My Power Pose

A Work Lifestyle Fashion Blog

Italy: Off the Beaten Path in Modena


Wandering the covered streets of Modena: J Crew hat, Marc by Marc Jacobs bag (it IS great for travel, thank you Jenny!), T by Alexander Wang dress, Celine Audrey sunglasses.

Modena is a city that is near and dear to my heart. You know by now that I studied abroad here during college and later returned after graduation to hold my first real job: teaching English. It was an experience that changed my life – the people I met (one of my best friends to this day) and the lessons I learned about working with people from different backgrounds helped lay the groundwork for my career. I adore this place and am excited to share it all with you!


From top left: the Duomo of Modena – almost 1,000 years old; the Girlandina tower; many streets are covered with beautiful arches, something you will also see in Bologna; sherbet colored buildings line the streets in central Modena.


Ristorante Cavallino in Maranello next to the Ferrari factory, wearing a DVF wrap dress – perfect for every occasion!


Ristorante Cavallino was Enzo Ferrari’s favorite place to dine and it’s no wonder why! From top left: the wood-beamed ceiling and walls covered with Ferrari photos of the dining room; house specialty Lambrusco wine, the typical wine of the region. Delicious, frizzy and light; lasagna with hand-made spinach pasta, bolognese sauce and besciamella sauce, also typical of the region; prosciutto di parma with parmigiano reggiano and balsamic vinegar alongside the typical bread of the region.

Because it is located in a valley, the ground is rich and agriculture is a big part of the economy here – you can thank Modena for Balsamic Vinegar and Parmigiano Reggiano, among other wonderful foods. But it’s not just agricultural. Modena is home to Maserati and, my favorite, Ferrari.



A true Italian lunch at home with family from top left: the kitchen table with the meal ready to go; house-made balsamic vinegar aged minimum 15 years in 100+ year old barrels; Modenese specialty food called “Tigelle” – disks of dough pressed by ceramic tiles and served with a variety of meats, cheeses and vegetables; slow-cooked chicken, home grown zucchini with olive oil and assorted vegetables to dip in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, the best way to taste the flavor of the vinegar.

My final project when I studied here during college was to cook a traditional Modenese meal using recipes I learned from interviewing local people. Pretty cool, right? The culture around Italy in general is wonderful and in Modena I’ve had the pleasure of joining families for meals – that is my favorite way to get to know a country.

How do you like to get to know a culture/country/new place?