Friday, May 20, 2016

Ducal Palace and Piazza Roma in Modena, Italy

Modena has 2 main piazzas and “Piazza Roma” is one of the them.

Compared to Pizza Grande (a separate post is coming), Piazza Roma is quite modern to my liking. It is huge and I read somewhere that it was once a parking lot. My curiousity led me to check out Google Maps and indeed the square was a parking lot before. Piazza Roma is really a relatively new square! Now we know that Google Maps is outdated. By 5 years!

The Baroque Ducal Palace (Palzzo Ducale) on Piazza Roma.

With all that has been said and done, it delighted me to know that there are local town officials who had ambitions to improve and pedestrianised the area. After all, this square is the entrance to the grand and famous Baroque Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace of Modena) that is now a military academy.

Because a week before this Emilia-Romagna trip I was visiting the Het Loo Palace in the Netherlands, I was not really in the mood this time for some indoor visit. The Ducal Palace was not an option for me. I need some balance and not a surplus of the same thing on my plate within a short span of time. The reality is I cannot really bear inspecting period interiors of castles and palaces again. It would be an overkill. Overdose.

In Modena and here at Piazza Roma, my idea was quite simple. I just want to enjoy the city and the outdoor Italian atmosphere, such as sitting in an outdoor terrace drinking a cup of coffee.

Trivia: Did you know that Italians drink cappuccino only in the morning?

Anything after 11am should be a cafe (espresso). Shhh, I ordered this cappuccino around 11:30 in the morning. I think the 30 minutes discrepancy is forgivable? Well, I really hope so! =)

One of the things that did not warm up to me are the direct areas around the piazza, especially at the back. As it is not yet fully developed, the back area is not really bustling. In the sense that you will not find any engaging cafes and shops. The ambiance of the square is, shall we say, a bit sterile? You’ve got a huge open space, a modern designed spring and fountain spewing water out of the grounds. Sadly, I am quite missing the old Italian soul and character. If not for the grandiose Palazzo Ducale being the main attraction, the square would have been mundane. But that is just me, and who knows, the back area will become more developed in the years to come.

Well the cafe—the La Gelateria Remondini at the corner of the square did save the moment. I had a great view of the palace and the whole square from my little table. Great place to grab a cup of cappuccino—make it before 11am, if not some gelato and just sit there and people watch for a bit.

 The a bit clinical ambiance of Piazza Roma.

This is what I love doing (and do best actually) when I am travelling =). I mean, seriously.

La Gelateria Remondini.

Piazza Roma is fairly a new square. It used to be called Piazza Reale before the makeover.

Travel Period: May 2016
Destination: Modena (Emilia-Romagna), Italy

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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