Sports cars enjoy a tremendous appeal. The name of Ferrari has been synonymous with the term ‘sports car’ ever since Enzo Ferrari established his firm Scuderia Ferrari in 1929 in the small town of Maranello which is located in the region of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy.
Enzo Ferrari was a former racing car driver who during his lifetime created many sports cars including the first Ferrari race car which won the British Grand Prix in 1952. After this first Grand Prix win, Ferrari went on to dominate the world of Formula 1 racing and in the recently concluded 2008 season, team Ferrari driver, Felipe Massa finished second after champion Lewis Hamilton though Ferrari went on to win its 16th constructors title with its F2008 race car. Ferrari has also recently unveiled its F60 in preparation for the 2009 season.
Over the years as Formula 1 racing has become immensely popular and team Ferrari which has been headed by great drivers like Niki Lauda, the almost invincible Michael Schumarcher and current team leader Kimi Raikonen have contributed greatly to the cult like following that brand Ferrari enjoys today. If you are a sports car lover and do follow Formula 1 racing then perhaps you should consider making a perhaps once in a life time trip to Maranello, the home of Ferrari S.p.A. and the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One racing team.
1. Visit Ferrari S.p.A.
The main Ferrari factory which is located on Via Abetone is out of bounds for the general public though guided tours are sometimes offered for dealers and their customers so if you are not a cherished Ferrari owner you can kiss that tour goodbye though you can have a peek at the factory’s entrance hall which is open to all. The entrance hall often has displays of current production sleek and sexy sports cars and powerful Formula1 race cars.
2. Visit the Scuderia Ferrari
Ferrari’s hallowed racing car department is located on Via Ascari , a street which is named after Ferrarri’s first Formula 1 champion Alberto Ascari. This establishment is also heavily guarded but at least here you have a chance of espying test models of Ferrari race cars as they traverse between the factory gate and the Pista di Fiorano, which is Ferrari’s private test race track that is located at the end of Via Ascari. These test cars often use the Via Fornace, Via Dino Ferrari located near the Galleria Ferrari and Via Ascari to get to the Pista.
3. Visit the Galleria Ferrari
There is no need to skulk about near the Galleria Ferrari for this Ferrari museum is accessible to the public. You can gain admission into its hallowed interiors after you have paid the single adult admission charge of 13 Euros(2009 prices). At this Ferrari museum, which is located on Via Dino Ferrari you can totally immerse yourself in the various Ferrari exhibits which include a constantly changing display of forty Ferrari models, trophies, engines, photographs and production models . You can also trace the evolution of Ferrari by observing recreated models of Enzo Ferrari’s shop and residence in Modena which preceded the creation of the Maranello factory. The museum is filled to the brim with Ferrari memorabilia including vintage posters and even Enzo Ferrari’s desk and reading glasses. There is even small projection room that continuously shows racing footage as well as a life size race pit and two simulators (a GT and an F1) on which you can try out your driving skills by paying an additional 5 Euros. A gift shop is also located within the Galleria Ferrari where you can shop for official Ferrari merchandise. Galleria Ferrari also has a bookshop which sells several publications associated with the Ferrari brand, a coffee shop and a Photo point where you can arrange to take a souvenir photo of your visit to the museum.
4. Eat and drink Ferrari
Ristorante il Cavallino located on Via Abetone across the factory is known to be a favored pit stop of Ferrari engineers and managers and if you want to bask in their hallowed presence this is the ideal place for you to grab a bite. Ristotorante Montana is another such institution which is often frequented by Formula 1 drivers though it is not technically in Maranello but in the town of Fiorano. Ferrari’s famous test race track is in fact visible from the restaurant.
5. Shop Ferrari
Though both the Galleria Ferrari and the Ferrari factory both have official Ferrari merchandise stores, there are number of other stores like ‘Warm Up Ferrari’, ‘Hors Ligne’ and ‘Shopping Formula 1’ that also sell a wide range of Ferrari memorabilia like T-shirts, caps, models, key rings, all of which would be perfect as souvenirs and gifts for your friends and family from your visit to Maranello.
Photo of Ferrari logo by Gaetan Lee