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—  Comune  —
Comune di Modena
Modena Cathedral (left) and City Hall (right)
Modena is located in Italy
Location of Modena in Italy
Coordinates: 44°39′N 10°56′E / 44.65°N 10.933°E / 44.65; 10.933Coordinates: 44°39′N 10°56′E / 44.65°N 10.933°E / 44.65; 10.933
Country Italy
Region Emilia-Romagna
Province Modena (MO)
Frazioni Albareto, Baggiovara, Ca' Fusara, Cognento, Cittanova, Collegara, Ganaceto, Lesignana, Marzaglia, Navicello, Portile, San Damaso, San Donnino, Tre Olmi, Villanova
 - Mayor Giorgio Pighi
 - Total 182.7 km2 (70.5 sq mi)
Elevation 34 m (112 ft)
Population (21 December 2009)
 - Total 183,069
 Density 1,002/km2 (2,595.2/sq mi)
 - Demonym Modenesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 41100
Dialing code 059
Patron saint San Geminiano
Saint day January 31
Website Official website

Modena About this sound listen (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmɔːdena]; Mòdna in Modenese dialect) is a city and comune (municipality) on the south side of the Po valley, in the Province of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.

An ancient town, it is the seat of an archbishop, but is now best known as "the capital of engines", since the factories of the famous Italian sports car makers Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini, Pagani and Maserati are, or were, located here and all, except Lamborghini, have headquarters in the city or nearby. Lamborghini is headquartered not far away in Sant'Agata Bolognese, in the adjacent Province of Bologna. One of Ferrari's cars, the 360 Modena, was named after the town itself. Also, one of the colors for Ferraris is Modena yellow.

The University of Modena, founded in 1175 and expanded by Francesco II d'Este in 1686, has traditional strengths in Economics, Medicine and Law and is the second oldest Atheneum in Italy, sixth in the whole world. Italian officers are trained at the Italian Military Academy, located in Modena, and partly housed in the Baroque ducal palace. The Biblioteca Estense houses historical volumes and 3,000 manuscripts.

Modena is well known in culinary circles for its production of balsamic vinegar.

Famous Modenesi include Mary of Modena, the Queen consort of England; operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007) and soprano Mirella Freni, born in Modena itself; Enzo Ferrari (1898 – 1988) eponymous founder of the Ferrari motor company; the Catholic Priest and Senior Exorcist of Vatican Gabriele Amorth; and the rock singer Vasco Rossi who was born in Zocca, one of the 47 comuni in the Province of Modena.



Modena lies on the Pianura Padana, and is bounded by the two rivers Secchia and Panaro, both affluents of the Po River. Their presence is symbolized by the Two Rivers Fountain in the city's center, by Giuseppe Graziosi. The city is connected to the Panaro by the Naviglio channel.

The Apennines ranges begin some 10 km from the city, to the south.

The commune is divided into four circoscrizioni. These are:

  • Centro storico (Historical Center, San Cataldo)
  • Crocetta (San Lazzaro-East Modena, Crocetta)
  • Buon Pastore (Buon Pastore, Sant'Agnese, San Damaso)
  • San Faustino (S.Faustino-Saliceta San Giuliano, Madonnina-Quattro Ville)

Modena has a temperate climate. It experiences hot, humid summers with little rainfall and cold, damp winters.



Ancient times

The territory around Modena (Latin: Mutina, Etruscan: Muoina) was inhabited by the Villanovans in the Iron Age, and later by Ligurian tribes, Etruscans, and the Gaulish Boii (the settlement itself being Etruscan). Although the exact date of its foundation is unknown, it is known that it was already in existence in the 3rd century BC, for in 218 BC, during Hannibal's invasion of Italy, the Boii revolted and laid siege to the city. Livy described it as a fortified citadel where Roman magistrates took shelter. The outcome of the siege is not known, but the city was most likely abandoned after Hannibal's arrival. Mutina was refounded as a Roman colony in 183 BC, to be used as a military base by Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, causing the Ligurians to sack it in 177 BC. Nonetheless, it was rebuilt, and quickly became the most important centre in Cisalpine Gaul, both because of its strategic importance and because it was on an important crossroads between Via Aemilia and the road going to Verona.

