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One city, three ways.. MODENA; IT'S the birthplace of Pavarotti, of Ferrari and Maserati and of... balsamic vinegar. Modena in northern Italy has something for everyone, whatever your budget, says TINA WALSH.


Bargain basement

WHERE TO STAY The San Filippo Neri youth hostel ( in the middle of town is cheap and clean. Prices start at pounds 15pp. Cost: pounds 15.

SIGHTSEEING Modena's splendid 11th Century cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Cost: Free.

FOR KIDS The Ethnological Museum in the Palazzo dei Musei (Viale Vittoria Veneto) weapons, ornaments and ceramics from the Modena region, South America, Asia and Africa. Children will love the Samurai warrior, the scary African death's head and the 2,000-year-old mummy of a young girl.

Cost: pounds 3.90

SHOPPING The colourful Albinelli market (via Albinelli) is great, even if you're only windowshopping. You'll find everything from wine, liquors, cheeses, thousands of meats and hams, delis, takeaway stalls and fruit and veg.

EATING OUT Bar Schiavoni (Via Albinelli) a tiny kiosk selling wonderfully fresh sandwiches called paninis that include mortadella (a kind of pork) and parmesan or mozzarella and cherry tomatoes.

Cost: pounds 3.90

NIGHTLIFE Modena doesn't exactly jump, but a handful of bars stay open until 2am. The Tube (Via del Lancilotto) has live music and the odd visit from international DJs. Beers start at around pounds 3.75.

Cost: pounds 3.75

COST PER DAY: Around pounds 27

On a budget

WHERE TO STAY Hotel Estense (, on the edge of the historic district, is modern and comfortable. In summer, you can breakfast in the garden. Double rooms start at pounds 125. Cost: pounds 62.50pp.

SIGHTSEEING Balsamic vinegar has been produced in the Modena region for 1,000 years. The best is left to ferment for 300 years! You can see the production process at the Museo del Balsamico Tradizionale Spilamberto, just outside Modena.

Visits can be arranged through the local tourist office ( from pounds 1.95. Cost: pounds 1.95

FOR KIDS Terramara di Montale excavation site on the outskirts of Modena has a reconstruction of a Bronze Age village, picnic area and children's workshop.Book visits via the tourist office at Cost: pounds 5.30

SHOPPING On the last weekend of every month there's a huge antiques fair in the Parco Novi Sad, just outside the city walls.

EATING OUT Hosteria Giusti (Vicolo Squallore 46) is a deli/restaurant that's been open since 1605. The menu includes gnocco fritto - crisp breads served with salami and a salad of capon with 20-year-old balsamic vinegar. Main dishes start around pounds 30.

Cost: pounds 30.

NIGHTLIFE The Juta Stereobar (Via Taglio 9), open until 2am, is one of the trendiest bars (closed Mondays). Drinks from around pounds 3.

Cost: pounds 3.

COST PER DAY: Around pounds 103

Break the bank

WHERE TO STAY The Hotel Real Fini San Francesco (www.hotel, Modena's only fivestar hotel, is in a 19th Century arcade in the historic centre. Some of the suites have hydromassage tubs. There's also a gym, sauna and Turkish bath. Doubles start at pounds 330. Cost: pounds 165pp.

SIGHTSEEING The Ducal Palace (Piazza Roma) was once home to Modena's most important dynasty, the Este family. Today it houses the Military Academy and visits are by appointment only ( but it's well worth a look. The most spectacular rooms are the vast Hall of Honour and the Gold Cabinet. Cost: pounds 5.75

FOR KIDS Children of all ages (and grown- ups) will love the classic and modern Ferrari cars at the Galleria Ferrari in Maranello, just outside Modena. Two F1s are simulators and there's a recreation of a Grand Prix with pits, pit lane and track. Cost: pounds 11.75

SHOPPING The Ferrari Store ( sells everything from T-shirts, pens, and key rings, to leather bags and limited-edition model Ferrari cars. EATING OUT The Osteria Francescana (Via Stella 22) is Modena's most celebrated restaurant. The set menu costs about pounds 150, with wine. Cost: pounds 150.

NIGHTLIFE Modena's opera house, the Teatro Comunale Modena (Via del Teatro 8), has ballet and opera by Italian and international stars. Tickets start at around pounds 22. Cost: pounds 22

COST PER DAY: Around pounds 355


Modena by moonlight... the Piazza Grande in the heart of the city; Neri hostel; Sweet note ...Pavarotti; Hotel Estense; Hot stuff... Galleria Ferrari; Sour note ...balsamic; The Real Fini
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 11, 2007
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