The City of Engines: Modena, Italy, 2016
"The finest victory is that which is yet to be won"
Modena, the city in Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, is well known for its automotive industry. It is also known as the world's 'Supercar Capital' as it is home to some of the leading manufacturers of sport cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ducati, De Tomaso, Pagani and the likes.
This visit to Modena was a short, one day trip with a plan to visit both the Ferrari Museums. I am not any car enthusiast but can say that I really am a fan for the Formula 1 Motor Racing, and that's what grabbed my attention to these. It is a 23 minutes train journey from Bologna and would cost you around 10 euros.
Another major aspect of Modena is its FOOD! Yes, the modenese food is known worldwide as synonymous with good food. I have tried the symbol of the Modenese table, the tortellino, the delicious navel of pastry filled with meat and eaten in beef-stock (my all time preferred dish after I tried it in Bologna). If you prefer the bigger version and something vegetarian, then you could opt for tortelloni, usually filled with by spinach and ricotta. If you are planning a trip to this place way early, unlike me, then make sure to reserve your table with the restaurant that has been named as one of the best restaurants in the world, a three-Michelin-star, "Osteria Francescana". Majorly famous for its owner and the chef Massimo Bottura. Bookings should be made at least 3 months before is what I had been told! Once you get to know about the chef, you will understand that it is going to be worth the waiting. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to it but its definitely on my list of unfinished desires, yet to be explored. By the way, do not forget to get a bottle of the famous balsamic vinegar home (like I did)!
After reading my blog that describes the "Food in Bologna" and now a small introduction to the modenese food, you might have understood that Emilia-Romagna region is undoubtedly the capital of gastronomy and is home to serving the most exclusive gastronomic delights! One of the reasons that turned me into a typical cuisine connoisseur, also considering the fact that I am from the city of "Hyderabad" (India) - the city famous for its food!
Now getting back to business! The first visit was to the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari.
📍 Enzo Ferrari Museum, Modena, Italy
The Enzo Ferrari Museum, formerly known as Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari is a transport museum dedicated to the founder of the world-famous Ferrari sports car marque. It undoubtedly showcased the life and work of Enzo Ferrari, at its best.
The museum features two seperate buildings. One is a former house and workshop that belonged to Enzo Ferrari's father. The other one adjacent to that is the huge gallery, a non-linear structure that has a streamlined yellow aluminium roof that matches the color of the Ferrari logo and features sliced incisions intended to resemble the air intake vents on the bonnet of a car.
Enzo Ferrari's House and Workplace has a whole section about all the different engines and Ferrari motors and a detailed history of every single car Ferrari has made! You would love to be here if you're into all the technical details.
While on the adjacent side, the gallery is the exhibition that displays some of the most noteworthy Ferrari's automobiles.
Before we check out the cars, a movie on the life of Enzo Ferrari is projected on these tall white walls of the exhibition. It focuses on how he turned himself from little to this big, his accomplishments and car developments over the years. You also get to know the history behind the logo of Ferrari featuring "the prancing horse', the symbol originally used by World War I pilot, Francesco Baracca.
There is a story associated to it's design as told by Enzo Ferrari himself. Following one of his wins at the Targa Florio, he met Francesco Baracca's parents who told him that his son used to paint the prancing horse on his airplane and said it would bring him fortune if he did the same with Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari considered their advice and started to use the black prancing horse on a yellow background. Yellow being one of the colours of the city flag of his birthplace, Modena. He also made sure to add the italian flag colors on the top of the logo as stripes and the later evolution has the letters S F for Scuderia Ferrari whereas the earlier version had the entire word 'Ferrari' written on it.
The museum portrayed a mixture of unique car collection as well as limited editioned racing cars, both vintage and modern versions. You can also read out each car's details with the help of the placards attached to them. That was an interesting part for me as I was wondering how could he even design that crazy powerful designs dating back to those old times!
Besides the cars, the architecture of the museum is worth for a visit too! A guided tour for this one is recommended as you get to know some amazing facts on how Enzo Ferrari developed his empire! Totally amazed on the skills he got!
By the way if you cannot get your hands on a Ferrari, this museum offers a chance to hop inside a F1 simulator, that allows you experience driving a Ferrari single seater on tracks such as Monza, Silverstone and Imola; and react to the conditions on the road (by accelerating and breaking). Make sure you try that!
📍 Museo Ferrari, Maranello
Being the birthplace of Ferrari, Maranello's Museo Ferrari focussed more on how and what are the cars that were designed.
How to get there:
You can take a bus that runs very frequently form the Modena Statzione FS (Modena's bus stop) to Modena Direzionale 70 (Maranello's bus stop). It takes around 25 minutes to reach.
One of the special features the museum offers is a test drive in a Ferrari. Yes, you heard me right! You can fulfill your 'driving a Ferrari' emotion by feeling the power of engines and the adrenaline. This happens just in front of the museum and the test drives can last as little as 30 minutes to approximately 2 hours, depending on what you pay for. If you had some issues that didn't let you do that (like for my case), then you can end up taking some cool photographs with the Ferrari cars available.
Some of the collections at the museum (watch the video):
The most exciting element of the museum, was the "Hall of Victories". The victories of Scuderia Ferrari are celebrated here and it is a must visit for F1 enthusiasts. It displays the trophies and the collection of original helmets of the 9 World Champions.
On the occasion of the 50th birthday of the legendary Formula One champion, Michael Schumacher, the museum has exhibited 'Michael 50', where some of the finest Ferrari Formula 1 cars driven by him were on display. It provides an in-depth look at Schumacher's hugely successful career in F1 with seven world titles, 91 victories and 155 podiums.
"My game is going wrong - the star is setting"
- Alberto Ascari
"You must always strive to be the best, but you must never believe that you are."
- Juan Manuel Fangio
"The question why did you retire is a much nicer than why don't you retire."
- Mike Hawthorn
"If you get your education, then you've got your platform set up for you."
- Phill Hill
"Everything you need to get that relaxed driving that brings consistency only comes with practice."
- John Surtees
"From success, you learn absolutely nothing. From failure and setbacks conclusions can be drawn. That goes for your private life as well as your career."
- Niki Lauda
"Michael Schumacher deserved the driver's championship. To be honest, I didn't want to keep my record as the last Ferrari world champion; it's never done me any good!"
- Jody Scheckter
"Once something is a passion, the motivation is there."
- Michael Schumacher
"Be yourself. If you try to be someone else, it won't work. Whatever you do, you are not going to make everyone happy."
- Kimi Raikkonen
"The best Ferrari is that which has yet to be built."
- Enzo Ferrari