WHAT did the tenor Luciano Pavarotti and the automobile company founder Enzo Ferrari have in common? For one thing, a hometown: the lovely city of Modena, 90 miles north of Florence, in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. But it was neither arias nor revving engines rumbling through Modena’s cobblestone streets this spring, when a series of severe earthquakes struck the region.
Fortunately, recovery has been steady, and today Modena is making noise with a new museum, a coterie of small boutiques, and a world-famous osteria, now with an affordable offshoot. In addition, visitors will find that the city’s auspicious location — smack between Parma (of cheese and prosciutto fame) and Bologna (with its eponymous ragù), each about a 45-minute drive away — foretells its many fine gustatory pleasures.