Venice - Bologna - Castelvetro di Modena

May 30th, 2017, 11:19 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 9
Venice - Bologna - Castelvetro di Modena

I have a trip booked..

Days 1-3 Venice
Days 3-7 Bologna
Days 7-11 Castelvetro di Modena

Venice (train)

No concrete plans.

Bologna (train)

1 Day trip to Florence (A place I know well)
1 Day trip to Ravenna (1st time)
1 Full Day in Bologna

Castelvetro di Modena (car)

A place to relax.
A trip to The Ferrari Museum & Modena may be on the cards.

Any advice on anything in particular (off the main guide books) in Venice, Bologna, Ravenna or Castelvetro would be much appreciated.

Also, is there anything that you would alter? E.g. a day trip to add? Etc
Pigeonisland is offline  
May 30th, 2017, 12:26 PM
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Vignola is so close by to Castelvetro di Modena it is very much worth visiting its attractions (the castle & the Barozzi staircase). Also, if you like chocolate cake, you should sample the local product (called a Barozzi torte) at the cafe Gollini.

If you enjoy markets, the covered one in Modena is wonderful, but only open in the mornings. The interior of the Duomo is quite lovely. Lunch in Hosteria Giusti is wonderful but it is very small so you must reserve well in advance.

Bologna is compact but many of its treasures are behind doors you wouldn't know to open unless you've done considerable research. If you are interested in art & history, the church of Santa Maria della Vita, the oratorio St Cecilia, the medieval civic museum, the anatomical theatre in the Archigennasio are very much worth seeing, as are the churches of Santo Stefano & San Domenico, and the interior of the palazzo communale (d'Accurso).
massimop is offline  
May 30th, 2017, 12:36 PM
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You can take regional trains for your 2 train rides and ride very very cheaply -take a bit longer than high-speed trains but much cheaper usually and you can just show up at station and buy tickets - no seat reservations even possible. Either that or for discounted tickets on faster trains those are train-specific and non-changeable - just take the regional trains and take any of the frequent ones throughout the day. For lots on Italian trains check; and

If there is first class on the regional train it costs only a tad more and probably usually empty seats. That said not all regional trains have first class.

On regional trains do NOT forget to validate your own ticket before boarding - stick it in some cancelling machine or else you are considered to be riding without a ticket and could be fined.
PalenQ is online now  
May 30th, 2017, 01:24 PM
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I think Pavia is near your base but not sure and just outside it is the fantastic Certosa di Pavia - which I enjoyed immensely - the potent liqueur the monks brew up too! It is in the country so car access no problemo.
PalenQ is online now  
May 30th, 2017, 01:53 PM
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Pavia is not at all convenient to where the OP is headed. With a car it would make more sense to visit Reggio nell'Emilia or even Parma or Mantova if one wants a longer excursion for art & history. But if the pont is to relax, then there is plenty in the immediate neighborhood to enjoy. Traffic can be quite heavy on the major roads in Emilia-Romagna.
frencharmoire is offline  
May 30th, 2017, 11:43 PM
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Thank you to all who replied.

Massimop - This is the first time I have seen Vignola. It looks fantastic and the cake looks delicious. The perfect type of small excursion I plan on doing in Castelvetro. Also, if I do visit Modena I will be sure to visit in the morning to take in the market. I will also carry out my research on the places you mentioned in Bologna.

PalenQ - Thank you for your advice on trains. I have always found trains in Italy a great method of transport (far better than in the UK). Regional trains vs high speed trains always comes to a time saved vs money saved dilemma. I will likely use a mixture of both. Pavia is too far for this visit. However, it looks lovely and one to mark on the shortlist in the future.

Frencharmoire - You have hit the nail on the head. Originally I had planned to see Parma as well but it fell out off the list. Quite simply (unfortunately) we can't do everything in one go. I am sure at some point we will visit Lake Garde & Verona. I will keep Mantua on the list to visit on that trip. It looks delightful.
Pigeonisland is offline  
May 31st, 2017, 07:10 AM
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There are two Ferrari museums in different towns 30 minutes apart.

The one in Modena (walking distance from the train station) is Enzo Ferrari's house and garage holding a few significant cars. An adjacent contemporary building (terrific architecture) exhibits a large collection of cars (not all Ferraris) and has narrative displays on the Italian auto racing tradition. This museum is not affiliated with the manufacturer.

The other is the Ferrari-sponsored museum in Maranello. It displays only Ferraris (check current exhibit theme) and more of them (in a somewhat small-ish space) and operates a merchandise store that is extremely popular with the many bus tours that stop here.

There is a private bus service that operates between Enzo's house and the Ferrari museum in Maranello. Unless you're only interested in Ferraris, IMO the museum at Enzo's house is a better overall experience.
Jean is online now  
May 31st, 2017, 10:15 AM
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We just returned from an Italy trip and spent 3 nights in Bologna. We LOVED it! We also did a day trip by train to Ravenna which was well worth it.

If you are in Bologna on the weekends, the main streets are closed to traffic (Independenza and Rizzoli), and it seems like the entire population is out on the streets!

As Massimop mentioned the treasures behind closed doors, she/he is correct. We stumbled upon Palazzo Magnani. It was noted on our little freebie tourist map. We were in the area so decided to check it out. When I walked in, it didn't appear to be a tourist sight. It actually is owned by a bank now. I asked the receptionist if this was the right place. She picks up the phone to call someone. Minutes later a gentleman comes down and gives us a private tour, and as a bonus a beautiful hard cover coffee table type book describing all the art and architecture! We were flabbergasted!
MFNYC is offline  
May 31st, 2017, 10:54 AM
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MFNYC, what a lovely experience. I'm going to try the same the next time i am in Bologna. I have only seen the beautiful building from the outside.

I would add that another scarcely known treasure in Bologna is its music museum. The interior all by itself is quite beautiful, and the collection of musical instruments and historic artifacts beautifully displayed.
frencharmoire is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 12:01 PM
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Jean - Thank you for your input. I hadn't realised there were 2 museums. You have definitely provided food for thought. The original plan was to visit the museum in Marinello...but I am starting to have 2nd thoughts.

MFNYC - That sounds like a terrific experience. One I will look to repeat. I will be in Bologna Thurs-Mon so I will look forward to a traffic free city.

Frencharmoire - The exhibit looks marvelous and the setting magical. The museum is definitely a place I will be looking to visit.
Pigeonisland is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 12:32 PM
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Pigeonisland, what turned me off to the museum in Maranello was the large number of tour buses that arrived while we were there. Most of the tourists had little or no knowledge of Ferrari but clogged the already tight exhibit spaces, touched the cars (blasphemy!), and swarmed the gift shop. It was a zoo (or Disneyland, depending on your reference point), and this was in late October. However, in Maranello you can take a Ferrari for a short (and expensive) spin on the streets. If that's your thing...

If you were planning to do the factory tour, I think it's a rip-off. You only see the exteriors of several buildings and not any of the manufacturing process or assembly line. We saw one new car being moved between buildings but not under its own power. No photos allowed. There were no cars on the test track that day, and we were given just a glimpse of one section anyway.

The museum at Enzo's house in Modena seemed to attract the true auto/racing aficiandos. The displays (of cars and info) were excellent.
Jean is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 12:47 PM
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For a great assembly line tour, go to Pagani.

I think Lamborghini is still offering factory tours.
Jean is online now  

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