After joining some IWA Modena meetings and getting to know some of you, I have realized that many members came to Modena not long ago and in several cases, such as mine, came from a big city and were shocked by the change… especially during winter, when it is cold outside and the streets are almost empty…

For that reason I thought about writing an article to share with you, from my point of view, which are the nicest aspects of being here – the 7 things that I enjoy most about this city:

1, Walk or ride your bike almost anywhere: especially if you live around the city center, you can walk to the supermarket, the doctor’s, take the kids to school, go to work, to many restaurants, etc., without needing to drive your car and to find a parking spot. The bicycle paths are wide and easily accessable, you get some fresh air and normally the views are nice… just remember to lock your bike properly when you park it!

2, Strategic position:  within 2 hours’ drive you can get to fantastic places, such as:

Sea:  either side, Adriatic or Tyrrhenian seas, depending on what you feel like
Mountains:  if you feel like hiking in the summer or skiing in winter
Big cities:  Milan or Florence if you want to go shopping, to the theater, museums, etc.
Verona:  the city of Romeo & Juliet that also has the amazing Arena di Verona where you can go to see its fantastic Opera Festival or concerts by internationally renowned artists
Lake Garda:  you can go to any of the nice towns around it to relax or, if you have kids, you can take them to Gardaland or any of the other parks around that area
Franciacorta Region:  fantastic views and lots of fun, especially during the “Franciacorta Festival” when all the wineries are open to visits, wine tastings, etc.

3, Motor Valley:  if you, or your husband, or your kids are car fans, you can visit the factories and museums of the world’s best known automotive brands:  Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Pagani, Ducati…  all of them located in this “Terra di Motori” region. There are also some nice collections that cannot be missed such as the one you find at the Museo Enzo Ferrari and at the Panini Motor Museum.

4, Food excellence: the attention and time that Italian people give to food and its quality is known worldwide.  Choosing the ingredients and taking the time to prepare each of them is a must in Modenese food.  If you visit Mercato Albinelli, you’ll feel inspired by watching how carefully the artisan cuts and wraps your piece of cheese or prosciutto… While in Modena you can visit different makers of traditional, hand-made products, available only here:  parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar.  There are also many “agriturismo” around the city that follow the “km 0” policy and have their own production of vegetables, fruit, wine, meat… it is an excellent plan to go to any of them on Sunday for lunch and spend the day there.

5, “Made in Italy” Clothes:  The city of Carpi, part of the Modenese province, is a key representative of “Made in Italy” for the clothing industry. Many world famous brands like Max Mara, Blue Marine, Liu Jo, among others, have their headquarters at Carpi, so if you go there you can visit their outlet stores and get very good deals.

6, You won’t  feel alone:  after spending some months in Modena, you’ll notice that every time you go out, to the supermarket, or the park, to a restaurant or just for a walk you’ll always find someone you know. It is great to feel part of the community.

7, Best in class education for kids:  Modena and Reggio Emilia’s nursery schools and kindergartens have been top ranked in Italy because of their innovative educational programs and are the benchmark for the rest of the country.

I could think about many other things I like, but these are the top ones. I hope “my list” will give you some new ideas to appreciate your stay in Modena more and to feel less homesick. Enjoy!