There are some great places to visit and enjoy the food of Modena here a few that we found.
Around Modena, visiting a balsamic vinegar acetaia is easily arranged. Daniele Bonfatti gives a fascinating free tour of his Acetaia del Cristo in San Prospero, 20km north of town, where this luscious vinegar is aged in tiny wooden barrels for up to 25 years, and there are a number of “celebrity barrels” reserved for the likes of Michael Douglas. The vineyards around here are where Lambrusco is made, a light fizzy red wine ideal with the region’s rich cuisine. Quality has improved from the days when Lambrusco was the typical trattoria tipple, and in nearby Nonantola, Cantina Gavioli (gaviolivini.com) has tastings and an extensive museum on the history of local winemaking and agriculture.
At Modena’s Osteria Francescana(tasting menus from €170, Via Stella 22, +39 059 223912), chef Massimo Bottura is snapping at the heels of Noma with third place in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. But I am just as happy driving a few miles out of town to Nonantola and the venerable Osteria di Rubbiara (Via Risaia 4, +39 059 549019). Here, the delightfully grumpy 80-year-old Italo Pedroni makes perhaps one of Italy’s finest balsamic vinegars and, in his Osteria, he theatrically sloshes it – no wimpish drizzling here – over plump tortelloni stuffed with ricotta. The never-ending €35 menu stretches over plates piled with guinea fowl then roast pork, chocolate cake and ice-cream.
Nearby, surrounded by its own vineyards, is the Garuti family’s agriturismo (doubles from €70, +39 059 902021, garutivini.it), where guests are invited up to the acetaia to taste balsamic vinegar, and to the winery where the family make a dozen Lambrusco vintages.