Italy, a country well-known for its beauty, hides undiscovered neighborhoods far from the typical touristic routes. In Emilia Romagna, the region surrounded by Lombardy, Veneto and Tuscany, there are places that are incredibly surreal and beautiful that when you first see them, you think they must be from a fairy tale.
This area of Italy is renowned for its culinary delights, its wine and food tradition and for being the heart of the Italy’s motor valley, the homeland of some of the most famous luxury sports cars in the world.
Castelvetro di Modena
Our itinerary will lead you on a discovery of the land of Lambrusco Grasparossa, a place that can be enjoyed to the fullest in Castelvetro di Modena: a small town nestled between vineyard-covered hills.
This village is a veritable treasure chest offering the gems of its cultural heritage such as the remains of the fortress walls and the main square Piazza Roma, the beating heart of the town offering panoramic views over rolling hills.
However, what catches our attention is the black and white paving forming a highly original chess board in the square; this special feature has led to Piazza Roma being attributed the alternative name of “Piazza della Dama” (Checkers Square), which every two years becomes the stage for a live chess game with human figures.
The suburb of Castelvetro di Modena continues with its attractions, where visitors can admire its historical buildings like Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Rinaldi, and the enchanting clock tower Torre dell’Orologio (Clock Tower) that dominates the square and is undoubtedly one of the outstanding symbols of the town.
The Clock Tower was built between the 11th and 12th century and represents what remains of the ancient fortification on the eastern side of the castle; in the 12th-13th century it was probably equipped with a bell used to summon the local people to the square, while a sundial, clearly visible from the southern side, still shows the passing of time today.
Here we leave the square and head towards the magnificent church with its Neo-Gothic architecture, built in 1897. Walking along the little lanes of this tiny village in the heart of the hilly Modena countryside, we discover small workshops from the past as well as places for refreshments.
The lanes are lined with classic trattorias with a rustic atmosphere where it is possible to enjoy fresh homemade stuffed pasta, dressed with an excellent, delectable cream made with traditional Modena balsamic vinegar and Parmigiano Reggiano. And don’t forget to accompany it with the red sparkling wine, Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro.
If you would like to experience the wine and food of this part of Emilia to the fullest, we suggest that you visit its gentle hills to explore the local farms, sample the sparkling red wine, Lambrusco Grasparossa, and the famed traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena, perhaps accompanied by a piece of locally-made Parmigiano Reggiano.
Castelvetro di Modena is a place where you can rediscover the magic of traditions, as well as the rich history and culture of this area of Emilia. These elements are the focal points of astonishing itineraries that wind through the region, which can be reached in just twenty minutes from Modena, or in about a half hour from Bologna.