The imposing Palazzo Solmi, formerly called Bellentani-Rangoni, is one of the biggest along the via Emilia°°. The actual facade, with the big marble balcony, dates back to the XVIII century, although the palace has existed since the XVI. In the courtyard can still be seen Reinassance traces; the grand staircase is helicoidal.
The most interesting thing happened in the Palazzo Solmi concerns the events of the French Revolution. Napoleon, during his campaign in Italy in 1796, established the headquarters of his army here. Here he also convoked the first congress to write the consitution of the Cispadane Republic. With the establishment of the Cisalpine Republic, the seat of the government of one of its region, the Panaro Department (which was extended in the old Estense domains) was here.
The Italian Tricolour – green, white and red – flew here for the first time as the symbol of the new State.
Napoleon himself returned many times to Modena (even with his wife Josephine, in 1805, when he had become Emperor): a clear sign of the importance of the town at the time.