Supercars, Super Foods of Modena

Connoisseurs of wonderful cars and superb cuisine will find a holiday in the delightful medieval town of Modena in northern Italy most rewarding.  Modena and near-by Parma are the home of Italy’s greatest exports, Parma Ham, Parmesan Cheese, Balsamic vinegar and, of course, Ferrari and Maserati.  Plan your next holiday to include enough time in this region to get a true taste of some of the best that Italy has to offer.  Here are some of the attractions that you must include in your holiday plans.

Romanesque cathedral

Cathedral of Modena

Hombre Farm – Motorvalley Panini Collection Tour.

Matteo Panini is a young farmer in the region, one of many Parmesan cheese producers, who also happens to  have an amazing collection of motor vehicles which have been passed down to him from his illustrious family which included his father Umberto, who together with his brothers Benito, Franco and Guiseppe, invented the famous Panini stickers.

The motor collection started with tractors, which all farmers needed, and one of the exhibits is a 1934 Landini, still in perfect working order.  After tractors came motorcycles, the most common mode of transport after WWII, and after that came the wonderful cars, featuring examples from Maserati that are thought to be the most important collection of these super cars in the world.  In addition to Italian motor vehicles, there are also many examples from other countries such as British motorbikes from Norton, and even a Messerschmitt car and a Lotus!

A visit to the Hombre farm is an excellent family day trip.  First visit the dairy, where 12 wheels of Parmesan are produced daily, and then enjoy the motor museum.

20120512-214621.jpg

The Maserati Eldorado at the Panini Museum

Osteria Francescana

No culinary visit to Modena would be complete without having a meal at this wonderful restaurant, the brain-child of world-renowned chef Massimo Bottura, who grew up in Modena and developed his love of cooking by watching his mother prepare food.  Massimo has come a long way since then!  His food is a modern interpretation of classic Italian cuisine, but this chef, who has worked with some of the big names of the culinary world, such as Alain Ducasse and Ferran Adrio (of El Bulli) is forever pushing the boundaries.  He won his first Michelin star in 2002, a second in 2006 and a third in 2011, as well as numerous other awards and distinctions.  This year, 2013, La Francescana came in 3rd of the 50 best restaurants in the world.  Of course you have to book well in advance, and of course it is expensive, but it is worth it!  His signature dish for 2013 is called Camouflage – a hare in the woods; it is made up of a thin layer of foie gras decorated with various powders composed of hare blood, chestnut and several herbs – perhaps this dish is not for everyone, but it is an example of the chefs’ innovation.  Of course, there are more conventional dishes to suit all palates.

osteria francescana met Bottura

Chef Massimo Bottura at his restaurant La Francescana in Modena – Source

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Genuine Balsamic Vinegar has been produced in Modena for centuries, and is a unique artisanal product, completely unlike regular vinegar.  The basic ingredient is grape Must (juice) from predominantly Trebbiano grapes (sometimes with the addition of Lambrusco grapes).  The must is simmered (never boiled!) for a lengthy period to reduce and concentrate the liquid.  This liquid is then allowed to ferment and mature for a minimum of 12 years in the case on a “true” Balsamic.  This wonderful product, known as Black Gold, can sometimes be matured as long as 25 years and a new batch is traditionally started to mark the birth of a baby girl, and treasured to become a part of her dowry!  Balsamic vinegar should be used sparingly – just a drop or two to enhance a sliver of Parmesan or a slice of Parma Ham.  Make sure to visit one of the Balsamic producers of Modena during your visit to learn the process of the production, learn how to use it, taste the wonderful nectar and, of course, buy some to take home with you to remind you of Modena.

ACETO2

The 2 Ferrari museums – Casa natale Enzo Ferrari Vs Maranello Ferrari Museum

This article wants to tackle the dilemma of the 2 Ferrari Museums that are now available now in Modena and Maranello, and visitors seems to be confused about which is the best.

 

Maranello Ferrari Museum.

This is located about 30 minutes from Modena and it easily reached by car and attempting to go by public transport is going to be stressful if you do not know what you are doing. However you can purchase a shuttle bus ticket from the other Ferrari Museum in central Modena that will allow you to go to Maranello for a a reasonable fee. You should check for details on their website.

The Maranello structure is the one that everyone knows about, it has been built in the 1970s and it is next to the factory and the Fiorano track, so it has all the historical value that you will ever find. Inside you will find some collections of vintage Ferrari plus a collection of Formula one cars. The Maranello museum offers the possibility to tour the factory ground by shuttle bus. However you will not enter the production facility. Tickets are  priced at 14 euros for the museum, and 14 euros for the shuttle tour. The museum also has  a cafe’ and a souvenir store. To visit the museum you will need about 45 minutes.

Ferrari F1/89

The Maranello museum – a collection of F1 cars – source

Casa natale Enzo Ferrari museum in Modena.

This is the newly opened Ferrari museum in Modena, and it is located about 5 minutes from the station. This museum is housed in a fancy structure designed by  Jan Kaplicky and  it resemble to a Ferrari car bonnet. Inside you have a collection of vintage Ferraris, and sometimes other cars designed by Enzo in collaboration with other car manufacturers such as Stanguellini or Maserati. In fact the museum hosts regular themed exhibitions. The yellow structure is also attached to Enzo Ferrari house where you can learn about the designer life from this interactive part of the museum. There is also a restaurant that offers fancy dishes from the traditional Modenese cuisine. If you want to learn more about Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari please continue reading here

Canza Enzo Ferrari

Ferrari museum in central Modena

Which is the best Ferrari museum?

Both have pros and cons, it depends what are your priorities, if you have time you should stay in Modena and visit them both. You can take the shuttle bus from Casa Enzo Ferrari and then go to Maranello without struggling with public transport or renting a car.

What is good at the Maranello Ferrari museum?

It is at the historical site of the Ferrari factory, with possibilities to drive the car from 3rd parties companies around the museum  the crowds are here at the moment as it is the most famous site for Ferrari cars. The museum is definitely good for die hard Ferrari F1 fans.

What is not so good at the Maranello museum?

The museum is not easily accessible by public transport, but now you can use the shuttle bus from Modena Casa Enzo Ferrari.The museum is also dated and the exhibitions quite static, so there are no many fancy exhibitions going on. It is not  so interesting for those wanting to know more about the history behind Ferrari

What is good at the Modena Casa Enzo Ferrari museum?

It is a stone throw from Modena central Station, ideal if you do not have much time. It is a flamboyant modern structure, with themed exhibitions that are changed time to time. A real chance to learn about the cars and the people behind the marque.

What the cons at the Modena Casa Enzo Ferrari museum?

It is not at the historical site of the factory. However there are companies that allows you to drive Ferrari cars around. It is not so much about modern F1 cars.