In Modena amongst history and tradizione. From the seeds of independence to the folk carnival.

It’s about 50 kilometers to Modena and we decide to do it in one go. In 1831 the city was one of the first centers of rebellion against Austrian rule in an attempt to gain independence. These insurrections did not achieve the hoped-for result and ended in bloodshed: the actions of Italian patriots had nevertheless shaken-up the minds of the people and were an incentive for subsequent decisive revolutionary action 30 years later. When visiting this city, one must not forget the Cathedral, a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the most important Romanesque monuments in Italy and Europe. Then in the town square, Modena’s carnival, a great big celebration and a very popular traditional event. The undisputed centerpiece is the local mask, the Sandròun, symbol of sly cunning and rustic peasant intelligence.

Talking about Modena from a culinary perspective, we can’t fail to mention its famous balsamic vinegar, the authentic king of the table. A product documented as far back as the year one-thousand: a particularly fine vinegar, based on cooked Trebiano and Lambrusco grape must. Flat-bread (tigelle) and stuffed pig’s trotters (zampone) are two of the town’s most popular specialities.

RISTORANTE ANTICA MOKA

Via Emilia Est, 1496

41126 Modena

Telephone: 059 284008

www.anticamoka.it

Labyrinths and bamboo: Masone Park is a must-see.

Let’s set out once more, the last stretch of the bewitching Via Emilia awaits us. We pass by Reggio Emilia and Parma to reach another characteristic town. Fidenza is one of the last places in the province of Parma and is famous for the miracle of the Roman Domninus, Chamberlain to the Emperor Maximilian, beheaded by the Romans in 296 AD for converting to Christianity. Legend has it that after his beheading he collected his own head and walked a few steps with it, letting it fall onto the spot where the cathedral now stands. In the town center we also find the little square of Sambòt, a splendid glimpse of the middle-ages with the apse of the cathedral dedicated to San Domninus as a backdrop. If you have time for a small detour, it’s worth visiting the Masone Labyrinth, about 10 km away. It’s a culture-park covering approximately 7 hectares including the labyrinth, the largest of its kind in the world, which is made up of various sorts of bamboo. Opened in 2015, this site is one of the major tourist attractions in the area.

Località Fornio, 78

43036 Fidenza

Telephone: 0524 60118

www.osteriafornio.it

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