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I can't pretend to know Maranello like the back of my hand, quite far from that, however my eleven trips there in seven years made me a bit familiar to the town. So I thought I would share my experience with Ferrari's fanatics that would like to prepare a pilgrimage in the mythic berth of the prancing horse.
Maranello is located in the north of Italia, in Emilie Romagne, near Modena between Parma and Bologna. Access is very easy by highway A1 which leads from Milano to Napoli. Take Modena North exit and you just have about 20 km to go, following Sassuolo directions.
Before going any further, let me give you the most important advice for potential visitors: never plan your trip a weekend. The city of 16,000 inhabitants is almost deserted and only the Galleria is open: from my point of view, you'll miss the essentials. So what can you do in the birthplace of the red cars? Unless you are a lucky owner and your dealer organized a factory tour for you, it is impossible to enter the plant or its annexes. You can, however, soak up the town's very special atmosphere and hopefully see many Ferrari. And maybe more if you are lucky! As you can see, the factory (which I have surrounded in red on the map below) is the heart of the city, and occupies a very significant percentage of the surface once added the private track of the manufacturer: the Pista di Fiorano.
Here are some useful shortcuts
The test track
The Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari in Modena
Where can you see cars
Where to sleep
Where to eat
Around Maranello: the Motors Valley
Before you go any further, you may wish to print those maps from the tourist office.
And this one, homemade, will let you follow the recommandations in the next sections
Even from the outside, the plant is one of the major attractions of the city. There was of course a lot of expansion since the modest buildings in which Enzo began in 1947. There are now three closely monitored entrances. The original entrance has been preserved, although protected by a modern guard post. The happy guests for factory tours are welcomed here. Address is 4 Via Abetone Inferiore, at the number - 2 - on the map below. It is also used for large events and commemoration, however it is not the main entrance anymore; overall movements are quite rare. However we shall see later that this crossroads is still strategic.
The main entry is located in Via Grizzaga. It is where, at point number - 1 -, are located large car parks where workers come to park in the morning, screeching tires in the two roundabouts from the expressway. The car park fills very quickly and late-comers climb on the sidewalks to park on the grass. Apart from the modern entrance, it is the avant-garde wind tunnel that catches the most attention here.
The third access is located Via Musso, point number - 3 -. This "back door" is by far the busiest. The coming and going of trucks delivering raw materials is ceaseless. Interestingly enough, almost all the cars leaving for road tests pass here (see section 4). If the inside of the plant interests you, I invite you to visit this page, but this is not why we are here as I remind you that the ordinary tourist cannot go in.
At the end of Via Ascari, to the point - 5 -, are the headquarters of the Scuderia and Corse Clienti. Listening carefully, it is not uncommon to hear an F1 engine tortured to 18,000 rpms on the test bench.
The buildings are communicating directly with the Pista di Fiorano, point - 6 -, and the "Logistica". The track was built in 1972 and is 2 miles long with 14 curves. The Formula One can go as fast as 290 km/h in th straight line. But, again, except for very special events like the 60th birthday or the RM auctions, don't hope to get in this prestigious arena. On the picture just below, thoses buildings don't look very impressive but the door at the end of the alley is a straight access to Holy Grounds.
Please note that a new site has been opened in may 2013 for a modern building just behind the Planet Hotel. It will be the new home of the Scuderia Ferrari, in adequation with the Formula Uomo of the rest of the factory, to maximise the worker’s well being.
The activities taking place on the track are varied: from tests of Formula 1 (increasingly rare because of regulation) to prototypes testing, or driving courses "offered" to owners. The access for road cars is by the Via Gilles Villeneuve.
At the far end of impasse Via Marsala, which is perpendicular, you'll find a good point of view on a 180° turn, behind heavy gates of protection. The house with red shutters where Enzo spent the last years of his life among his beloved racing cars is in the middle of the track but invisible from there.
Galleria Ferrari, point
- 4 - is the official museum of the
brand, located at 43 Via Dino Ferrari (Tel. +39 0536 949713 - Fax +39 0536
949714 - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). It is open every day except on
Christmas Day and New Year's day, from 09:30 am till 06:00 pm and until
07:00 pm from May 1st till September 30th. In 2013,
the entry price for adults amounted to 13 Euros. The Museum surface was
expanded in may 2013 and displays lots of Formula 1, temporary thematic
expositions renewed evey six months, old cars, mostly from the Classiche
Department and the Hall of Victories with more than one hundred trophies won
by the Scuderia.
