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davidx Trevi - A travel report by David
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Trevi,  Italy - flag Italy
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davidx's travel reports

Modena and Trevi- an unlikely pairing.

  17 votes
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Modena in Emilia-Romagna and Trevi in Umbria might appear to have nothing in common beyond being in Italy. They have at least two things. Both are superb places to stop en-route from Milano to Abruzzo and I can’t do a full report on either.

Modena is practically flat, surrounded by generally rather uninteresting plain, an immensely tidy town. Trevi is a small village perched high on an Umbrian peak between Perugia and Assisi to the north and Foligno and Spoleto to the south. Why did we choose them for our outward stops? Modena was my own idea after study from the Rough Guide of places on the rail line south from Milano where we flew from Leeds/Bradford. It was about the right distance, far enough to feel we had started but not so far as to exhaust us after a very early start from Leeds – and it has a superb Romanesque cathedral, reckoned by some to be the best in Italy. For Trevi we are much indebted to Bill Thaler, whose website on Umbria I have already commended in the Europe forum. In particular, if you go to http://penelope.uchi-ca hical/Diary/edite d/0504/16.html#t rain_map and scroll down to ‘Trevi the most convenient place to stay in Umbria,’ you will see the reason for our choice. We reached our accommodation easily enough in both places. In Modena found clear and friendly advice from the kiosk outside the station and took a bus practically to the door. At Trevi we found a bus waiting at the station to oake us up into the centre and we had clear instructions on the short walk to the hotel. However we realised that to walk down to the stations with backpacks was almost as impossible for us pensioners as walking up and we were not to have the same luck going down. The buses are mainly geared to the needs of school pupils and there is nothing down between 07.00 and 10.50! We used a taxi but the nearest was in Foligno and cost us €30 for a fairly short ride! Even so I can heartily recommend Trevi. It is a delightful place just to wander – always bearing in mind that the steep downhill lanes that look so attractive from the top might be a tad less apealing seen from the bottom.

Favourite spots:
Part of the cathedral façade, Modena
Part of the cathedral façade, Modena
That cathedral in Modena really is something special. It’s a bit difficult to get an overall impression because of the height of the building and the narrowness and twistiness of the passages round it but on every side the detail is superb. The ride through the centre is generally most impressive as you pass a number of spectacular arcades. The whole experience of Modena is not reduced by Emilia Romagna’s claim to be one of the leading gastronomic areas of Italy.

What's really great:
The wall organ, San Francesco Church, Trevi
The wall organ, San Francesco Church, Trevi
We had one amazing stroke of luck in Trevi. It just happened that there was a free recital by organ and tromba [for the ignorant like me – a sort of ancient trombone without the sliding part.] We thought of going as soon as we saw the advert but when we discovered that the organ at San Francesco church, where the recital was to take place, was one of the world’s oldest wall pump organs, it would have been hard to keep us away. The only problem was to know where we had reached in the programme – with no clapping until the end. It was not only us – programmes could be seen closing all through the audience. Fortunately the item simply called ‘march’ under Jeremiah Clarke was the well known trumpet voluntary so that even I was ready to clap!

San Martino from our balcony
San Martino from our balcony
Several of the frazioni [separate hamlets coming under a main village] of Trevi appealed strongly and there is a striking view of one, San Martino, from the hotel balconies. This one has the advantage of not requiring a vast change in contours and we were easily able to walk there – only to be caught in our one devastating thunder storm. We sheltered in what turned out to be the entrance to a convent.

Guarding the cathedral, Modena
Guarding the cathedral, Modena
We usually try for 2 or at most 3 stars as we find them genuinely to be more interesting as well as considerably cheaper. However there was nothing we wanted that was not found in the hotels we used in these places. The Hotel San Geminiano in Modena is extremely friendly and is only about 12 minutes walk from the cathedral. They are correct to recommend the restaurant next door, same name but not in common ownership.
Il Terziere in Trevi is right at the top of the village. It is a modern building with good comfortable en-suite rooms and balconies giving excellent views outside each room. The only snag was that we found it a little less friendly than the norm – though it couldn’t be called hostile.

The 'buses' side of the cathedral, Modena
The 'buses' side of the cathedral, Modena
We aren’t night owls these days but Trevi looked great with the cathedral floodlit and in the early evening at Modena there were people sitting in the park-like areas between our hotel and the cathedral. Like many places this is spoilt somewhat by siting of electric cables with a total disregard for aesthetics!

Piazza Communale, Trevi
Piazza Communale, Trevi
We weren’t at Modena long enough to assess this but in Trevi two places that seemed to draw much of the [small] population during the day were a bar in the main square, where the buses stop, a friendly place where I was allowed free access to the Internet and gelaterie in the nearby square where the Torre Communale is situated.

Fresco in Trevi
Fresco in Trevi
In Modena we ate and much enjoyed our meals in the Ristorante San Gemniano next to the hotel, that I mentioned above.
In Trevi we ate at the hotel the first night, reasonable enough food but something of a soulless experience. The following [Sunday] night we were pleased to find some other people we had seen at the recital had gone into a restaurant we had already identified as a strong possible. This was the Maggiolini in Via San Francesco which provided a delicious Umbrian meal at a very reasonable price.

Other recommendations:
A typical view. Trevi
A typical view. Trevi
A single night at Modena obviously leaves much unseen and our impressions of the city don’t reflect its industrial strength. A better all-over view can be obtained from http://www.terredimoden
For Trevi I refer you back to Bill Thaler, this time to http://penelope.uchicag laces/Europe/Italy/U mbria/Perugia/Tre vi/Trevi/home.html

Published on Thursday June 1th, 2006

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Mon, Jun 05 2006 - 03:03 AM rating by farnaz

attractive and interesting report with good pictures as well.I learn alot when reading excellent reports :)

Sun, Jun 04 2006 - 10:30 AM rating by mistybleu

Excellent report on two overlooked places.


Sat, Jun 03 2006 - 02:06 PM rating by st.vincent

Good idea to put the two stopover places together. Interesting reading and hopefully just the first report from your Italian trip

Fri, Jun 02 2006 - 01:16 PM rating by jesusferro

Good report. Espero un dia escribir sobre Buenos Aires tan bien como tu escribes.

Fri, Jun 02 2006 - 03:12 AM rating by marianne

What a good idea to combine two places. It is often difficult to write a complete report about one destination because often there are not enough sights to fill to write more than one or two sentences.
Very useful info, I will reread when we go to Italy (maybe next year)

Thu, Jun 01 2006 - 10:50 PM rating by rangutan

Great! Very informative and colourful.

Thu, Jun 01 2006 - 12:22 PM rating by isaacmolina

Probablemente este es tu mejor report. Eres un maestro. Bravo!

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