My digital diary about Modena

by Stefania Fregni

Welcome to my blog about my beautiful city :) Follow the diary, I'll bring you ti discover Modena.

Posts for Stories of Modena Category

Toschi Vignola: not only cherries

Collaborations, Stories of Modena - Stefania Fregni - December 15, 2022

toschi vignola specchio vintage

If I say “Toschi” what comes to your mind?
If you are from Modena like me it is very probable that the first image you associate with the name “Toschi” is a red and tasty cherry, isn’t t?
Right but not too much!

In the last period I had the opportunity to to know this reality thanks to a visit to their factories and I discovered that in addition to the excellent cherries there is more, much more.

I’ll tell you everything immediately 😊

Before starting, however, let me give you a little introduction.

I have always heard of the Toschi company but it was only when I started writing my guide about Modena that I deepened my research by documenting myself in detail.

And it was precisely then that I discovered that behind this brand with a long tradition there is literally a “world of taste”.

Yes, because cherries in alcohol were just the beginning of this long story!

Toschi Vignola: where the tradition of fruit preserved in alcohol and in syrup was born

We are in Vignola, in the heart of the land of cherries, about 25 km from Modena. Important historical characters were born here, such as Jacopo Barozzi, known as Vignola, and Ludovico Antonio Muratori, and the beautiful medieval fortress is always on display in this beautiful town.

If you come to these parts in spring it is impossible not to be enchanted by the spectacle of the cherry blossoms.

In these lands, infact, cherries, fruits of the Italian tradition, are born from the work of several hundred producers united in the Consortium of Typical Vignola Cherries.

ciliegie spiritose toschiThus in 1945, the year the company was founded, the famous Ciliegia di Vignola became “Spiritosa” thanks to the idea of ​​Giancarlo and Lanfranco Toschi to preserve and package this fruit to be enjoyed all year round.

In the presence of a particularly abundant year, the two brothers had a brilliant intuition: to start producing industrially what until then had always been a family tradition.

Thus Toschi was born with the first product of a long series known today everywhere with the name of fruit in alcohol.

A beautiful story isn’t it?
And the company is still pervaded by it!

This can be perceived by the fascinating vintage prints hanging on the walls, by the old machinery scattered throughout the factory and by the unique examples of gift boxes, miniature Ferraris of the past, jealously guarded in the offices of the founders.

toschi vignola imbottigliatrice vintage

But it was around the 1960s that some of today’s other leading products began to be produced, such as: syrups and black cherry fruit, Cherry brandy (morette liqueur) and Nocino.

I’m quite sure you can know these… right? 👇🏻

toschi frut

Black cherries are sweet fruits with a slightly sour aftertaste, which tickle the palate with their unmistakable and fresh flavour.

Among the most representative products of the Toschi company, today as in the past only the best cherries are carefully selected, pitted and candied to garnish desserts, cakes and frozen desserts or to enrich ice cream!

I guarantee you that watching part of this production process was exciting!
What a desire to eat them all…

toschi amarene processo lavorazione

The Nocino of Modena Toschi

Product of the Modenese tradition, Nocino of Modena Toschi is born from the infusion of Italian walnut hull rigorously harvested on June 24, as tradition dictates, when the fruit is not fully ripe and the husk is still green and tender.

The original recipe for Nocino of Modena is made up of just 5 simple ingredients: husk, alcohol, sugar, cinnamon and cloves.

After a 9-month infusion together with the spices, the husks are pressed to extract their essence. A portion of sugar and water is then added to this infusion to obtain the alcohol content and the characteristic roundness of taste.

Produced without dyes and aged for at least 2 years, Toschi Nocino di Modena follows and complies with the production regulations of the “Tradizione e Sapori di Modena” brand, which I had already told you about in the article I dedicated to Modena’s excellence.

During my visit to the plant they were actually bottling this product and seeing the production of such an excellence always has a certain charm!

Toschi produces 2 versions of Nocino: the Classico and the Riserva, aged over 5 years.

