Modena Food Tour

Cars and cucina – perhaps Ferrari and Francescana – are the two things that bring most visitors to Modena in Italy’s ‘food valley’. The startlingly white Romanesque cathedral, with its 90-metre-high bell tower, is impressive, as are the passion and skill of Enzo Ferrari explained through the museum in his family home.

Bottles of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar at Osteria Rubbiara - Modena Food Tour

But I’m here for the cucina in this home of traditional balsamic vinegar. So here’s an overview of what excites everyone most on my Modena food tours.

Hotel Canal Grande Terrace - Modena Food Tour

Stay in Modena Hotel Canal Grande
This 16th century convent is now the only four-star hotel within the city’s historic centre. Its charming terrace overlooking a shady flower-filled garden is where my Modena food tour guests meet each evening before dinner for aperitivi. And it’s just a 5 minute stroll from all the main sights, including the historic Albinelli covered market, which I visit every morning I can while in Modena.

Franceschetta58 dining room - Modena Food Tour

Eat Modern Franceschetta 58
No Modena food tour is complete without experiencing the genius of Massimo Bottura. My guests love the ‘Tradition in Evolution’ menu at Franceschetta58. It provides a different view of Modena’s traditional cuisine and a chance to taste some very rare wines, including one aged in beehives especially for the restaurant.

Hosteria Giusti balsamic vinegar drizzled on fritters - Modena Food Tour

Eat Traditional Hosteria Giusti
Plan well ahead to score one of only four tables at tiny Hosteria Giusti beneath a 400-year-old delicatessen in the heart of the old town. Open only for lunch, this tiny traditional osteria offers a short menu of Modenese classics like capon salad and finely sliced cotechino with salsa verde. Of course, with Nonna Laura in the kitchen, there’s always fresh pasta too.

Marcello explains Balsamic Vinegar at Acetaia di Giorgio - Modena Food Tour

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar Acetaia di Giorgio
This is the only remaining acetaia (vinegar producer) within the city area, rather than in the surrounding countryside (see Pedroni below). The fourth-generation of the Barbieri family welcome guests into the family villa, built in 1870, for a tour and tasting of the precious barrels stored in the attic rooms. This is the experience that many of my Modena food tour guests find most memorable.

Ravioli with balsamic vinegar and a glass of Lambrusco - Modena Food Tour - Osteria Rubbiara

Out of Town Osteria Rubbiara
About 30 minutes’ drive from the city, Italo Pedroni and his family make traditional and commercial balsamic vinegar (PDO & IGT) and nocino, local green walnut liqueur. Ricotta tortellini with butter and balsamic in their casual osteria, with a glass of pale pink Lambrusco, is a meal I always look forward to when visiting Modena.

Updated 17 Dec 2023

Italy Food & Wine Tour Highlights

What Other Travellers Say

Janet (Tamworth, NSW, Australia)
Janet (Tamworth, NSW, Australia)
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Just back from the most amazing trip to Emilia-Romagna with Roberta. Not only the home of Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano & Balsamic Vinegar, but scenery to die for and more quaint and exciting restaurants and cafés than you ever imagined. And Roberta is just the person to help you discover and enjoy them! Her knowledge of the history of the region and its wonderful cuisine know no bounds and all added to the excitement of the trip. It was faultless - well organized and lots of fun!
Deb (Belconnen, ACT, Australia)
Deb (Belconnen, ACT, Australia)
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Wow, what a tour – I learned so much! Awesome fun traveling through Emilia-Romagna experiencing first hand some of the produce I've worked with over the last couple of years cooking with Roberta's recipe kits – the family are reaping the benefits now. If you're thinking of joining Roberta in future years get ready for an amazing experience.
Mark (Elizabeth Bay, NSW, Australia)
Mark (Elizabeth Bay, NSW, Australia)
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My wife and I recently joined Roberta's Emilia-Romagna tour. We enjoyed all the temptations offered and learned a lot about that part of Italy, especially its food and wine culture. What was most impressive was Roberta's local knowledge of people and places. The planning and effort she put into making the whole experience seem effortless was remarkable.
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