If it has happened or it will happen to you to go around Modena and you are a person that take care of details, you will not miss to see a sign located outside the windows of some shops, bars or restaurant, which over time has hit me. I’m talking about the signs where it was written: “Bottega Storica dell’Emilia Romagna” (The Historical Shop of Emilia Romagna), but what are they?
You know me by now: I am a curious person, I don’t stop at the surface of things and then I didn’t stop this time either 😉 I made some researches about those signs: what are they, which and how many are these “Historical Shops” in Modena?
Let’s start from what they are.
I would define them“magical places full of timeless charm” and this would be enough to be thrown in a moment into enchanted places, inhabited by special people with unique stories to tell (I bet!).
More simply, the historical shops are:
Trade and crafts activities that are held for more than 50 years in the same place and that have maintained signs and original furniture or are otherwise significant for the tradition and culture of Modena. They are also cafes and restaurants where, in a simple and familiar environment, you can still taste dishes of the traditional Cuisine of Modena. Old shops are a heritage and a valuable resource for Modena that the City of Modena intends to preserve and enhance.
The project of enhancement of this heritage started from Emilia Romagna Region that thanks to individual municipalities was able to map their presence. Therefore, it has to be kept an eye on the Historical Shops not only in Modena, but in the entire region 🙂
But let’s talk about the Historical Shops of Modena for which the City of Modena has scheduled a special register in which it’s possible to apply. The signs that we see outside the shops aim to recognize this belonging and to celebrate the many years of work by the owners at the service of the citizenship.
This list constantly changes, time passes and even though we may not realize, there are people in town who are devoting their lives to their activities, with daily passion and love. And maybe they have also has became a “public figure”, as it happened to Ermes (died in 2022), the owner of the “Trattoria Ermes”, that all Modenese people will keep in their heart forever ❤️
So butcher shops, bakeries, hardware stores, grocery stores, cafes, restaurants, libraries, coffee roasters, pharmacies, stationeries, restoration workshops and even a costume rental shop become a priceless heritage for all. This is pure magic!
My goal has become to visit them all, I would like very much to have a chat with each of their owners!
It’s on my list and I have even started to visit some of them. Since I opened this blog, I pay more attention to all these details and I try to collect more and more information to talk you about!
When I walk along Albinelli street I let myself always intrigue by the window shop and the colorful wall of these grocery, the “Drogheria Bottiglieria Pedrazzi e Figli”, at number 9. In this place you can find rare spices, tasty candies and sweets and a wide range of liqueurs. By entering there you can breathe the atmosphere of the past thanks to its original furniture dated back to the early ‘900.
Also on the same street, at number 13, , there is the Schiavoni’s Bar now managed by Fantoni sisters who have taken over the old owner. Here sandwiches are really special, try them!
Once again in Albinelli street, at number 40, there is also “Trattoria Aldina”, a classic place to try the Modenese Cuisine. This restaurant serves typical regional and traditional dishes.
I’ve also been to the costume rental shop“Barbieri’s” and to the restoration shop of antique furniture, managed by “Wiliam”: both are singular places. In the first one you are immediately immersed in an atmosphere between the “theatrical” and “carnivalesque”. “Barbieri Costumi” shop is a business that rents costumes from the early ‘900 and is one of the best stocked atelier in the north of Italy!
In the second one, you are catapulted into the fantastic world of wood, hammers and various tools. A world made of the wise handwork that Wiliam do since several years.
Finally, I would like to speak about Omer’s restaurant, a special place, that closed in 2022, but that I’ve always found very special.
Here, you could observe Elide while she was pulling the dough directly in front of you! A dip in the most authentic and genuine tradition thanks to the delicious dishes prepared by the expert hands of Omer and Elide, who run a very special restaurant where time seemed to be stopped and everything have remained faithful to the true tradition.
One thing is certain: wherever you go, whatever you decide to enter, the workshop there will always be a world to discover! If you are visiting Modena, I do recommend you a small tour dedicated to these old shops and, above all, I recommend you to go and discover the ones that you like more and observe all the beautiful details. If you want, then, let me know your impressions.
These activities are precious, also because over time they undergo deep transformations and they can even disappear.
That’s why I invite you to enjoy them now that you can 😊