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.
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.
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.
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.
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We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!
The tour was perfect. I think Paolo would be a splendid ambassador for Italy in the EU. He knows how excellent Italian food and eating together can solve many major problems, and can stop aggressive behavior. Not the hunt for more money, but the well being of family and friends counts. Paolo shows us the products of ages of civilization and he did this like an artist. So after the tour we really love Italia more and we'll come back. We will call you Paolo, Thanks!
Following two tours with your guides this week I would like to express my thanks for some wonderful experiences.
Monday we did the tour of cheese making, balsamic and Salami which was very good and the guide Paolo was very knowledgeable.
The truffle hunt tour today was absolutely amazing, the guide Stefano is pure gold and the tour was built with much thought. Our best experience so far, by far.
Looking forward to more tours and fun next time we are in Italy.
The group (and me) was VERY satisfied. We really enjoyed the Parmegiano Regiano which was interesting and we got to buy some delicate and cheap cheese, the same with the balsamico. The Ferrari driving was off course an experience for life. The Winery lunch felt very genuine and the people there was really welcoming and nice people. The genuine feeling there was however the big plus for us.
Paolo was excellent as our guide. He also felt very genuine. He did not talk just for the sake of talking, but when he had something to say he did it in a respectful and nice way. Everyone in the group really liked him.
I wanted to let you know what a great day we had this past Friday on our tour with Jacamo. (Probably not spelling it right) He was very nice and explained everything to us. It sure gives you a new appreciation when you are slicing cheese. 🙂 Our tour ended with him taking us to the vineyard for a tour and lunch and there, Paolo, the owner could not have been more nicer. It was a perfect ending.
Please let Jacamo know what a great job he did and how much we really appreciated it and his knowledge
The website is well structured and we received a prompt answer to all questions. Gabriele supported us with all information we needed and the organization before the trip was excellent.
We had an air conditioned van, which was very relaxing through the whole tour. The first stop was the parmigiano production, which was very impressive and interesting. We could learn and especially see all the different steps and even taste the various aged parmigiano. The second step was the balsamic vinegar tasting. Finally the meat part was interesting in the museum but we hoped that we also could see more about the production and their work, but the tasting was delicious. In overall we had a very informative and well accommodated half day with our guide
It was great experience! We visited Parmesan cheese production, Balsamic vinegar farm, Ham museum and Farmer's lunch. Our guide gave us a detailed explanation, we were very satisfied. An excellent tour for a reasonable price, highly recommended.
Nous sommes une famille de cinq et nous avons adoré notre expérience. Les trois endroits étaient choisis judicieusement. Notre guide était très généreuse et super gentille. Nous recommandons ce tour ( parmesan, vinaigre balsamique et jambon de parme).
My family felt our first trip to Italy must include a tour of a Parmesan Cheese Factory so when I stumbled on this website several months ago I had no idea what I treasure I found! From the moment I submitted a request for the tour, my experience with Emilia Delizia was first rate. Gabriele provided excellent customer service by patiently answering all my questions to guide me through the selection and reservation of our Foodie Delight Tour. Paolo, our driver, was prompt, cordial and knowledgeable about the processes we were observing and the area in general conveying loads of information with his well-developed English speaking skills. Our stop in Modena fell on a Saturday so we were quite fortunate to end up with a private tour which allowed us to have a nice, personal interaction with the people at each site. Everyone was friendly, generous with the tastings and we never felt rushed to move along to the next location. Now that we have returned to the states, my family agrees this tour was a highlight of our 10 day trip. I was really looking forward to this excursion and am glad to report it exceeded my expectations.
Unbelievable!!! Totally recommend the full hour to anyone and was more than I expected.
I also want to recognize Alex Pignone who accompanied me,He was very professional and extremely knowledgeable and made me feel like I have known Him forever and where two friends out for a cruise.
Thank You for allowing me to get one more item off my bucket list.