Finding yourself face to face with these wooden giants who guard this precious nectar must be immortalized because it is not an every day experience! 😉

nocino riserva toschi

Toschi Balsamic Vinegar

And if we talk about excellence and traditions, the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP and Traditional DOP certainly cannot be missing!

aceto balsamico IGP Toschi

Gino Toschi IGP Balsamic Vinegars of Modena are the result of skilfull processing in compliance with the production regulations with the know-how of a historic vinegar factory made up of small secrets and ancient gestures.

A slight variation in the percentage of cooked must or in the length of aging creates more or less dense vinegars with different nuances of taste.


Every time I find myself strolling through the rooms of the Balsamic Vinegar aging barrels I am inebriated by the scents and fascinated by the batteries, especially those of the DOP, witnesses of a unique tradition in the world and of an incredible workmanship that tastes home.

Each reality that produces Balsamic Vinegar offers its own show because it preserves its own stories and memories, handed down from generation to generation.

Do you know that tradition has it that when a new born arrives in the family, a battery of barrels is started in his honor with his name?

And it is only after 12 years of unconditional love and dedication that Traditional Balsamic Vinegar is obtained, while you have to wait 25 to extract the Extra Vecchio.

So after this pleasant visit to Toschi, I was able to see first-hand how long and rich the road traveled by this company since 1945 has been.

The products offered today are varied: ranging from the classic ones, which include fruit in alcohol, fruit liqueurs and syrups, to those designed for ice cream, sour cherries and various garnishes, up to Nocino and Balsamic Vinegar .

A world of taste as I told you, rightly so, at the beginning of this story 😊
A world to discover and savor specialty after specialty.

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Modena: 5 traditional restaurants where to eat at least once in your life

ristoranti tipici modena MyModenaDiary

There are special places where to go at least once in your life… they are places to see, to live, to taste.
Every city has ones. They are not simply traditional restaurants in Modena, but they are commercial activities and people that did the story of the city telling its identity through the foods that every day come out from their kitchens.
I’ve collected them in this post because I think they deserve a special mention and a particular place in my heart 😉
These are 6 traditional restaurants in Modena centre where to eat at least once in your life.

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Grandma’s Tortellini

Food & Drink, Stories of Modena - Stefania Fregni - August 21, 2019


When, in 2015, I wrote this article, I felt I was very fond of it right away. Reasons are many. First of all, because these few lines are dedicated to my lovely grandmother Anna, who passed away in May 2018, but at the time of the writing was 96 year old. She was a special woman who, despite the passing of time, has made everything to respect the good habits of the traditional “rezdora” (a Modenese word to indicate a sort of “queen of the house”). Then, because I will tell you about Tortellini (those of my grandmother) a food that Modenese people have written in their DNA and that represents the tradition especially in this festive period 🙂

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Discovering Modena: a day around Castelvetro, Levizzano and Puianello

Collaborations, Outdoor trips in Modena, Stories of Modena, Video - Stefania Fregni - February 8, 2018

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
[Marcel Proust]

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12 months of My Modena Diary

Stories of Modena, Video - Stefania Fregni - November 17, 2016

“In November 2015 this beautiful adventure began… since then I have traveled a long way!
I rediscovered my city, I observed it, I lived it, I photographed it and I told about it: 12 months of Modena My Diary”

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Gnocco Fritto: a great passion! What it is and how you can prepare it

Food & Drink, Stories of Modena - Stefania Fregni - November 17, 2016


I love “gnocco fritto”, I can’t resist it! There’s probably something written in my Modenese DNA: when I find myself in front of a little basket full of this fried pastry I’m simply happy 😉

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De Lord’s story: the Modenese pianist

Stories of Modena - Stefania Fregni - April 8, 2016

DeLord il pianista modenese

As I always say, this blog has given me the possibility, in the last months, to get in touch with so many people and to discover many stories to tell.
One of these is surely that of Christian Carlino, aka “De Lord”, the Modenese pianist who is conquering Europe and Asia.

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How it’s exciting being in a TV program: My Modena Diary goes on air!