A view of Piazza Grande.

In the 1st century BC Mutina was besieged twice. The first siege was by Pompey in 78 BC, when Mutina was defended by Marcus Junius Brutus (a populist leader, not to be confused with his son, Caesar's most well known assassin). The city eventually surrendered out of hunger, and Brutus fled, only to be slain in Regium Lepidi. In the civil war following Caesar's assassination, the city was besieged once again, this time by Mark Antony, in 44 BC, and defended by Decimus Junius Brutus. Octavian relieved the city with the help of the Senate.

Cicero called it Mutina splendidissima ("most beautiful Mutina") in his Philippics (44 BC). Until the 3rd century AD, it kept its position as the most important city in the newly formed Aemilia, but the fall of the Empire brought Mutina down with it, as it was used as a military base both against the barbarians and in the civil wars. It is said that Mutina was never sacked by Attila, for a dense fog hid it (a miracle said to be provided by Saint Geminianus, bishop and patron of Modena), but it was eventually buried by a great flood in the 7th century and abandoned.

As of December, 2008, Italian researchers have discovered the pottery center where the oil lamps that lit the ancient Roman empire were made. Evidence of the pottery workshops emerged in Modena, in central-northern Italy, during construction work to build a residential complex near the ancient walls of the city. "We found a large ancient Roman dumping filled with pottery scraps. There were vases, bottles, bricks, but most of all, hundreds of oil lamps, each bearing their maker's name," Donato Labate, the archaeologist in charge of the dig, stated.

Middle Ages

Its exiles founded a new city a few miles to the northwest, still represented by the village of Cittanova (literally "new city"). About the end of the 9th century, Modena was restored and refortified by its bishop, Ludovicus. At about this time the Song of the Watchmen of Modena was composed. Later the city was part of the possessions of the Countess Matilda of Tuscany, becoming a free commune starting from the 12th century. In the wars between Emperor Frederick II and Pope Gregory IX Modena sided with the emperor.

The Este family were identified as lords of Modena from 1288 (Obizzo d'Este). After the death of Obizzo's successor (Azzo VIII, in 1308) the commune reasserted itself, but by 1336 the Este family was permanently in power. Under Borso d'Este Modena was made a duchy.

Modern age

Enlarged and fortified by Ercole II, it was made the primary ducal residence when Ferrara, the main Este seat, fell to the Pope in 1598. Francesco I d'Este (1629-1658) built the citadel and began the palace, which was largely embellished by Francesco II. In the 18th century, Rinaldo d'Este was twice driven from his city by French invasions, and Francesco III built many of Modena's public buildings, but the Este pictures were sold and many of them wound up in Dresden. Ercole III died in exile at Treviso, having refused Napoleonic offers of compensation when Modena was made part of the Napoleonic Cispadane Republic. His only daughter, Maria Beatrice d'Este, married Ferdinand of Austria, son of Maria Theresa, and in 1814 their eldest son, Francesco IV, received back the estates of the Este. Quickly, in 1816, he dismantled the fortifications that might well have been used against him and began Modena's years under Austrian rule which, despite being just, constitutional and fair, nevertheless had to face another foreign-inspired rebellion in 1830, this time happily unsuccessful.

His son Francesco V was also a just ruler and famously tended the victims of war and cholera with his own hands. However, he, too, had to face yet more foreign-inspired revolutions and was temporarily expelled from Modena in the European Revolution of 1848. He was restored, amidst wide popular acclaim, by Austrian troops. Ten years later, on August 20, 1859, the revolutionaries again invaded (this time the Piedmontese) annexing Modena into the revolutionary Savoyard nation of Italy as a territorial part of the Kingdom of Italy. A later gerrymandered and corrupt plebiscite of 1860 pretended that the annexation was popularly supported. Notoriously, the voting in the plebiscite was rigged and this was an open secret. However, this has not prevented later generations of gullible, and mainly Anglo-Saxon, historians from believing that the plebiscites were genuine.