Lately, Ferrari also proposes shuttles to visit inside Fiorano Track and the main artery of the factory: the Viale Enzo Ferrari. You won’t be allowed to go outside the bus, or to take any pictures, but the trip can give you a little inside view of the place. The price is 13 euros each. There are between two and four shuttle a day. Reservations can be made online on the Museo website. It is probably better to book in advance if you want to be sure to take the tour.
As you understand, the Galleria is a good place to see beautiful and rare models. However, in my opinion, nothing beats the streets to measure the car proportions and especially to hear the sound of engines. Contrary to what one might think a little naively, there is no Ferrari parked all around the streets in Maranello. However, there are often some hanging around, primarily in the parking lot of the Galleria and at the crossroads where you'll find the old factory entrance, the Planet Hotel and the Restaurant Cavallino.
update : Work has begun on a new 1,000 square metre extension to the Museum just behind the existing main building. Construction does not impinge on normal opening hours for visitors but will increase the Museum’s exhibition space to a total of 3,500 square metres by spring 2013.
In March 2012, a new Museum has opened, in Modena, the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari. It is located 85 via Paolo Ferrari, 41121 Modena, next to Enzo Ferrari birthplace. The building is huge and modern, with good light and is great for photographers.
Exhibition should be renewed every six months, or so it seems. For me, it is a new must see in the area. Opening hours are October 1st to April 30th: everyday (holidays included) from 9:30 to 18:00. Open all day. May 1st to September 30th: everyday (holidays included) from 9:30 to 19:00. Open all day. Closing times: 25th December, 1st January. Entry fee is 13 euros but you can buy tickets for both Museums for 22 euros.
Apart from that, one has to go hunting a bit to see cars. Don't worry, it's easy. Ferrari production has increased significantly in the last few years, and each car goes on the road in the vicinity to take a test of about one hour. Almost all of them roll out by Via Musso (point - 3 -). Standing here, you can detail the vehicles waiting for gates to rise to enter or leave the enclosure, and even attend some coming and going inside the factory. Alas, the place is pretty uncomfortable because of the incessant comings and goings of delivery trucks that are not very pleasant. I therefore move next to the first roundabout Via Grizzaga (point - A -). Impossible to miss it: there is a huge shining prancing horse on it.
Nearly all cars go through there to leave and come back. Be careful to stand behind the safety barriers because the driving here is often very aggressive (and not by test drivers). Or better, stay right on the roundabout, which combines safety and proper perspective. Sometimes there are quite long lags but you can count on a few vehicles per hour (hey, except in Monaco, this is not guaranteed anywhere else!).
The second good location, but not as good, is the test track. You'll often find something running. If you are very lucky, the screams of F1 engines echo all across the city so it is easy to know where to go. Otherwise, a first point of view on the circuit is located Via Marsala (Point - B -). The new barriers won't help you to take good pictures though. There is only one valid place near the hinges but room for only one person at a time. I have tried everything, including the ladder (but the barriers are very high), and none was very satisfying. The roof of a motorhome, however, should do the trick.
Otherwise, it is possible to walk along the fence across the fields (point - C -) to see the house of Enzo and a wider piece of track but pictures are still very hard to take.
Last option, you can see a good portion of the track from the bridge on the Via Abetone (point - D -), which does not fail to create some congestions when the F1 are running. Fiorano will satisfy only the luckiest or most patient of you because it is rare for cars to race more than a few laps before making a break. Be careful, it is impossible to connect C and D by the shortest path, you have to make the whole loop by the Galleria and it is a long way if you are walking...
The most intractable of you may wish to place along the roads used by test pilots. I also tried that. One of them admitted that there is no really fixed route: they go almost anywhere around the town. So, the further away from the city, the fewer cars may pass in front of you. This activity is therefore reserved to the fiercest spotters and is not very rewarding.
The first of them is the Carrozzeria Zanasi, which was located via Dino Ferrari at the corner with Via Gilles Villeneuve which leads to the entrance of the Pista di Fiorano. This used to be a huge workshop where major repairs, restorations and many special paints were performed. Umberto Zanasi has been working closely with Ferrari since 1964.
