In the Land of Motors, prominent residents include Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ducati, Maserati, Di Tomaso, Stanguellini and Pagani, which makes the Huayra, a handmade million-dollar vehicle that can go as fast as 230 miles an hour.
You can visit showrooms and museums to learn the history of these legendary luxury sports cars, coveted around the world for their beauty and speed, in the Emilia-Romagna region near Tuscany.Founded in 1939 in Modena by Enzo Ferrari, the Ferrari company produces one of the most well-known luxury sports cars in the world. Today its headquarters is in nearby Maranello.
The Ferrari museum covers the history, folklore and engineering of the prestigious auto and its famed family. You will see why Ferrari is an integral part of Italian culture and identity.
Supposedly, in the 1960s, Ferruccio Lamborghini asked Ferrari to build him a car his way, but when Ferrari declined, the tractor factory magnate went and built his own rival car company. The first model was the 350 GT.
The Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum is in Ferrara, Sant'Agata Bolognese minutes from the Ferrari museum and is run by his nephew Fabio. The Lamborghini Murciélago was the first car to be displayed, followed by the Miura S, the 350 GT, the Countach S, the Jalpa, the Espada, the Sesto Elemento and the Reventón.
See how many of these facts you know about Ferrari:
- The most expensive car ever was a Ferrari 250 GTO that sold for $38,115,000.
- The cars are designed to be both fast and beautiful, so the two are inextricably linked as the branding of the company.
- Scuderia Ferrari, the racing division of Ferrari, is the most successful racing team in Formula 1 history, winning 16 Constructors' Championships and has fielded more winning drivers than any other team.
- Ferrari's trademark red was not deliberate; it was assigned by the International Automobile Federation to all Italian cars racing in the Grand Prix. F1 cars all looked the same until recently. Today red is the most popular choice.
- The prancing black horse logo was not Ferrari's either; it was actually a logo Enzo Ferrari saw on the aeroplane of an Italian World War 1 fighter pilot, Count Francesco Baracca, who died in 1918. The first Le Mans race in 1949 was won by a Ferrari.
- The first official Ferrari, the V12 125 S, was originally scheduled to be manufactured in 1944, but production was delayed for three years because of Allied bombings on the Ferrari factory.
- If you can pay for it, you can get your very own Ferrari custom designed at the factory including the interior, accessories and more. Rocker Eric Clapton has one.
- In 1989, Ferrari invented a new gearbox that had paddles on the steering wheel and no clutch pedal.
- All Ferrari engines are designed to be perfect. Toward this, actual trees grow inside at the factory to balance humidity and maintain air quality. They are musically engineered to sound like a flute or organ by utilizing 3rd and 6th harmonics on the air intake.
- Ferrari’s biggest competitors have been Maserati and Lamborghini. Lamborghini was founded out of a personal rivalry Ferrucio Lamborghini had with founder Enzo Ferrari.
Visit one of these museums or factories if you can and if you are a fan, visit them all. At the Ferrari museum, you can jump into a Ferrari F1 full motion simulator for only 25 euros ($28). Or sit behind the wheel of a Ferrari California for as little as 15 euros ($17). Or take part in a tire change operation just like they do at the F1. (Note: You need a group to book this).
Bella Vista tours offers escorted tours and independent custom tours for groups of all sizes. Call us at 877-723-0802 to talk to an Italian travel expert. We'd love to suggest activities that will suit you and your companions.