Façade of the Cathedral.
Interior of the Cathedral.
Piazza Grande, with the Cathedral and the Communal Palace.
The Baroque Ducal Palace (now a military academy).

Main sights

The Cathedral and the Ghirlandina

The Cathedral of Modena and the annexed campanile are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begun under the direction of the Countess Matilda of Tuscany with its first stone laid June 6, 1099 and its crypt ready for the city's patron, Saint Geminianus, and consecrated only six years later, the Duomo of Modena was finished in 1184. The building of a great cathedral in this flood-prone ravaged former center of Arianism was an act of urban renewal in itself, and an expression of the flood of piety that motivated the contemporary First Crusade. Unusually, the master builder's name, Lanfranco, was celebrated in his own day: the city's chronicler expressed the popular confidence in the master-mason from Como, Lanfranco: by God's mercy the man was found (inventus est vir). The sculptor Wiligelmus who directed the mason's yard was praised in the plaque that commemorated the founding. The program of the sculpture is not lost in a welter of detail: the wild dangerous universe of the exterior is mediated by the Biblical figures of the portals leading to the Christian world of the interior. In Wiligelmus' sculpture at Modena, the human body takes on a renewed physicality it had lost in the schematic symbolic figures of previous centuries. At the east end, three apses reflect the division of the body of the cathedral into nave and wide aisles with their bold, solid masses. Modena's Duomo inspired campaigns of cathedral and abbey building in emulation through the valley of the Po.

The Gothic campanile (1224-1319) is called Torre della Ghirlandina from the bronze garland surrounding the weathercock.

Ducal Palace

The Ducal Palace, begun by Francesco I d'Este in 1634 and finished by Francis V, was the seat of the Este court from the 17-19th century. The palace occupies the site of the former Este Castle, once located in the periphery of the city. Although generally credited to Bartolomeo Avanzini, it has been suggested that advice and guidance in the design process had been sought from the contemporary luminaries, Cortona, Bernini, and Borromini.

The Palace currently houses the Accademia Militare di Modena, the Military Museum and a precious Library.

The Palace has a Baroque façade from which the Honour Court, where the military ceremonies are held, and the Honour Staircase can be accessed. The Central Hall has a frescoed ceiling with the 17th century Incoronation of Bradamante by Marco Antonio Franceschini. The Salottino d'Oro ("Golden Hall"), covered with gilted removable panels, was used by Duke Francis III as his main cabinet of work.

Town Hall

Facing the Piazza Grande (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Town Hall of Modena was put together in the 17th-18th centuries from several pre-existing edifices built from 1046 as municipal offices.

It is characterized by a Clock Tower (Torre dell'Orologio, late 15th century), once paired with another tower (Torre Civica) demolished after an earthquake in 1671. In the interior, noteworthy is the Sala del Fuoco ("Fire Hall"), with a painted frieze by Niccolò dell'Abate (1546) portraying famous characters from Ancient Rome against a typical Emilia background. The Camerino dei Confirmati ("Chamber of the Confirmed") houses one of the symbols of the city, the Secchia Rapita, a bucket kept in memory of the victorious Battle of Zappolino (1325) against Bologna. This relic inspired the poem of the same title by Alessandro Tassoni. Another relic from the Middle Ages in Modena is the Preda Ringadora, a rectangular marble stone next to the palace porch, used as a speakers' platform, and the statue called La Bonissima ("The Very Good"): the latter, portraying a female figure, was erected in the square in 1268 and later installed over the porch.

Museum Palace

The Palace Museum, on the St. Augustine square, is an example of civil architecture from the Este period, built as a Hostel for the Poor together with the nearby Hospital in the late 18th century. Today it houses the main museums of Modena:

Other churches

  • San Vincenzo was erected in the 17th century over a church known from the 13th century. The works were begun by Paolo Reggiano, who was followed by Bernardo Castagnini, probably helped by the young Guarino Guarini. The interior contains frescoes by Sigismondo Caula portraying episodes of the life of Saint Vincent and Saint Cajetan. The dome was destroyed during World War II. This church houses the funerary monuments of the Este Dukes.
  • Santa Maria della Pomposa (also known as Aedes Muratoriana) is probably the most ancient religious edifice, being mentioned as early as 1135. Little remains of the original Middle Ages temple can be seen. The church is mainly linked to Ludovico Antonio Muratori, who was its parish priest from 1716 to 1750 and rebuilt it almost from scratch.
  • The church of San Giovanni Decollato ("St. John Baptist Beheaded") was built in the 16th century over a pre-existing temple dedicated to St. Michael, and modified in the 18th century.
  • The church of St. Augustine was built in the 14th century, but largely renovated for the funerals of Alfonso IV d'Este in 1663. The sober original structure has now 17th stuccoes and a panelled ceiling. The most notable artwork is the Deposition (1476) by the Modenese Antonio Begarelli, once in the church of St. John the Baptist. Traces of a 14th century fresco by Tommaso da Modena can still be seen.
  • The church of St. Francis was built by the Franciscans from 1244, and finished after more than two centuries. A sober Gothic-style edifice, it houses one of Begarelli's masterworks, a Deposition of Christ made up of thirteen statues.
Modena Synagogue
  • The church of St. Peter was erected, according to tradition, over the temple of Jupiter Capitulinus. The current edifice is from 1476, built next to a Benedictine abbey founded in 996 oustide the city walls, and is one of the few Renaissance architecture in Modena. The interior has a precious 15th century organ and numerous terracotta works by Begarelli. The campanile is from 1629.
  • The church of St. George is also known as the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Helper of the Modenese People, who boasts a venerated image over the high altar. The latter is a work in polychrome marbles by Antonio Loraghi (1666). The church has a Greek plan and was constructed from 1647.


  • The Synagogue, next to the Palazzo Comunale, was built from 1873 by the Jewish Community of Modena in Lombardesque style.

Other points of interest


Teatro Comunale Modena

The Teatro Comunale Modena (Community Theatre of Modena, but renamed in October 2007 as Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti) is an opera house in the town of Modena, (Emilia-Romagna province), Italy. The idea for the creation of the present theatre dates from 1838, when it became apparent that the then-existing Teatro Comunale di via Emilia (in dual private and public ownership) was no longer suitable for staging opera. However, this house had been the venue for presentations of all of the works of Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini up to this time, and a flourishing operatic culture existed in Modena.

Under the Mayor of Modena in collaboration with the Conservatorio dell'Illustrissima Comunita (Conservatory of the Most Illustrious Community), architect Francesco Vandelli was engaged to design the Teatro dell'Illustrissima Comunita, as the theatre was first called, "for the dignity of the city and for the transmission of the scenic arts"[1]. Paid for in the manner typical of the time - from the sale of boxes - in addition to a significant gift from Duke Friedrich IV, Vandelli created a design for the new theatre combining ideas from those in Piacenza, Mantua, and Milan, and it opened on 2 October 1841 with a performance of Gandini's Adelaide di Borgogna al Castello di Canossa, an opera specially commissioned for the occasion.


Cotechino Modena, as Served with Polenta and Lentils.

Modena has a rich and diversified cuisine, often including meats, hams and salamis. One of the most famous Modenese dishes is "Zampone" (the fatter and heartier version) or "Cotechino Modena" (Cotechino is leaner and less fat than Zampone). Cotechino dates back to around 1511 to Mirandola, where, whilst besieged, the people had to find a way to preserve meat and use the less tender cuts, so made the cotechino. By the 1700s it had become more popular than the yellowish sausage had been around at the time, and in the 19th century was in mass production in and around the area.

"Cappello da prete" is also a popular meal, which is a very fatty pig's trotter. Other dishes include "Torta Barozzi" or "Torta Nera", which is a made of black tart (a dessert made with a coffee/cocoa and almond filling encased in a fine pastry dough, "Ciccioli", which is a pig's head served cold, and "Pesto di Modena", which is cured pork back fat pounded with garlic, rosemary and Parmigiano-Reggiano used to fill tigelle, borlenghi and crescentine.