In 2011 the Carrozzeria moved to several new locations, one of them located 31 Via Farina but the welcome is quite cold there. Maybe you will be lucky enough to spot something in the huge place in front of the building ?
The second garage which often contains wonders is the Officina Toni Auto, Via Abetone Inferiore 41, a few steps away from the factory original entrance. You can often see old cars in the yard or in the workshop. Moreover, the atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming.
To summarize, I personally have my own tour that I make several times a day in order to cover as many places as possible and to lower the risk of missing some treasures. Be careful, it may hurt your feet. Starting from Galleria which is the most convenient place to park your car if you need so, I check carefully the parking lot of the Galleria, then I go to Fiorano track to see if any car is running. On the way, I have a look at Zanasi. Next, no choice but going back on the same path to the Planet Hotel and the historic entrance of the factory. I scan the yard of Toni Auto, and then take the Via Musso to stay for a moment in front of the « stage door ». Then I walk around the factory along Via Trebbo, the route taken by testing cars to the roundabout Via Grizzaga. Then I return by the same way or completely around the plant through the public park but then losing sight of the road for several minutes (opportunities flying away!)
Among other interesting points, I would quote the bust in memory of Gilles Villeneuve, located at the crossroads of Via Dino Ferrari and Via Gilles Villeneuve, facing the former Carrozzeria Zanasi. Among all the pilots who gave their lives for the glory of the Scuderia, Gilles is the only one who had the honour of a memorial.
And Piazza Liberta, near City Hall, you will find a large bronze to the glory of Enzo Ferrari and car racing. It would be a shame to pass without paying respects (and making some pictures). There is also a 550 Maranello inside the City Hall, if you are really a hardcore fan.
Once full of beautiful machines, you may wish to bring back a souvenir of your visit or a gift for those who did not have the chance to go with you. The Ferrari products are ubiquitous throughout the city but some shops are more prestigious than others. Note that you may pay more for your goods here than elsewhere. But after all, they were purchased in a special place, weren't they?
Obviously, Maranello could hardly miss an official store: the Ferrari Store is on the ground floor of the Planet Hotel, which lies opposite to the original entrance of the factory. Impossible to miss, there is an F1 car inside. You will find all the same official merchandising of the brand as other stores all around the world.
The hall of the Galleria Ferrari also has a gift shop with clothes and a few miniature cars, as well as some interesting books.
According to me, the best shop, and the most stunning, is probably Shopping Formula 1, located again Via Abetone Inferiore, 23. This Ali Baba's cave is open from 09:00 am to 07:00 pm except on Sunday. Miniature cars lovers should think carefully before going inside because they have the most extraordinary stock of BBR models and other beautiful pieces. There are also a huge number of important books relating to Ferrari, including Cavallino magazines past issues...
Two other important stores are located Via Dino Ferrari, very close to the Galleria, Hors Ligne and Warm Up. Both of them offer a wide range of products bearing the prancing horse and started a Ferrari rent activity. Count around 50 to 80 Euros for 15 minutes if you're really nut. Hors Ligne has also launched guided tours of the city under the label IloveMaranello.
November 2011 update: the tests drive are growing more and more each time I come! Near Warm up, it is now called Push & Start and there are nearly 10 cars you can drive, including a Superleggera and a Scuderia.
At Pitlane, on the other side of the Galleria, there are at least 7 cars for rent, in partnership with Ilovemaranello. There is at least another white F430 spider for rent on the other side of the road.
The main disadvantage of this business is that you can not take a step in the parking lot of the Museum without being approached by several"scouts" (female if you're lucky) that will propose you to "drive the Ferrari", which can become quite irritating. I would not tell it spoils my visits to Maranello but I now avoid to stroll around the Galleria if I have nothing to do there. For the ordinary tourist, it is nevertheless the insurance to see, hear, and why not drive the range of the latest Ferrari. Here are the prices in November 2011:
We shall now speak of amenities. I am not an inspector for any travel guide and I confess that I always go in the same hotel (the Domus). Regarding food, I often zap lunch (too busy) and at dinner time I collapse on my bed with one or two shares of takeaway pizza. I'll still do my best. For night fees, I calculated the price on the internet for a stay of one person from 17 to 19 February 2010.
