Maranello: a visit to the Italian Heaven (Part One)

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Walking in heaven seems so surreal, but it comes true if you visit a certain town called Maranello. Things in that Italian ‘jewel box’ are different from everything you make experience within the real world. Last August,’s Balazs Szabo visited Ferrari’s heartland which did not fail to impress.

Ferrari which was founded back in 1939 by Enzo Ferrari is not the biggest car manufacturer in the world, however it is probably the auto manufacturer with the richest history and largest myth. According to the London-based Brand Finance, Ferrari is the most powerful brand. It is also the manufacturer which produced the most expensive car in history as the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was sold for 38.1 US dollars in May 2012.

Ferrari may not always control the racing series it enters, it may not excel in the current F1 era, but Ferrari is still the most beloved car and racing team.

Ferrari was founded in Modena in 1929 by Enzo Ferrari. The eponymous founder originally didn’t want to produce his own race cars, instead it prepared and fielded Alfa Romeo racing cars for gentlemen drivers. Enzo became Alfa Romeo’s manager as the car manufacturer reopened its racing operation in-house. The Modena-born Enzo left its role a year later and founded its own company in 1939. It first produced machine tools and aircraft accessories, but in 1940 it designed its first ever race car, the Tipo 815. That started the myth.

In 1943, Ferrari moved to Maranello from Modena where it has remained ever since. Maranello became a pilgrimage destination which offers a wealth to discover.

The best place to start the journey in the red heaven on earth is Modena. The small town where the legend started long time ago gives place to Enzo Ferrari’s museum. It consists of two buildings. In one of them, you can discover Enzo Ferrari’s former office and a series of engines which stresses the fact how important engines in a racing car were for the founder. He is often quoted as saying: “Aerodynamics is for those who cannot manufacture good engines.” In the spacious hall you can follow the development of engines with the most outstanding Ferrari sportscars and F1 engines of the fabled Italian manufacturer’s history.

In the second building, there is an exhibition with historic cars, many of which found their way into the film industry. A special tribute film is played on an enormous screen which is accompanied by the wonderful music of Luciano Pavarotti who was one of the most commercially successful tenors of all time. There is interactive corner in that building with a F1 simulator and some special photo shooting opportunities.

If you think the journey, which has already provided you with a rich history, special settings, emotional music drawing tears from everyone’s eyes, has ended at that point, you are wrong. In fact, it has just started and given only a first taste what a wonderful voyage you have just embarked on.

Your next destination is Maranello where you can travel with Ferrari’s special bus to. Everything is beautifully organized. The bus travels frequently between the two towns. The distance which separates the two parts of Ferrari’s scarlet-red heart is 18 km.

There is a station between Modena and Maranello. The bus stops at Luciano Pavarotti’s estate. The great tenor was also born in Modena. You can get off, discover his museum and get on the next Ferrari bus.

After a few minutes, you get a sight of a red hotel complex which marks the border of Maranello. It is a small town in the Emilia-Romagna region with a population of around 17000 people. Maranello became famous only thanks to Ferrari. While drawing near to this jewel box, you get more and more nervous. Ferrari is in the air. Its smell dominates the atmosphere. You get a sight of the tall factory buildings.

The bus takes you right to the Ferrari museum. It is surrounded by the Ferrari test track, Ferrari shops, Ferrari factory, Ferrari test drive services, Ferrari’ F1 headquarter. Everything is about Ferrari. After taking a few steps, you realize you are in Ferrari land. A place which became the heaven for thousands of people. That’s a place where time, dimensions cease to exist.

Continue to read Part Two.