Maximum expression of the municipal civilisation of medieval Italy
Around the axis of Via Emilia Centro, which crosses the city from east to west, is the historical centre of Modena. Start your visit from the Romanesque Cathedral complex, the Civic Tower called Ghirlandina and Piazza Grande, which has been recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1997.
A few steps away, you can find the Palazzo dei Musei di Modena, a building built between 1764 and 1771 by Duke Francesco III d'Este for a project by Pietro Termanini, where the ancient Augustinian Convent once stood. Here is where the Estense Gallery and the Estense University Library are located, as well as the Estense Lapidary Museum, the Historical Archive of the Municipality of Modena, the Giuseppe Graziosi Gipsoteca, the Roman Lapidary of the Civic Museum, the Poletti Civic Library of Art and the Civic Museum of Modena.
Behind the Cathedral, on the other hand, is the Piazza XX Settembre, a space that was intended to house the fruit market. Dominated by the exposed brick facade of Palazzo Tagliazucchi, it houses a fountain by Graziosi built in 1931. Events, markets and shows are often held here. Along Via Emilia, the tree-lined Piazza Mazzini, a former Jewish ghetto, opens with Liberty-style buildings. Do not miss the Ducal Palace, considered by many to be the first Baroque building in Europe.