Regarding hotels, the most obvious is probably the four stars Planet Hotel, located Via Verga 22 | Ex Via Fornace, as it faces the original entrance of the factory and is therefore impossible to miss. The price is 78 Euros a night. I understand there may be an extra charge for a room with a factory view. The building looks good, it can be nice and it's very central. There is an extra charge for Internet access (!)
Still a strong Ferrari atmosphere at the Maranello Village located Viale Terra delle Rosse 12. Price: 49 Euros. With four stars, it is most modern complex in the city, buildings are new, parking is big enough and the Ferrari atmosphere is pervasive. The only problem is that it is quite far from downtown. So be careful for big events when leaving the car at the hotel to do everything on foot is convenient and a nice luxury. Free internet access.
Update 05/17/2010: Now that I made myself a tour guide inspector, I guess I have to assume the responsability. On the occasion of the Mille Miglia, I tried the Maranello Village for the first time (ok, actually the Domus was complete). This resort is located three minutes away from Maranello on the expressway. Be careful though, it is recent and its address is not recognized by every GPS, so take your precautions to avoid driving in circles after midnight. In any cas, late arrival will not be a problem as the reception is open 24/24. The rooms are located in three buildings arrnaged around a lawn: Monza, Daytona and Le Mans. The parking lot is huge.
Ferrari being a sharholder, the decoration is entirely dedicated to the cavallino, in the corridors as well as in the rooms, which is a great way to stay in the atmosphere.
The room I got was spacious, with a large falt screen TV and a large and well equipped bathroom. The price is the same as in the Domus (39 euros per night) and the free internet connection worked perfectly. A restaurant is also located on the site: the menu is quite limited but the food is good. In the end, I recommend the Village even though it requires to take the car to go downtown.
The room I got for my november 2011 trip: classy!
This is a reason why I am used to staying at the Hotel Domus (Best Western group) which is located Piazza Liberta 38. The rate is also 49 Euros but for three stars only. The building is older, perhaps less soundproofed (but I do not know any hotel which is really satisfactory for soundproofing). The staff is very friendly and the hotel has a small private parking garage (6 cars) otherwise you'll have to park three hundred yards away as Piazza Liberta is a temporary parking zone. I have a familiar routine in this hotel because you can easily go everywhere by walking. Free internet access.
In november 2011, the wifi in my room was not working (maybe not the first time, I can't recall), even if I was able to access internet through the hotel computer in the meeting room. Moreover, I was billed 6 euros for the Hotel Parking which I had never paid before despite using it everytime. On the other hand, the Village was perfect and cheaper so I believe my choice is now made for the future. The Village is modern and confortable. The atmosphere is "corporate" but pleasing. Deal!
The Maranello Palace is located Via Grizzaga 71 and it costs 78 Euros for four stars. You may have recognized the address; it is located opposite the new entrance of the factory, near the workers car park. However, this is not the most central area. Internet access charges.
Finally the three stars Europa Hotel, located Via Mediterraneo 11/13. I have just found this one. For 45 Euros, it is the cheapest of all but there is no internet access.
Update: In preparation of my 2012
Winter Raid, I found the following hotel rates for 14th and 15th november:
Village : 118 euros for two nights (double room), Domus 98 euros (single),
Planet 164 euros (single), Hôtel Executive 98 euros. I chosed the latter.
The Hôtel Executive is a four stars located 2 Via Circondariale S Francesco, 41042 Fiorano Modenese, 5 minutes from Maranello. It is an old fashioned Hôtel wih a huge marble reception. Parking is big, breakfeast is complete, wifi operationnal and the rooms are fine. A nice choice.
As for eating, the city's most famous restaurant is of course il Cavallino. Located via Abetone Inferiore, 1, opposite the original entrance of the factory, it is almost a factory annex since Enzo himself was used to eating every day in a small private room in this place. The atmosphere is soberly tainted by Ferrari and the food is good for 40 euros per person
The second most famous restaurant of the city is the Montana, located in the near town of Fiorano, Via XX Settembre, 3. Here is the rendez vous of the pilots and a temple to the glory of the Scuderia. The walls are covered with photos, autographs, and memorabilia. Food is excellent for a reasonable 40 euros per person.
The two above institutions obviously have a decoration devoted to the brand that made their fortunes and both have received countless celebrities related to Ferrari. Probably good places for paparazzi but this is not my favourite activity.
