Tuesday, October 03, 2017

La dolce vita

Modena is an overwhelmingly pleasant city. Not as touristy even as Bologna (or Florence for that matter, where we are right now) and not as bustling as Ferrara, it leaves you with an overwhelming feeling of la dolce vita. If you watched the second season of Master of None, you might already be tempted to move here, and I can confirm, it's the kind of place that has you lingering outside real estate offices thinking "why not?". You don't seem to need to move faster than an amble, and there are plenty of pleasant places to window shop or stop for a drink, gelato or meal.

Modena Duomo. I loved all the beautiful Romanesque carvings

Alley next to the Duomo

Some wild grape-eating creature

Beautiful chapel inside

A lion caught a knight!

Very dangerous, these lions!

Squished by the weight of his column

Modena's central market

For lunch, we found this delightfully retro place that seemed to be frozen in the sixties/seventies (the Oreste). The gentleman in the picture, the owner (?) informed us at the beginning of the meal that there were no waiters today due to an unspecified problem, so he served everyone himself using a little tray on wheels. Service therefore proceeded at a glacial pace, but the food was delicious and the ambience was a lot of fun - you can just see the old record-playing jukebox on the left. The next table to us was made up of an odd trio of an older guy in a suit, looking very Mafia don, who kept stepping out to take calls on his cellphone, and two much younger guys, one of which looked kind of like an 80s greaser and the other who was dressed in a tracksuit, baseball cap, and mirrored sunglasses indoors. It was fun to concoct outlandish stories about what the made man and his goons were up to today.

After lunch, I treated my Bolognese friend to some gelato

Modena has some porticos too

Synagogue, with soldiers

So cathedral, food, more food, walking around and handbag shopping - that was it for Modena, and very pleasant it was too. When we move there, I promise you can all visit.

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