Automobile legacy

Modena is, along with Turin, one of Italy's main centres of the automotive industry, and has a long automobile legacy. The iconic Ferrari supercar was founded in Modena by Modenese car manufacturer Enzo Ferrari. Several Italian status-symbol supercars such as Pagani, De Tomaso, Lamborghini and Maserati were either founded or are currently headquartered in the city. Thus, Modena has a strong automobiliary history and culture as well.


Panini Group, including Panini Comics, is headquartered in Modena.[2]


In 2007, there were 179,937 people residing in Modena located in the province of Modena, Emilia-Romagna, of whom 48.1% were male and 51.9% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 16.20 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 22.54 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Modena resident is 44 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Modena experienced 2.42% growth, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.56 percent.[1][2] The current birth rate of Modena is 9.62 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births.

As of 2006, 89.61% of the population was Italian. The largest foreign group comes from other parts of Europe (namely Romania and Albania): 3.94%, followed by North Africa: 2.40%, and sub-saharan Africa: 1.94%. Approximately 1 in 5 newborns in Modena has a least one parent of foreign origins.[3]


Modena has a strong sporting tradition, linked mainly to motor racing as the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari, founder of the eponymous motor racing team and car manufacturer which is based in nearby Maranello. The Ferrari 360 Modena was named after the city. Indeed, Modena is known as the World's 'Supercar Capital', being the nearest large town to the homes of Maserati, Lamborghini, Pagani and previously also Bugatti and De Tomaso. The city's football club, Modena F.C., plays in Serie B, the Italian second division. Volleyball plays an important role in Modena's sport history, with Panini Modena club having won 11 National championships, 4 Champion's League seasons and a handful of other trophies.

Partner cities

See also


  1. ^ quoted in Lynn, p.191
  2. ^ "Corporate Info." Panini Group. Retrieved on 5 September 2009.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Modena (disambiguation).

Modena is a city in Emilia-Romagna.

Th Cathedral - Romanesque arches
Th Cathedral - Romanesque arches


Modena is well-known all over the world especially for some symbolic characters, such as Enzo Ferrari and Luciano Pavarotti, and for some products of its gastronomy, such as tortellini, Lambrusco wine and parmesan cheese. But Modena is not only this, it is a town that, in 40 years, has become one of the richest and most advanced in Europe. 48 miles of cycling tracks, 16 cinemas, 25 libraries, one of Europe's most ancient universities loki nearest Bologna. Certainly, it is favoured by some geographical and environmental factors: the town is located in the middle of the Po valley, in one of the most developed areas in the whole continent, along the main routes of the trading traffic between Northern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. It is at the cross-roads between the Brenner motorway and the Autostrada del Sole, just a few miles from the important railway and airport intersection in Bologna. This leads tourists from all over the world to visit the art treasures in the town. First of all, the XII-century Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian Romanesque art, that, together with Piazza Grande and the Ghirlandina tower, creates a complex of unique beauty, that UNESCO has included among the "Wealth of Mankind".

Get in

By plane

Airport Bologna

By train

On the line from Milan to Bologna

By car

A1 Motorway Autostrada del Sole A22 Modena Brennero

  • Galleria Ferrari The Ferrari Museum, Via Dino Ferrari 43. Admission is €9.30 (2003). The actual Ferrari factory is located 17km south of Modena in the town of Maranello. Tours only available to owners of Ferrari vehicles.
  • Superb Romanesque Cathedral.


Visit the Ferrari gallery, go up the ghirlandina (the historical Duomo of Modena) to see all Modena.

Edited: The Ferrari gallery is located in Maranello, another town close to Modena...


In Modena it is possible to buy several different typical products, such as Nocino (a typical spirit), Aceto Balsamico (old wine vinegar) and many types of pork products.



Look for a restaurant/pizzeria called "Storchi" on Viale Storchi just outside the old center of Modena. It is fantastic! Just ate there on 09/11/2009; fantastic pasta as well as pizza. RISTORANTE PIZZERIA STORCHI | 87, vl. Storchi - MODENA (MO) - Tel. 059.241137


You can find a excellent restaurant called Fini (situated in the centre of the city).