Have you toured the whole small town of Maranello? Do you want more? Good, there are plenty more. I hope you have time to spare. Let's move but not too far.
Let's stay in the Ferrari nebula with the Carrozzeria Scaglietti, located 1163 East Via Emilia in Modena. Here are manufactured the aluminium bodies of our favourite cars. You can normally see them through the gates.
Still in Modena you will find Maserati's headquarters, Viale Ciro Menotti, 322.
And the Schedoni factory, Via Gandhi, 44. Here are made the luggages for Ferrari and leather for Pagani among others. Visits can be planned by prior appointment and you'll be very welcomed.
Less than 500 meters from the Museo Enzo Ferrari of Modena, is the headquarters of Maserati, a tall building surmounted by the trident, and a older house of red brick. There is also a shop open to visitors, where are exposed some engines and vehicles. Exact address is Viale Ciro Menotti, 322, 41122 Modena
Let's leave Modena to venture into open country. Nevertheless, the risk of meeting ferocious beasts on the way does not decrease. Let's start with the bulls of Lamborghini. The factory is located in Via Modena 12, Sant'Agata Bolognese (MO), a town of 7,000 inhabitants. Here, the atmosphere is more relax than by Ferrari, the sport and media pressure is less strong. The gate is open and allows access to the reception where one or several cars are often parked at the doors. The Museum of the brand is up there, available for 12 Euros. You will find a great deal of prototypes and models, up to the Lamborghini Reventon. It is possible to visit the assembly lines but you have to book in advance by phone or on the Internet (but as far as I am concerned I have never got any answer) or via the company Motorstars.
Here too, you might be able to do a little spotting at the factory gates as the cars also leave for test. However with a production of 2,400 cars a year, the number of bulls leaving is much smaller than in Maranello (10 to 15 per day).
For Maserati fans, there is also the Panini Collection, located in a farm : a superb collection of Maserati models including very rare race cars. The collection can only be visited by appointment from March to October, from 9:30 to 12:30 and from 15:30 to 18:30 on weekdays and from 09:30 to 12:30 on Saturdays, closed on Sundays. The address is 320 South Corletto Via Modena. Not very easy to find, you must engage in a long tree-lined sideroad. It is also possible to buy the famous Parmiggianio Regiano, the Panini cheese. Reservations can be made here. Up to 5 people, the visit can be done without a guide. More important groups must be accompanied.
Last stop for fans of fast luxury motors on four wheels (Ducati's factory is also around here, but I've never tried that), the workshop (I dare not to mention factory) of Pagani Automobili. It is located Via dell'artigianato 5 in San Cesario sul Panaro (MO), a town of 5400 inhabitants. Beware however, as new buildings are being built to manufacture the new model and moving may not be very far ahead (although only for some hundred meters). Be careful here because even when you know the address, the building is so discreet that it is easy to miss.
Once found, you'll be very well welcomed and you will be allowed to take pictures of cars on display in the showroom. It is even possible that you encounter Horacio Pagani, the founder, who will stop to greet you. However, seeing a car on the go is rather unusual. Pagani also offers the possibility to visit its workshops, dealt by society Motorstars.
This triangle is named Motors Valley. Lamborghini is born here after a conflict involving Ferruccio Lamborghini and Enzo Ferrari and then, many high technology specialists firms came here, where all was happening. Then, other brands came in the vincinity to take advantage of all the knowledge gathered here, like Pagani for example.
Here you go. If you plan to take the trip, I hope you have found something here to enhance your stay. If you are familiar with this area and if you feel that I was not clear enough or incomplete, please do not hesitate to make suggestions. Finally, if you are back from your trip and used this guide, I am eager to know if it helped you to improve your stay.
For more comments (in French) or pictures, you'll find all my Maranello trips reports by following the links below!
April 2006, first time, almost by accident.
October 2006, already back, to see more
November 2011, on the road to Mugello and the Finali
No doubt I missed some points of interest or that some others will come to lift, as Ferrari is making a lot of investments in the area, so this page will be updated on a regular basis.
My English is not so good so I'll be glad if you wish to correct my sentences and make this guide better. I promise I won't take offense so please don't hesistate to correct my mistakes by sending a mail to webmaster at arthomobiles.fr. Cheers!
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