There's more to the motor city of Maranello than just the Ferrari museum
Sure you’ve heard about the Ferrari factory at Maranello. But, there’s more you could do once there. Instead of telling you what to do, here are five things that you shouldn’t do when you visit the home town of the prancing horse.
1) Don’t rush through the museum: Ferrari never built too many cars, but they did build the best. You could ogle at the 250 GT0 SWB, the 365 GTB4, the F40, the Enzo and the FF in the Granturismo hall all day. Racing, as a big part of Ferrari’s history, rears its pedigree in the "Hall of Victories" where you can catch all the Schumacher-era cars. There is also a collection of the winning silver from over the years, and a replica of Enzo Ferrari’s office. But the best part about the museum is how up close you can get to all these cars and truly appreciate the detailing and the changes that transpired over the past 60 years of this marquee.
2) Don’t get your hopes up for the factory tour: For another 13 Euros, Ferrari offers you a tour of the factory and the Fiorano test track. Essentially this is your big chance to go through the hallowed brick walled gate and onto the Ferrari campus, without being a Ferrari customer. But don’t get too excited about this because you only get to see the factory from the outside. As for visiting the famous proving ground, well that’s a bit of a lottery too. You see, you can only get on it if the track is not in use. Else you get a peek at the tarmac from the side walls. Oh, and you do all of this on a bus that you never get out of. Yet, I still recommend you take the tour. Just remember to say your prayers to the engine gods the night before.
3) Don’t leave Maranello too soon: The museum and the factory tour shouldn’t take more than half a day, but after that there’s still a bit more you can do. Maranello is an industrial town, but it’s an industrial town that’s painted scarlet. There are places here that you could rent a Ferrari (100 euros to drive a F430 for 15 minutes). Also if you are a souvenir hunter, you will run out of time before you run out of shops. Books, scale models, clothing, accessories, art, and pretty much anything that could count as memorabilia are available here. The good thing is that these shops aren’t selling exclusively Ferrari stuff, but that doesn’t mean you won’t jeopardise your savings. And if the shopping doesn’t take your fancy, just take a walk through town. It will take you about 30 minutes to walk through the shopping district, with almost every shop displaying some sort of queer Ferrari artefact. I spotted a laundromat that had a nose cone from Jean Alesi’s Formula One car.
4) Don’t get there by public transport: Trains and buses in Europe are as convenient as shooting yourself in the foot. So I strictly suggest you drive to Maranello. A half decent rental car (Fiat Panda or similar) shouldn’t cost you more than 30 euros a day, and Google maps will get you there without breaking into a sweat. Road signs aren’t an issue, and Maranello is just under three hours from Milan. Besides, having a car sets you up nicely for point no 5.
5) Don’t forget Sant‘ Agata is just next door: If you didn’t know that Lamborghini was just down the road from Ferrari, you really need to read up on your supercar history. Anyway, the raging bull also has a museum, but it’s a little, er, disappointing. Then again Lamborghini doesn’t have the racing heritage of Ferrari, and they only made very few production cars. Having said that, when was the last time you saw a Miura, a LM002, a Countach and a Diablo all under the same roof? If you ask me, I would travel to this museum just to see any one of those cars. Also, this doesn’t have to be the end of your tour to Modena because Maserati, Pagani and Ducati are all around the corner too. Now, how’s that for a motor city?
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