Travelling with children? Here is an itinerary for visiting Modena on a family day out.

The first stop on the itinerary is Piazza Grande, the beating heart of Modena, where the city’s most important monuments are gathered: the Palazzo Comunale, the Torre Ghirlandina and the Duomo. The latter has been compared to a ‘stone book’ for the extraordinary richness of its sculptural decoration. Looking closely at it you can admire sacred and profane figures, characters from the Bible and literature, as well as real or fantastic animals such as lions, dragons, sphinxes and other monstrous creatures. Once you have finished this fun “animal hunt”, enter the Torre Ghirlandina accompanied by the Ghirlandiamo map, which will allow you to discover many curious details.

The second stop is the famous Museo della Figurina, housed in the prestigious Palazzo Santa Margherita. Born from the passionate collecting work of Giuseppe Panini (founder of the company of the same name in 1961), it is particularly recommended for families with children. Alongside the figurines proper, it collects materials that are similar in technique and function, or that develop some aspect of them: small antique prints, matchboxes, postage stamps, paper money, menus, calendars, albums and many other materials. The museum also hosts exhibitions and events that tell the story of the figurine and its descendants from a contemporary perspective and a lively programme of workshops for children.

A few steps away from the Museo della Figurina, you cannot miss the MEF – Enzo Ferrari Museum, which your children will certainly enjoy. In the futuristic pavilion of more than 2500 square metres (the work of the brilliant architect Jan Kaplicky) some of the most beautiful and successful cars of all time are on display. Next to the pavilion is the historic workshop of Alfredo Ferrari, Enzo’s father, now perfectly restored. Inside is an exhibition of the custom-built cars made by Ferrari and customised in close collaboration with the lawyer Gianni Agnelli. For children aged 5 to 12, the museum also offers a fun treasure hunt, with a prize.

The next stop is the Civic Museum of Modena, where there is no shortage of curiosities to hold everyone’s attention. Founded in 1871, it is housed in the premises of Palazzo dei Musei in Largo Porta Sant’Agostino. It brings together varied collections of archaeology, ethnology, art and crafts in an evocative layout that preserves and enhances the original 19th-century layout. It also offers activities for children, young people and the whole family. The initiatives are designed to direct participants towards a creative and entertaining approach to the museum collections.

The last stop is the Terramara di Montale Archaeological Park and Open-air Museum. Located just a few kilometres from Modena, precisely in Montale, a hamlet of Castelnuovo Rangone, it is dedicated to the appreciation of the terramare civilisation, typical villages that arose in Emilia and in the central area of the Po Valley around the middle of the second millennium BC. The complex includes an archaeological area, an open-air museum and spaces for activities such as the production and firing of vases, weapons and bronze utensils, weaving with looms and fire lighting. The park also organises animated tours for children.

Photo gallery © Travel Emilia Romagna

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