This would be my last full day in Modena. After having breakfast at my hotel, I walked over to the Mercato Albinelli. This market is huge! I should not have eaten breakfast 1st! So many tempting things to eat but I was full.
Next, I peeked inside two churches on my way to the Palazzo dei Musei. The first church was the Chiesa di San Barnaba, where a man was playing the organ while I was there. What a lovely surprise! The church was small with a very elaborate ceiling and the music was beautiful.
The second church I visited was the Chiesa di San Francesco. I visited this church back in 2008 and wanted to take another quick peek inside.
The Palazzo dei Musei (Palace of Museums) was not too far a walk from the Chiesa di San Francesco. It was a very peaceful day outside with not that many people around.
I have visited this Palace of Museums twice – a few days earlier in my trip and back in 2008. Both times just the collection of archeological items on the ground floor and the Galleria Estense (Estense Gallery) were open. This time I was in luck! The two other museums I have wanted to visit were open.
The Museo Civico d’Arte (free entrance) was the first museum I visited. I had the entire place to myself. I really enjoyed this museum, although I was not able to linger too long in each room as the museum was closing in about 45 minutes. This museum contains a variety of items, including sculptures, frescoes, paintings, musical instruments, scientific instruments, money, ceramics, colored glass, fabrics, lace, and they even had granite tile samples.
There also was a room with a horse (not real) and buggy, some weapons in glass cases on the sides, and a beautiful painting by Luigi Manzini of Piazza Grande, painted around 1842. This painting was located behind the horse & buggy. It was alarmed. I must have gotten too close to the painting because at one point, the alarm went off. It was pretty loud. I thought people would come running in, thinking I touched the painting, but no one came.
While I was in the last room of the museum, I was told that the Museo Civico Archeologico Etnologico, which was also located on the same floor, would be closing in 5 mins! I took a few quick photos but didn’t get very far. I was amazed at the huge ceramic piece.
Both of these museum have limited opening times. Next time, I am getting there right when they open.
I also checked out the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, which was located on the floor below the two museums I just finished visiting. There was a guard at the desk. He called for someone to take me into the special rooms with the ancient books and bookcases. Lots of old books. I can’t remember the details now about the bookcases, but there was some significance. I took a quick photo. There also was a regular library area in this biblioteca full of students studying and doing research.
As I left the Palazzo dei Musei, I noticed an invasion of students everywhere! It was their last day of school and everyone was out and about celebrating.
I returned to the Mercato Albinelli for lunch. I ordered some tortelloni spinach & ricotta with butter and sage (burro e salvio) – my favorite, and some of the penne pasta, tomatoes, & mozzarella cheese. Yum!
I went back to Taverna Dei Servi hoping to have some of their mascarpone dessert, but they were closed. Instead, I went in search of gelato. As I was walking down the street that heads towards the Palazzo Ducale, I found a place called BLOOM. I was very impressed with this gelateria. I of course ordered my usual pistacchio and nocciola gelato. The other flavor I always love is caffè but not one gelateria I visited this past summer offered this flavor.
Across from Bloom was an interesting nachos place, something I have never seen in Italy. It was full of students celebrating their last day of school.
I continued on to the Palazzo Ducale. Only the small entrance area is open to the public.
Next, I walked over to the Giardini Pubblici (public gardens).
After leaving the gardens, I decided to go back and climb the Torre Ghirlandina again. I believe this tower has 200 steps. It is not a very difficult tower to climb. There are a couple of little rooms along the way where you can stop and you will find great views at the top. I plan to do a separate post about this tower. Here’s a couple of photos for now…
I stopped in a little aceto balsamico shop in Piazza Garibaldi. I was really tempted to purchase a bottle but didn’t want to deal with the customs in Newark. Last time I went through, they stopped and searched all of my bags because I indicated that I had food (nothing fresh). In the end, I should have purchased the bottle because I did not even have to indicate if I had food with me with the new mobile passport app. I wish I wrote down the name of this particular aceto balsamico. I found the company’s website but can’t remember which collection/flavor I liked the best.
Before dinner, I wanted to check out one more church – the Chiesa di San Pietro (St. Peter). It’s actually a monastery and church but only the church was open when I arrived. There was a mass taking place in one of the little chapels. I was able to visit some of the other areas of this church while the mass took place. It was really beautiful inside.
For my final dinner in Modena, I decided to return to Ristorante Zelmira. I took the long way around to reach the restaurant and discovered some cool statues, a huge park, and some beautiful buildings.
When I reached Ristorante Zelmira, I was greeted warmly. I ordered the Sformatina di parmigiano again to start my meal (no photo this time) and ordered the Tortelloni di ricotta e spinaci con burro e salvia for my main course. I know, I had that at lunch but it would probably be my last tortelloni di ricotta e spinaci con burro e salvia during my trip so I could not resist. I also enjoyed a sample appetizer they gave me and more of their delicious bread. They were so nice to me and even gave me a sconto (discount) on my bill.
I returned one more time to Taverna dei Servi to order their mascarpone dessert, but sadly I was told when I arrived that they stopped serving this dessert for summer. Oh well. Not a huge loss since I was fully anyways from dinner.
I went back to my hotel and packed. I loved my stay in Modena. I really wish I booked a few more days there. It really is a lovely place to stay and visit.
Next up … train travel to Lake Iseo.
**Review of my hotel. I stayed at Hotel Cervetta 5. Perfect location, wonderful staff, beautiful spacious room. Good air conditioning. Nice bathroom. Good secure free wifi. Great breakfast. No refrigerator and no safe in the room. Hair dryer was not very powerful or hot. Those are probably my only 3 cons, but overall, I loved this hotel and would stay there again.