Guided tour to Modena's Ducal Palace

Guided tour to Modena's Ducal Palace

Construction of the Ducal Palace began in 1634 on the basis of designs by the Roman architect Bartolomeo Avanzini. The Ducal Palace was the home of the Este Court for more than two centuries until the last Duke, Francesco V Duke of Modena and Archduke of Austria-Este (1847-1859). The Palace today is the headquarters of Modena’s prestigious Military Academy.
Check available dates and buy your ticket

Your experience includes:

  • A guided tour of about 60 minutes takes visitors inside the Ducal Palace to view both the museum portion of the Military Academy and the rooms of the palace itself, including the magnificent Salone d’Onore Room, only recently reopened to the public.
  • Learn the history of the Este noble family and its Duchy, of which Modena became the capital in 1598.

The visit to the Ducal Palace includes:

The Cortile d’Onore Honor Courtyard, the Parlatorio, the Grand Staircase, the Loggiato, the Museum of the Military Academy (the Dukes’ private apartments), the Appartamento di Stato (the guest apartments), the Scala del Circolo Unificato, and the Accademia di Torino Courtyard.

The tour of the museum portion of Military Academy includes: the Galleria della Memoria/Sala dei Reali Trabanti Gallery, the Sala delle Accademie/Sala delle Guardie Nobili Room, the Sala dei Comandanti/Sala delle Udienze Private Room, the Sala degli Allievi Illustri/Camera del Caffè Room, the Sala dei Corsi/Camera d’Oro Room, and the Tempio della Gloria/Sala Ovale delle Colonne Room.

The visit to the Appartamento di Stato includes: the Bronze Gallery, the Colleoni Room, the Dello Stringa Room, the Salone d’Onore Room, the Green Room, the Throne Room, the Salottino d’Oro Room (from the outside only), the Red Room, and the Bathroom (the Duchess’s private bath).

Visits do not include: the Sala delle Armi, the Sala della Grande Guerra (trincea), the Sala dei Cavalieri dell’ Aria, the Dello Stringa Gallery, or the Sala delle Uniformi.

Length of visit: 90 minutes from meeting your tour at the Tourist Information office. The tour of the Ducal Palace itself lasts approximately 60 minutes.

How to visit

Modena’s Ducal Palace is the site of the Military Academy (Accademia Militare di Modena) and is consequently not open to the public on weekdays. On weekends, visits are allowed solely subject to certain conditions. Only guided tours, with prior reservations, are allowed into the building.

Visits are organized by Modenatur, which manages Modena’s Tourist Information Office, in cooperation with the City of Modena and the Military Academy.

Reserve your place online using a credit card (strongly advised) on this page or by emailing us at

Reservations are accepted until available slots have been filled (twenty-five for each group). We advise booking your tour in advance.

Important: When making reservations, you must supply the full name of each visitor (be sure not to indicate that tickets should be issued in the name of the person making the reservation; each ticket must bear the name of a distinct visitor).

On entering the Ducal Palace and site of the Military Academy, visitors will be asked to show a license, passport, or other identity document to security personnel. The name on the document must match the name on the reservation.

When making reservations or, in any event, prior to arriving at the Ducal Palace, visitors are asked to inform Modenatur of the presence of individuals with heart problems or other illnesses, persons with disabilities, and especially visitors with mobility issues so that we can evaluate your accessibility needs together. Contact us at (+39) 059-203-2660 or by email at

The Ducal Palace is not accessible to persons with disabilities who use a wheelchair because of various barriers within the building. Our Tourist Information Office is at the disposal of any visitors with disabilities who need additional support to visit Modena’s historic center or anywhere in the entire Province of Modena. Contact us at or by phone at (+39) 059-203-2660 for information customized to your specific needs.

Groups may send a request for reservations by email to or contact us by phone at (+39) 059-203-2660 to confirm available dates and times.

Most of the tours are planned in Italian. If you wish to get a tour in English contact us by email at and we will check if it will be possible. It's also possible to book a private tour in English, German, French or Spanish. In this case the cost is € 150 up to 15 guest and 10 euro each additional participants up to a max of 25 guests per group.

General information

  • For reasons for safety, visitors wearing slippers or flipflops cannot be admitted to the Ducal Palace.
  • Visitors may not enter with large bags (backpacks, computer bags, or similar). Small purses or shoulder bags are allowed.
  • Animals of any size may not be brought into the Ducal Palace, even if they are in carriers, bags, pet slings, or any other type of holder.
  • Food and drink are not allowed inside the Ducal Palace.
  • Smoking is not allowed in the Ducal Palace and still and video photography are prohibited.

Cancellation by Modenatur

Visits are confirmed when at least ten people have joined the group by the Thursday prior to the tour. If the minimum number of visitors is not reached, the visit will be cancelled. Tickets will be charged to the credit card used to make the reservation only if the guided tour is confirmed.

Cancellation by the Military Academy

The Ducal Palace is the site of the Military Academy, which reserves the right to cancel guided tours for unexpected service or security reasons or to modify the tour route. If a visit is canceled, visitors may choose to be refunded the price of the ticket or to receive a coupon of equal value that is valid for use on another date or at other tourist attractions offered on this site.

Cancellations (by visitor)

Once tickets for guided tours have been purchased, no refunds will be issued for cancellations made by visitors. If you cancel with at least forty-eight hours’ notice Modenatur will issue a coupon that is equal in value to the cancelled ticket which may be used for a visit on another date or to reserve another activity on this site.

Give Someone a Gift

Give a guided tour for two of the Ducal Palace! Buy a VisitModena gift card (a €20.00 value) for anyone on your gift list!