After the demolition of the ancient city walls (among the most beautiful in Italy) between the end of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century, a long avenue with trees surrounds Modena. The whole route is about 4 kilometres long, taking various names depending on the zone.
Starting from Piazza Natale Bruni, at the end of viale Vittorio Emanuele II°, right along viale Caduti in Guerra leads to the Tempio Monumentale ai Caduti. Along the road are the 18th century gates of the Ducal Gardens, made the famous smith Giambattista Malagoli. The back of the wonderful Baroque Palazzina°° by Gaspare Vigarani is visible, and through the gates the greenhouses of the Botanical Gardens can be seen. Further along stand some nice villas dating from the Art-Nouveau period – names like Messerotti-Benvenuti or Chiossi.
Largo Garibaldi is a huge square where the city gate towards Bologna stood. From here, the straight avenue is called Martiri della Libertà: on the left, a big park; on the right, some 19th century buildings. From number 16, in the order: palazzo Bariola-Ferrari, Stoffi, Cavani-Vincenzi, Ferrari, Calanchi-Bentivoglio, Malatesta, Forghieri-Tàcoli, Tafani-Sandonnino, Gandini-Corni-Aggazzotti.
At number 34, the Palazzo della Provincia di Modena stands, remarkable for its big terrace with pillars, built by Cesare Costa in the years 1845-50 as a ‘Coffee factory’, an elegant place where the rich middle class could meet.
On the right, the street of the same name leads to the Renaissance church of San Pietro°° and its monastery°.
On the top of the hill, the War Memorial, by Ermenegildo Luppi, inaugurated by King Vittorio Emanuele III and by his son Umberto on the 4 November 1929.
On the corner, beyond some gardens, the old military barracks, named after Giuseppe Garibaldi are due to the Duke of Modena Francesco IV (first half of the XIX century). From here, the street name becomes viale delle Rimembranze: on the right, the beautiful bell tower of the church of San Pietro°° and the two statues of the Garibaldi’s men originally in largo Garibaldi (by Silvestro Barberini, 1893). Even the ruins of the old walls, erected by the podestà Passerino Bonaccolsi in the XIV century, are still standing here.
Then, an access to the city centre: via Saragozza, with the bell tower of the convento di San Geminiano.
The elegant building surmounted with statues is the enormous Palazzo Bonacini-Sandonnino, built in 1860 by the architect Cesare Costa. Nearby, smart villas with private gardens and railings. The Metropolitan Seminary, in the area of the church of San Francesco° is the end of corso Canal Chiaro°°. The following street is Calle di Luca, so called (‘calle’ is the name of the Venetian streets) probably by a community of Venetians who once lived here, near an ancient water mill.
On the left, piazzale Risorgimento houses the monument to King Vittorio Emanuele II, erected in the last XIX century and previously in largo Garibaldi. Here the long straight viale Vittorio Veneto starts, a fine avenue of residential houses. More or less in the middle of its length, a narrow passage leads to the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The avenue finishes in Piazza Sant’Agostino°°.
Continuing on the right, along viale Jacopo Barozzi, the 200 metres-long facade of the Foro Boario°° (whereas via del Voltone leads in Piazza della Pomposa°). After the left bend, the street gets its name from a Napoleonic general, Achille Fontanelli, and then is called Monte Kosica. And finally it reaches the railway station, again in Piazza Natale Bruni where the ring began.