Emilia Romagna - Places to Visit - Modena
Situated at 34 m. above sea level on the plain confined by the rivers Secchia and Panaro; the Via Emilia runs through the urban area.
Ancient centre of the Ligurians, in 183 BC. the city became a Roman colony, known as Mutina, an important agricultural and commercial market.
After the Barbarian invasions, it flourished again under the Canossas (11th-12th century), as a free municipality and later, in the 13th century, passed under the rule of the Estensis, who held it until the French Revolution.
After 1815 Modena was an Austrian possession until 1860 when it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.
Monuments: The Duomo (Romanesque - 12th-13th century, sculptures by Wiligelmo), the Ghirlandine (a tower, 86 m. high-14th century), the Palazzo Ducale (17th century, now seat of the Military Academy), the Palazzo Comunale (12th century), the church of San Francesco (Gothic), the Pantheon degli Estensi (17th century).
With regard to the economy, Modena is an important commercial centre, and a junction of road and rail communications.
In addition to traditional agricultural activities and animal husbandry, other flourishing industries are notably in the food (hams, zamponi, Lambrusco wine, dairy products), engineering (agricultural machinery), chemical, and electronics sectors.
Events: Carnival with the masques of the `Famiglia Pavironica', the agricultural fair (April).
Famous People: Alessandro Tassoni (poet, 1565-1655), Paolo Ferrari (playwright, 1822-1889), Ciro Menotti (patriot, 1798-1831), Gabriele Falloppio (anatomist, 1523-1562).
Cultural Institutions: (14th-18th century, paintings of the Emilian and Venetian school and by Carracci, Tintoretto, Veronese, Reni, etc.), Museo Estense, Museo Archeologico (archeological museum), Galleria Campori, Museo Lapidario (lapidary museum), Biblioteca Estense (library), Museo del Risorgimento (historical museum), botanical garden, Museo Mineralogico (mineralogical museum), Museo Paleozoologico (paleo-zoological museum), University (founded in the 12th century).
In the Province: Carpi (agricultural and industrial centre), Sassuolo (ceramic industry, production of `Nocino', a walnut liqueur), Maranello (Ferrari racing cars), Vignola (famous for its cherries), Mirandola, Pavullo nel Frignano.