Modena, Province of Modena, Emilia Romagna, Italy

An ancient town on the southern side of the Po valley, the seat of an archbishop, Modena is now mostly known as "the capital of engines", given that most famous Italian car factories like De Tomaso, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati were born there or were somehow related to its province. Modena is also the birthplace of tenor Luciano Pavarotti, hosts the Italian Military Academy where Italian officers are trained, and is also well known in culinary circles for its production of balsamic vinegar.

province of Modena


Altitude: 34 m a.s.l -- Population: about 185,000 inhabitants in 2012 -- Zip/postal code: 41100 -- Phone Area Code: 059 -- Patron Saint: San Geminiano celebrated on 31 January -- "Frazioni" & Localities: Albareto, Baggiovara, Bruciata, Ca' Fusara, Cittanova, Cognento, Collegara, Collegarola, Ganaceto, Lesignana, Marzaglia, Navicello, Portile, San Damaso,Paganine, San Donnino, Tre Olmi, Vaciglio, Villanova

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Modena (Roman Mutina, Etruscan Muoina) was inhabited by the Villanovans in the Iron Age, and later by Ligurian tribes, Etruscans and the Gaulish Boii. It was already in existence in the III century BC. As a Roman colony it became the most important strategical centre in Cispadane Gaul, on an important crossroads between Via Aemilia and the road going to Verona.

Cicero defined it "Mutina splendidissima" (=most beautiful Mutina) in his Philippics (44 BCE). 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.It is said that Mutina was never sacked by Attila, for a dense fog hid it (a miracle provided by Saint Geminianus, bishop and patron of Modena), but it was eventually buried by a great flood in the 7th century and abandoned.

In the Middle Ages its exiles founded a new city a few miles to the northwest, still exisiting as the village of Cittanova. About the end of the 9th century Modena was restored and fortified again by its bishop, Ludovicus. The Este family were identified as lords of Modena from 1288 and Modena was made the primary ducal residence when Ferrara, the main Este seat, fell to the Pope (1598). In 1860 Modena became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

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