If Italy were a meal, Modena would be the main course. Here, on the flat plains of the slow-flowing Po, lies one of the nation's great gastronomic centres, the creative force behind real balsamic vinegar, giant tortellini stuffed with tantalising fillings, sparkling Lambrusco wine and backstreets crammed with some of the best restaurants no one's ever heard of (and one, Osteria Francescana, that everybody has – it was awarded the top spot on the coveted 'World's 50 Best Restaurants' list in 2016, the first Italian restaurant to nab the honour).
For those with bleached taste buds, the city has another equally lauded legacy: cars. The famous Ferrari museum is situated in the nearby village of Maranello. Modena is also notable for its haunting Romanesque cathedral and as the birthplace of the late Italian opera singer Pavarotti, whose former home is now a worthwhile museum just outside town.