Stories of Modena, Video - Stefania Fregni - February 10, 2016

And finally it has happened!
Going on air in a TV program is always very exciting, especially when you are going to talk about your own project 🙂

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Modena street food: the crescentina (tigella) by Or-ma

Food & Drink, Stories of Modena - Stefania Fregni - February 1, 2016

I believe that who thinks that street food is a practice that comes from far away is making a mistake.
If we think about Italian food we can realize how many traditional foods have become perfect street foods over time.
As far as Modena food traditions are concerned, have you ever thought that crescentina (well known as tigella) is one of the first street foods diffused in Modena and then exported all over the world? 😉

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Best wishes for a wonderful 2016 from My Modena Diary | Video

Stories of Modena, Video - Stefania Fregni - December 31, 2015

This is the first “change of year” for My Diary Modena since my blog was born in November (about two months… time goes by so quickly 😉 ).
For this special event, that marks a “new start” for a lot of things to do together, I thought to wish you “Happy New Year” in a particular way.

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So this is Christmas: Modena’s city lights

Not to be missed, Stories of Modena - Stefania Fregni - December 24, 2015


Christmas has arrived also this year bringing with him its magical atmosphere.

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Travelling into the past: a visit inside the Ex Daytime Hotel in Modena

Stories of Modena - Stefania Fregni - December 19, 2015


I recently had the pleasure and the luck to make a beautiful visit. A journey into the past in a place of which I had only ever heard.
In this article I bring you to the discovery of the ex Daytime Hotel in Modena.

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My Modena Diary tells Città di Modena its story | Video

Stories of Modena, Video - Stefania Fregni - December 11, 2015

It is really a great pleasure sharing the video (in Italian) dedicated to My Diary Modena project realized ​​by Città di Modena. I’m honored.

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Market stories in Modena: a delicatessen stall with more than 30 years of tradition

Food & Drink, Stories of Modena - Stefania Fregni - November 28, 2015

[Today the Gastronomia Manzini is no longer located at the Albinelli Market but has changed location. For me, however, it remains a historic market stall, which is why I decided to keep this article on the blog]

There are many stalls of Albinelli Market in Modena that deserve to listen to their own the story, probably all. When I walk around the market, in addition to colors and smells, I try to breathe the stories of people who every morning wake up at dawn to go to work. I make myself thousand questions, I try to imagine how many beautiful things they could tell me. And so it did Massimo Manzini, owner since 1984 of Manzini Brothers delicatessen stall. There are so many market stories in Modena….

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Let’s know Francesca Gonzales, the first My Modena diary’s friend

My Diary's friends, Stories of Modena - Stefania Fregni - November 9, 2015


When I dreamed about creating My Modena Diary project, I never expected to pick up immediatly “on board” someone else. Of course I’ve always thought that working in team is inspiring and motivating. I have always worked with teams. I don’t remember a project in which I was completely alone. I was grown up with the teamwork culture, I’ve played volleyball for most of my life and in this game team is everything.

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My Modena Diary, the adventure begins!

Stories of Modena - Stefania Fregni - November 5, 2015

This is the story of an idea that I had in recent months.
It comes instinctively, like all those things that one feels to do, perhaps because they seems natural or because you already feel them yours.
In this way I have matured the desire to talk about Modena. The city where I live, where I was born and grown up.

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Vintage in Piazza Grande

Shopping, Stories of Modena - Stefania Fregni - October 25, 2015

deeply and unconditionally love vintage, I admit it.
Not only just vintage, but also everything old, old-fashioned, shabby chic etc. I think that this attraction comes from the intrinsic charm simply contained in these words. As if just pronouncing them, you are immediately thrown into a different time dimension, in a fantastic world in which every object is able to tell a unique story, full of emotions.

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Dopo il successo di A Tal Dég il "monopoly" di Modena,
è uscito Modena Quiz, il quiz su Modena
più avvincente che c'è!

Modena Quiz

Scopri chi è il più togo!

Giochi da tavola Modena

Scopri Modena insieme a me!

Si chiama Modena Like Me ed è la guida cartacea edita da Do It Human Editore in cui ho raccolto i miei consigli, i miei suggerimenti, le mie dritte, alcune foto e molto altro ancora per farti vivere la città da un punto di vista privilegiato, quello di chi la conosce e la vive!