Piazza Grande is the heart of Modena: you can there admire the medieval cathedral and the Ghirlandina tower – both have been recognized by Unesco as heritage of mankind – and the Town Hall, a structure composed of various buildings that sprang up over the centuries starting in the Middle Ages and that is still today seat of the Municipality.
In the nearest Piazza Roma you will find the 17th century Ducal Palace, headquarters of the Military Academy.
Coming back to via Emilia you can continue towards Piazza S.Agostino where you can visit the church of the same name and admire the splendid “Mourning the body of Christ” by Begarelli.
Still on the same side where the church rises, is the Palazzo dei Musei, the seat of many prestigious cultural institutes, such as the Municipal Museums, the Estense Gallery housing one of the most important Italian collections which reflects the interest the Estenses had in painting and sculpture, but also in archaeology and other minor arts, the Estense Epigraphic Museum with many exhibits of high artistic value and the Estense Library which preserves precious illuminated codes from the 14th to the 16th century.
Visit Modena in half day:
MODENA. Originally a Roman city, after the time of the communes it passed to the Este family, who kept it even after they had lost Ferrara. We will concentrate our attention on two buildings. First is the Cathedral (1099-1184) which is, along with San Zeno in Verona and the Baptistery of Parma, one of the highest points reached by Romanesque architecture in Italy.
Both because of Lanfranco’s noble, austere architectural plan and because of the remarkable sculpture by Wiligelmo, the greatest master of the day, Modena Cathedral makes am overpowering impression on the visitor.
The high tower, known as the Torre della Ghirlandina, was built by Arrigo da Campione in 1319. Following Via Cesare Battisti, we come to the vast Ducal Palace (1634), now a military academy. From here, down Via Belle Arti and Via Ramazzini we make our way to the Palazzo dei Musei, which houses the Este Library (with the celebrated Borso d’Este Bible, the masterpiece of Italian illumination), the important Este Collection of Medals, and, above all, the extensive Pictures Gallery, with paintings by Costae Tura, Cima da Conegliano, Dossi, Garofolo, Veronese, Tintoretto, Bassano, Cur reggio, Nicolb dell’Abate, El Greco and Velasquez.
Courtesy in part of Modena Tourist Office