Piazza Grande of Modena
The city of Modena's heart and hub is the portico-lined Piazza Grande. It's so distinctive, in fact, that it received the UNESCO designation as a World Heritage Site. The piazza has been the seat of Modena's religious and civic life for centuries, and is the primary gathering spot for the citizens to stroll and meet up with friends, too. Here you'll find the gorgeous cathedral accompanied by its soaring tower, symbols of the city.
The lofty Torre Ghirlandina reaches 86.12 meters height (282 feet) with a distinctive style. The cathedral is an early example of Romanesque style built in 1184 and placed over the sepulchre of St. Gemianus, the patron saint of Modena. It's enormous rose window, relief sculptures, and soaring interior are worth seeing.
The piazza is lined with porticoes that link the palazzi, most notably the Palazzo Comunale, the city's town hall for centuries, that houses grand salons with frescoes and other decorations. Shops and cafes rest below the arches in Renaissance-type splendor. The most noted is the historic Caffe Concerto, a renowned watering hole and gathering spot still beloved by the Modenesi and visiting celebs.
Don't miss the statue called La Bonissima, representing Prudence, that sits in the corner of the Palazzo Comunale.
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