July 18, 2017

Allora: A "Master of None" Tour of Modena, Italy

(Credit to Tony for most of the photos in this post.)

We are Master of None fans around here. Aziz Ansari and Alex Yang's Netflix original series is at the top of our list when it comes to winding down in the evenings. We especially love the beginning of season 2 when Dev (Aziz Ansari's character) is living abroad in Italy, most of which is set in Modena. 

I am familiar with Modena as it is just over 10 miles away from the home of my Italian family in Carpi, Italy. To give a little background on my connection to this family, I was fortunate to do a summer teach abroad in Italy in 2012. Alexandro, Chiara and Valeria welcomed me into their home and quickly became an important part of my life. Last summer, Tony and I hosted Valeria in St. Louis. This summer, we spent a week of our European adventure in their home. With Modena just a 13 minute train ride away, we knew we wanted to seize the chance to experience the city, Master of None style of course! 

This article was incredibly helpful in making this experience a reality. While it says you won't find most of what you saw on the show, we had a very enjoyable day walking in Dev and Francesca's (played by Alessandra Mastronardi) shoes.

From the train station, we made our way through Piazza Grande into the heart of old Modena. Just like Dev, our first stop was Bar Cappucino Da Angiolina where we grabbed due caffè and a croissant before hitting Mercato Albinelli. Dev takes Arnold (played by Eric Wareheim) here in episode 2. This is a market hall with fresh fish, meats, produce and pastries. We continued to snack our way through Modena, savoring meringues and crostata con ciliegia (cherry crostata).

After that, we stepped outside to grab a sandwich (for Tony) and un caffè (for me) at Bar Schiavoni, another spot that Dev and Arnold delight in together. As Dev and Arnold sing, "eating in Italy is my favorite thing" so when in Italy... 

 (Mercato Albinelli)

(Bar Schiavoni - Can you find us?)

Next, we journeyed to check out Menomoka. It is here that Dev and Francesca meet for coffee with friends and discuss the frequent use of the word allora in Italy. This is absolutely true. We heard it all the time! 

We sat at the exact table that was used for filming, though it wasn't in the exact spot, for more coffee and another croissant. We even had the same server that they have in the show! 


Exiting Menomoka, we crossed the street to see Piazza San Francesco and stand where Dev and Francesca stood. This photo is just for fun... I took one of Tony, he took one of me, and allora... here are the results:

(Piazza San Francesco)

A walk along Via Canolino where Dev can be seen riding his bike was just the break we needed before drinks at Archer (where Dev takes Sara after lunch in episode 1).  And finally, we had to see L’Accademia Militare di Modena, in Piazza Roma before finishing the outing with a cold gelato treat. 

For Tony and I, Modena did not disappoint, and watching the episodes again after experiencing the places in real life has been a ton of fun. If you're ever in northern Italy, a Master of None tour could be the prefect way for you to visit Modena, too! 

Allora... that's all for now! I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you ever travelled in Italy? Which cities are your favorites to visit? I would love to know in the comments! 

Ciao for now and
warm wishes from me to you,

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