The Town That Enzo Built
You’re not a true Ferrari fan until you’ve visited their home of Maranello. Here’s what not to miss on your tour of the most famous town in motorsports.
Have you ever dreamt about the life of a Ferrari test driver? Ever thought about the glamour, the sunshine, and the celebrity status around the Emilia-Romagna region? We certainly have, and luckily for us, Ferrari was happy to help.
Where to eat: Montana
- Remember: To book in advance – it closes at noon on weekends
- Tip: Take a leaf out of Montana’s book and ask a celebrity to sign a restaurant napkin
As you sit at your table and are talked through that evening’s specials, your concentration may wander amidst the memorabilia covering the pine walls of this Swiss chalet-style restaurant. Racing drivers, rally drivers, bike riders, film stars and music legends have all left their mark. Serving simple Italian food since 1967, it’s now in the hands of the Paolucci family.
Mamma Rosella enchants with her cooking, while Maurizio and son Alberto charm with warmth that is at odds with what, to an extent, is a tourist attraction. You feel humbled to dine where Ferrari’s Formula One drivers have raised a toast to another safe race. Michael Schumacher liked Montana so much, he referred to Rosella as his second mother.
Where to learn: The Ferrari Museum
- Remember your camera
- Tip: Serious petrolheads should pay for an audioguide
Seeing as you’re in Ferrari town, it would be a crime not to take in Galleria Ferrari, the official exhibition centre for the history of Ferrari - the man, the supercars and the racing cars. Formula One engines are hung on walls like pieces of art, allowing inquisitive minds to chart the sport’s technical evolution. You can see the part that Shell has played in helping Scuderia Ferrari to 12 FIA Formula One Drivers’ championships and 10 Constructors’ titles, keeping your camera working overtime as you capture the intricate stylistic flourishes so typical of the company’s road cars.
Where to shop: The Ferrari Store
- Remember: Someone has to pay off that credit card bill!
- Tip: Research online, prepare a shopping list and stick to it if you can
Browsing at the Ferrari Store Maranello is a dangerous pastime. Jackets, watches, laptops, phones, books, shoes, sunglasses, – the list of Ferrari goodies is endless. However, our favorite would have to be something for the kids: the Ferrari F430 6 Volt ride-on car is a faithful reproduction of the first representative of the new Ferrari 8 cylinder. Equipped with a 6V electric battery motor, it has an accelerator pedal and an electric brake, as well as a gearbox for first and reverse.
Also look out for the Collectibles Art, a series of six box sets with photographic prints of historically significant scenes for Ferrari in motorsport. Find them at the Ferrari store - store.ferrari.com
Spotting Ferrari's Super Cars: via Musso
- Remember: It’s down to luck to see a prototype for a future Ferrari
- Tip: Visit during the working week, when the factory is open
Before any car company reveals its new models, its engineers have to test the prototypes on public roads, and if you wait by the factory gates at Via Musso you may just spot one - albeit covered in a crude assembly of camouflage that looks like sticky tape and black bin bags. While there’s no shortage of freshly built Ferraris undergoing the standard road test, the real trophy catch is a prototype. Good luck.
Photo opportunities: Pista di Fiorano and the Ferrari Factory entrance
- Remember: “Può farmi una foto, per cortesia?” – Italian for ‘Please would you take my photo?’
- Tip: At the factory entrance, the visitor reception has a small display of Ferrari memorabilia
Ferrari’s own test track dates back to 1972, but it’s quieter these days, as testing of Formula One cars is very restricted. For photographic posterity, pose at the entrance on Via Dino Ferrari, in itself a road name worthy of a snapshot. And for the classic picture postcard moment beneath the historic gates to the Ferrari factory, head for Via Abetone Inferiore, where a neon yellow Ferrari script adorns the entrance.
For a good night's sleep: Maranello Village
- Remember: The hotel is part owned by Ferrari, and their theme isn’t subtle
- Tip: Don’t forget to check out the murals on the walls within the central courtyard
This hotel is as big and red as one of Ferrari’s own loud and proud supercars. It’s a very short drive to the heart of Maranello and boasts all the modern-conveniences you could wish for. There is complimentary wifi and a Ferrari washroom kit, but sadly, no courtesy Ferrari for guests to use.