The town lies a few kilometres far from Vignola among the hills near Modena, surrounded by vineyards. Castelvetro is one of the best-preserved hamlets of the Modenese area. It offers a wide variety of typical products, such as Grasparossa Lambrusco wine of Castelvetro D.O.C. It is also the area where Parmigiano Reggiano D.O.P and Traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena are produced, as well as honey, artisan – made liqueurs, extra virgin olive oil and sheep cheeses. The best way to admire the fascinating surroundings is by bike, or better, mountain bike. There are 6 trails that wind through torrents and ridges, immersed in an enchanting countryside dotted with ancient and historical buildings, as well as landscapes and hills of astonishing beauty. The trails are also suitable for walking.
Numerous events take place all year round: in May, the Graspalonga, a walk through the vineyards with several stopovers along the way for tasting typical products. In summer the Calici di stelle takes place: every Friday a tasting of the Grasparossa Lambrusco wines is organized in piazza Roma, with concerts featuring different music genres. Autumn starts in September with the feast of the Dama Vivente (Living Dame), a historical commemoration of the feasts that were organized in honour of poet Torquato Tasso during his stay at Palazzo Rangoni. The participants dress up in Renaissance costumes.
This event is followed by the traditional Grape and Grasparossa lambrusco Festival with the characteristic parade of floats. The locality of Levizzano Rangone, with its impressive castle, constitute the natural setting for the Jazz Festival that takes place every year in July, followed by an important gastronomical event: the Tortellone Festival, and lastly, the Farm Aid festival, unique of its kind with numerous concerts of American country music.
Modena is also a romantic town, shrouded in the mist with a fairy tale atmosphere. It is fascinating to walk side by side with your significant other through the streets of this wonderful city of art, although modern at the same time, rich in flavors and traditions, to discover what this new frontier of tourism has to offer. The Macerate establishment, the municipal theatre dedicated to the great maestro Luciano Pavarotti, the new museum. “Birthplace of Enzo Ferrari”, the garden of the Estense, the Italian Military Academy, the palace that is seat today of the Estense gallery museums, Piazza Grande with the Ghirlandina and the Cathedral, were all declared as UNESCO world heritage sites more than ten years ago, and are just a glimpse of the marvels that are in store for you to experience and admire.
Vignola, famous for its “moretta” cherry as well as the castle known as the “Rocca dei Contrari”, is ideal for a suggestive half-day sightseeing tour. The medieval and historical centre of Vignola is lined with wine shops, pastry shops (of which the most renowned is Gollini with its famous Barozzi cake), snack bars and artisan shops, fashion boutiques and leather shops. Just a few steps away from the square of Corso Italia, you can admire the Barozzi winding staircase – the world’s first example of helical staircase invented by the celebrated Renaissance architect native to Vignola – located inside Palazzo Boncompagni,
Maranello, mythical symbol of Modena in the world, birth town of the founder of the legendary Ferrari. The Ferrari gallery, the Fiorano race circuit, the Ferrari establishment, the Wind Gallery designed by Renzo Piano, a true open -air museum for those who love racing cars and engines. Maranello is also the gate of the Apennines: Pavullo, ancient summer residence of the dukes of Este and place of birth of Davide Scarabelli, versatile sculptor of worldwide renown, lies only half an hour away.
Savignano Sul Panaro
The historical centre of Savignano sul Panaro is a true pearl enclosed by the walls of the ancient castle, with alleys and narrow streets that climb up to the church and bell tower, from where you can enjoy a breathtaking view over the Panaro valley. The castle is revived during the “Lotta per la spada dei Contrari” (Battle for the Contrari sword), a series of games located throughout the locality to gain the sword that belonged to the lords of that time. The famous painter Giuseppe Graziosi was the first to appreciate the splendid outline of the hills around Savignano and depicted them in numerous impressionist paintings dedicated to his hometown.
Castelnuovo Rangone, a town of apparent contradictions, where the statue of a little pig can stand in front a church and the statue of a saint can be found inside a ham factory. The festival of the super “zampone” (stuffed pig’s trotter) takes place in the historical centre, where the Brotherhood of Modenese Grocers prepare, cook, cut and serve the prince of all Modenese D.O.P products. The pig’s trotter is made bigger every year: the latest one weighed some 942 kg!