The people of Modena have lots of experience with wine (of all types ... but Lambrusco is typical of the area.) At night it is possible to drink those products in many bars and pubs.

  • The Hotel Holiday Inn, Strada Tre Olmi 19, 41010 Loc Tre Olmi, 059-889-0111
  • Villa Gaidello Bed Breakfast, Via Gaidello 18, Tel:+39 059.926806 - Fax: +39 059.926620, Villa Gaidello is a large farm and estate of recently renovated farmhouses dating back to the 1700-1800s, surrounded by lush grounds and trees. Villa Gaidello with its many charming characteristics is an oasis out of time; it is located in northern Italy between Modena and Bologna and is chosen every year by many American tourists.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MODENA (ancient Mutina), one of the principal cities of Emilia, Italy, the chief town of the province of Modena and the seat of an archbishop, 31 m. E.S.E. of Parma by rail. Pop. (1906), 26,847 (town); 66,762 (commune). It is situated in a damp, low plain in the open country in the south side of the valley of the Po, between the Secchia to the west and the Panaro to the east. Some of its main streets (as their names indicate) follow the lines of canals, which still (though now covered) traverse the city in various directions. The observatory stands 135 ft. above the level of the sea. Dismantled since 1816, and now largely converted into promenades, the fortifications give the city an irregular pentagonal contour, modified at the north-west corner by the addition of a citadel also pentagonal. Within this circuit there are various open areas - the spacious Ippodromo in front of the citadel, the public gardens in the north-east of the city, the Piazza Grande in front of the cathedral, and the Piazza Reale to the south of the palace. The Via Aemilia passes obliquely right through the heart of the city, from the Bologna Gate in the east to that of Sant' Agostino in the west. Begun by the Countess Matilda of Tuscany in 1099, after the designs of Lanfranc, and consecrated in 1184, the Romanesque cathedral (S Geminiano) is a low but handsome building, with a lofty crypt, under the choir (characteristic of the Tuscan Romanesque architecture), three eastern apses, and a façade still preserving some curious sculptures of the 12th century. The interior was restored in 1897. The graceful bell-tower, erected in 1224-1319, named La Ghirlandina from the bronze garland surrounding the weathercock, is 335 ft. high; in the basement may be seen the wooden bucket captured by the Modenese from the Bolognese in the affray at Zappolino (1325), and rendered famous by Tassoni's Secchia Rapita. Of the other churches in Modena, the church of S Giovanni Decollato contains a Pieta in painted terra-cotta by Guido Mazzoni (1450-1518). The so-called Pantheon Estense (the church of S. Agostino, containing works of sculpture in honour of the house of Este) is a baroque building by Bibbiena; it also contains the tombs of Sigonio and Muratori. San Pietro and San Francesco have terra-cottas by Begarelli (1498-1565). The old ducal palace, begun by Duke Francis I. in 1635 from the designs of Avanzini, and finished by Francis Ferdinand V., is an extensive building with a fine courtyard, and now contains the military school and the observatory. The Albergo d'Arti, built by Duke Francis III., accommodates the civic collections, comprising the Museo Lapidario (Roman inscriptions, &c.); the valuable archives, the Biblioteca Estense, with 90,000 volumes and 3000 MSS.; the Museo Civico, with large and good palaeo-ethnological and archaeological collections; a fine collection of textile fabrics, and the picture gallery, a good representative collection presented to the city by Francis V. and since augmented by the addition of the collection of the Marchese Campori. Many of the best pictures in the ducal collection were sold in the 18th century and found their way to Dresden. The town hall is a noteworthy building, with arcades dating from 1194, but in part rebuilt in 1826. The university of Modena, originally founded in 1683 by Francis II., is mainly a medical and legal school, but has also a faculty of physical and mathematical science. The old academy of the Dissonanti, dating from 1684, was restored in 1814, and now forms the flourishing Royal Academy of Science and Art. In industrial enterprise silk and linen goods and iron wares are almost the only products of any note. Commerce is chiefly agricultural and is stimulated by a good position in the railway system, and by a canal which opens a water-way by the Panaro and the Po to the Adriatic. Modena is the point at which the railway to Mantua and Verona diverges from that between Milan and Bologna, and has several steam tramways to neighbouring places. It is also the starting-point of a once important road over the Apennines to Pistoia by the Abetone Pass.

