Enzo Ferrari was the man who said the Mille Miglia is “La corsa piu bella del mondo” – the most beautiful race in the world. This year, a decade after his death, he certainly would have agreed because a Ferrari won the 2009 race with Carlo and Bruno Ferrari in a 1927 Bugatti Type 37. A vintage Ferrari also came in second with a 1926 Bugatti Type 35A.
Any fine car enthusiast (or someone trying to make a Ferrari fan happy) who happens to be visiting or driving by Modena should take a detour to Maranello and visit the Galleria Ferrari Museum. Opened in 2005 for those who wish to get into the factory or on to the test track, but can’t, the Galleria Ferrari is a fully satisfying visual and learning experience for Formula One and sports car aficionados and a fun time for those who are not.
The first floor is a celebration of the Grand Prix – from Ferrari’s first Formula One car to the 2004 cars that gave Michael Schumacher his championship title. The cars are displayed as if in pit lane to provide a behind-the-scenes experience of Formula One. Nearby is an homage to Enzo Ferrari, including his office, which was moved, piece by piece, to the museum.
But Ferrari’s racing prowess is not limited to Formula One. A range of historic sports cars, displayed around a dramatic amphitheater, represents its many successes in road racing.
The second floor is dedicated to Ferrari engineering, including displays on aerodynamic performance and wind tunnels. There is an entire wall of Formula One engines, tracing their development from the 1950s to the present day. Product development is also represented by styling bucks, development models and the tools used by Ferrari designers.
It is also here that the newest Ferrari models are on display, including the Ferrari Superamerica and the Ferrari F430, alongside classic models such as the 365 GTB/4Daytona, the Ferrari 288 GTO and the Ferrari Enzo. There will probably be a line to try out the virtual racetrack machine.
A cinema shows films and videos from history of Ferrari, and don’t miss the photo display of the many famous people who have owned Ferraris and visited the factory. Of course, as you leave, there is a gift shop and a cafe.
The Galleria Ferrari is open seven days a week from 09.30 to 18.00. It is located at Via Dino Ferrari, 43 in Maranello (20 miles south of Modena). Email: email@example.com Phone: +39 0536 943-204 Fax: +39 0536 949-714 Tickets: 9-13 euro.
Nearby, outside the main gates to Ferrari itself, is the Ferrari Store and close by is Ristorante Montana. The Montana not only boasts its own display of Ferrari Formula One memorabilia (don’t miss the hedge cut in the shape of a Formula One Ferrari), it also is alongside the Ferrari Fiorano test track, so meals can be accompanied by the sound of a Ferrari Formula One car at full speed. For an “only in Italy ” experience click on the “Table Napkins” link on the Montana’s web site.