Visiting Ferrari in Modena and Maranello, Italy
As well as the food we described in our last post, the Emilia-Romagna area of Italy has something else that it is famous for around the world. Speed! Lamborghini, Maserati, Ducati and Ferrari all are based in this area.
We are not petrolheads by any measure, in fact we don't even like regular road cars that much, but we are big Formula 1 Motor Racing fans. Iain since he was a boy, and me since I started dating Iain. So while we were staying in Bologna we took the opportunity to hop on the train to nearby Modena to tour the Ferrari museum and learn more about the most famous racing team in the world.
We were confused at first because we knew that Ferrari's were made in nearby town of Maranello but the museum I found was in Modena. Huh? But I found my answer after some googling and navigating some terrible Italian websites. There are TWO Ferrari museums. Note: I have decided all websites in Italy are designed to make you bang your head against the table.
We headed by train from Bologna Centrale to Modena, about a 30 minute journey. The Enzo Ferrari museum is a short walk from the station and this location is mostly dedicated to the man himself. The museum is located on the site of his family home and tells the history of how he came to create the magnificent racing car team. There is a pavilion dedicated to some of the early racing cars from all formulas and there were lots of engines on display, which I am sure some people would marvel at. They were wasted a little on me.
The museum itself is quite modern and has a huge open exhibit space that, when we visited, had a display of Ferrari road cars that were owned by the rich and famous over the years. We oohed, aahed and drooled over these works of art.
The second museum is in Maranello, where Ferrari make their road cars and, more important to us, where the Formula One team is based. There is a shuttle bus available that ferries you between the two locations. As soon as you hit the town of Maranello you can see it is dominated by Ferrari. The museum at the factory concentrates much more on Formula 1, including the trophy room displaying the immense trawl of silverware they have garnered over the years. They are still far and away the most successful F1 constructor in history. You also get a chance to see the F1 cars up close and even try the simulator if you want.
Both museums were great, if I had to pick one as an F1 fan I would chose Maranello. There is something great about being right in the location where the cars are made. We covered both of them in half a day leaving us time to wander around the beautiful streets of Modena in the late afternoon before heading back to Bologna by train; a far less glamorous mode of transport but a bit more in keeping with our budget.