Modena is the ancient Mutina in the territory of the Boii, which came into the possession of the Romans probably in the war of 215-212 B.C. In 183 B.C. Mutina became the seat of a Roman colony. The Roman town lay immediately to the southeast of the modern; its north-western wall is marked by the modern Corso Umberto I. (formerly Canal Grande). It appears to have been a place of importance under the empire, but none of its buildings is now to be seen. The Roman level, indeed, xvIII. 2 (a is some 15 to 20 ft. below the modern town. Its vineyards and potteries are mentioned by Pliny, the latter doing a considerable export trade. Its territory was coterminous with that of Bononia and Regium, as its diocese is now, and to the south it seems to have extended to the summit of the Apennines. During the civil wars Marcus Brutus, the lieutenant of Lepidus, held out within its walls against Pompeius in 78 B.C., and in 44 B.C. the place was successfully defended by D. Brutus against Mark Antony for four months. The 4th century found Mutina in a state of decay; the ravages of Attila and the troubles of the Lombard period left it a ruined city in a wasted land. In the 7th century, perhaps owing to a terrible inundation,' its exiles founded, at a distance of 4 m. to the north-west, a new city, Citta Geminiana (still represented by the village of Cittanova); but about the close of the 9th century Modena was restored and refortified by its bishop, Ludovicus. When it began to build its cathedral (A.D. 1099) the city was part of the possessions of the Countess Matilda of Tuscany; but when, in 1184, the edifice was consecrated by Lucius III., it was a free community. In the wars between Frederick II. and Gregory IX. it sided with the emperor, though ultimately the papal party was strong enough to introduce confusion into its policy. In 1288 Obizzo d'Este was recognized as lord of the city; after the death of his successor, Azzo VIII. (1308), it resumed its communal independence; but by 1336 the 'Este family was again in power. Constituted a duchy in 1452 in favour of Borso d'Este, and enlarged and strengthened by Hercules II., it became the ducal residence on the incorporation of Ferrara with the States of the Church (1598). Francis I. (1629-1658) erected the citadel and commenced the palace, which was largely embellished by Francis II. Rinaldo (ob. 1737) was twice driven from his city by French invasion. To Francis III. (1698-1780) the city was indebted for many of its public buildings. Hercules III. (1727-1803) saw his states transformed by the French into the Cispadine Republic, and, having refused the principality of Breisgau and Ortenau, offered him in compensation by the treaty of Campo Formio, died an exile at Treviso. His only daughter, Maria Beatrice, married Ferdinand of Austria (son of Maria Theresa), and in 1814 their eldest son, Francis, received back the Stati Estensi. His rule was subservient to Austria, reactionary and despotic. On the outbreak of the French Revolution of 1830, Francis IV. seemed for a time disposed to encourage the corresponding movement in Modena; but no sooner had the Austrian army put an end to the insurrection in Central Italy than he returned to his previous policy. Francis Ferdinand V., who succeeded in 1846, followed in the main his father's example. Obliged to leave the city in 1848, he was restored by the Austrians in 1849; ten years later, on the 10th of August 1859, the representatives of Modena declared their territory part of the kingdom of Italy, and their decision was confirmed by the plebiscite of 1860.

See Vedriani, Storia di Modena (1666); Tiraboschi, Mem. storiche modenesi (1793); Scharfenberg, Gesch. des Herzogth. Modena (1859); Oreste Raggi, Modena descritta (1860); Baraldi, Storia di Modena; Valdrighi, Diz. Storico, &c., delle contrade di Modena (1798-1880); Crespellani, Guida di Modena (1879); Cavedoni, Dichiarazione degli antici marmi Modenesi (1828).

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Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun

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  1. Province of Emilia-Romagna, Italy.
  2. City and capital of the province of Modena.




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Proper noun

Modena f.

  1. Modena (province)
  2. Modena (town)

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Simple English

Modena is a city in Northern Italy.


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