall square. Actually it's in the back of a traditional salumeria (which is 400 years old!). When we arrived for lunch at 12:30, the shuttle door was rolled down. A neighbor gentleman simply raised the shuttle door and told us to go straight in. We were warmly greeted by the staff (later we learned that they are all memembers of the owner family) and ushered to the back. The tables are laid in a cosy semi-basement room. Then we realized why they have to close the salumeria at lunch time - not enough hands to run the shop, everyone's come to help on the restaurant side.
The dishes are simple but amazingly delicious. Coldcuts, cheeses, wines and traditional vinegar. That's for sure because they've been selling those ingredients for hundreds of years, they really know the good food. In our opinion, the lunch was sufficiently Modena, a capital of fine Italian food.
After main dishes were served for every table, the cook came out to greet us. It was Mommy of the family. Good Italian food is often mommy or granny food, as we have found out. Young daughter's the waitress. Her brothers help to cook and serve. Eating there let us feel becoming part of a local family.
In the desert part, remember to order their home-made gelato. It was dressed with some traiditional balsamic vinegar. 35 years old! (Later we tried to buy a little bottle in the front shop, but gave up after learning about its price.) A few drops would make the icecream to glitter and shine.
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