1598 - the year shaping the logo - identifies not only the year in which Modena became the capital of the eponymous Duchy (Modena and Reggio Emilia), and the new Duke Cesare d'Este and his family moved to the city. It is also the time the family encountered a flavour that would characterize it for centuries: balsamic vinegar.
Whether the sweet vinegar was seen as compensation for the loss of Ferrara to Pope Clemens VIII is not known. What, however, is sure, is that in the Duke‘s Castle a personal Acetaia was established for production - and this high-quality vinegar was known as “l'aceto del duca” long before it came to be known as what is commonly called balsamic vinegar.
As a result, all over Europe the name d'Este stood for this precious vinegar, which was gifted in the smallest amounts at great events - thus the Habsburg Emperor Franz II received only one(!) bottle on the occasion of his election as Holy Roman Emperor in the year 1792 in Frankfurt. And as the reigning Duke Ercole III d' Este fled in 1796 from Napoleon’s advancing troops to the safety of Venice, his balsamic vinegar barrels, which were priceless, were in his luggage.
Italian dolce vita has been enchanting the world from Modena since 1598.
The importance of Modena in 1598 for the export of culinary treasures to the world may be seen as historically proven. The time covered by the year of transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque period is of culinary significance, there was a significant (and sustainable) revival of flavour starting since the discovery of America: tomatoes, peppers, corn and (neglected for far too long) also the potato gained a foothold in Italy. The most important pairing is that of spaghetti or macaroni with tomato sauce (which took place only in the 17th century in Sicily). The Dukes of Este, however, were known for their bred turkeys which were popular at the tables of the rich and even sought after as wedding gifts! Italy exported not only art and cuisine, but also Savoir Vivre - cleanliness, good manners and the use of the fork.
But also the (slow, decades long) withdrawal of the Renaissance period which, as a rebirth of the ancient world, rediscovered lost knowledge and raised intellect and people to a new level of self-awareness, through the Baroque period, which redefined the lust for life, is significant for Modena 1598: It was precisely the Italian courts which, at that time, were known for the typical cross sensory staging of food.
From desserts accompanied by dance routines, turkey feathers adorned with gold, elaborately presented hunting dishes - anything was decorated to add an additional artistic level to the culinary.
This is not unlike in our day where: the staging of products is part of the buying experience, home theaters play hyperreal sound experiences, and traditional kitchen appliances blend with the endless expanse of the World Wide Web. Also the Richard Wagner „Gesamtkunstwerk“ or „Synthesis of the Arts“ (the combination of music, poetry, dance, architecture and painting) right up to today's technology virtual reality and the focus on life and pleasure of the Hedonist target group - all have their origin in Modena 1598.