So you took my advice, you got your plane tickets to Europe, and, just as importantly, you rented a car. Now what address do you put into your smartphone or navigation system first? Well, I suppose that depends what country you’re in — but we set ours to Via Alfredo Dino Ferrari, 43, 41053 Maranello MO, Italy — or Museo Ferrari for short. There’s a lot of cool stuff to do in Maranello, and most of it is related to the prancing-horse empire that Enzo built. A couple of key spots should be on your list, however, and two of them start at the address I just gave you.
Ferrari Factory & Track Tour Maranello
The tour starts in the parking lot of Museo Ferrari, so you can kill two uccelos with one pietra by starting here. Here’s a quick behind-the-scenes look at the Ferrari factory and track tour in Maranello, Italy. I say “behind-the-scenes” because cameras are not allowed on the shuttle-bus tour provided by Ferrari. Well, it’s provided to you once you provide them with EUR 15.00 per person, that is. Which I happily provided well ahead of the trip. And I brought my camera.
Once on the shuttle bus, complete with carbon-fiber seatbacks, you’ll depart on the trip with a helpful guide up front telling you all about what you’re seeing. And it’s all in English! First, you’ll head directly for the gate at the Fiorano test track. She reminded us not to take pictures as we entered the hallowed gates outside the track. OK.
The track wasn’t being used, and we weren’t allowed to get out of the shuttle during the tour — at all. But I did snag a picture of a very interesting house. It was apparently where Enzo Ferrari spent a great deal of time, and it’s now used to house Ferrari F1 drivers when they’re on campus to test. It’s literally in the middle of the track.
Off to the factory area, where there were dozens of well-dressed, very young employees wandering about as we drove through. She explained the production process and how each car is tested for roughly 80 km around the streets and highways of Maranello. This is very much the case — and if you spend any time in the area, you will see plastic-covered Ferrari models blasting around the highways. The noises are spectacular, to the say the least. On another random street, there were literally half a dozen LaFerrari models simply sitting there. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a picture without blowing my cover.
Overall, it’s a short tour — maybe 15 minutes — and you aren’t allowed to get out of the shuttle. But the tour guide was incredibly knowledgable, and it’s still worth the time and money. As is the museum itself, so let’s head there now.
Yes, there’s an entire museum — and this isn’t even the only one you can visit. There is Museo Ferrari Maranello, our focus in this article, as well as the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena. I donned my Kimi Raikkonen shirt (circa 2007-2009 Ferrari F1) and visited Maranello on a hot, hot, Italian July morning — and here’s what I found.
You can’t miss it: It’s a massive glass structure with a large parking lot out front. Unfortunately, you can’t park there, so look elsewhere. There’s a visitor lot across the street that was also full when we arrived, so I parked our little diesel Toyota on the street a block down. While I would recommend booking the track and factory tour in advance, as seats are limited, the museum was pretty open. It never felt crowded or difficult to get up close to your favorite Ferrari. The Ferrari-themed restaurant next door had decent food, and it’s right next to an exotic-car driving experience — so the sights and sounds aren’t bad.
The first floor of the museum is all older models, lots of great historic street and racing cars sitting within inches of your camera lens. There are NO velvet ropes at the Ferrari Museum. None. No matter how rare and expensive, there is solely yellow “caution, do not cross” tape around each vehicle. So you can get very close.
Upstairs, you get into modern Ferrari — and honestly as neat as the old cars were, this is where I lost my ever-loving mind. While it was neat to see real live LaFerraris on the tour getting prepped for delivery, I saw them through the tinted windows of a shuttle bus. These, on the other hand, were right in front of your eyes. Not just a run-of-the-mill variety either: How about the clay model used to design the car as well as the insane FXXK? Yep, right there.
There were even bespoke one-off Ferraris built for wealthy customers, things you won’t see anywhere else. So was this also worth 15 Euros? Most certainly. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Ferrari fan: Any car enthusiast will find something to enjoy at the Ferrari Museum. And their no-velvet-rope policy makes for an up close and personal view of some amazing cars.
Once you’re done for the day, walk due north from the Museo Ferrari down Via Fornace. As the road in front of it curves to the right, you’ll be in my favorite spot in Maranello, just outside Ferrari’s historic old gates. The Ferrari restaurant is on your left; it will likely be closed, as pretty much all Italian restaurants are. Especially when you’re really hungry.
Across Via Fornace is the main Ferrari store. I highly recommend that you go here, as there are a lot of cool items to consider. But, as I was saying, find a spot in the shade near the restaurant (highlighted below in red) and just wait for the cars. They will stack up at the stoplight, waiting to go back into the factory area. The local “exotic driving experience” cars zip through here with wide-eyed drivers, as well. The construction in the image (of the new Ferrari World racing headquarters) is done, so just follow the rosso-colored sidewalk and enjoy the view.
Based in Northern Virginia, William is professional writer and editor and acts as the Editor-in-Chief of Right Foot Down. He misspent most of his youth on tracks in the Mid-Atlantic, as well as killing cones in parking lots, and he once taught at a teen performance driving school.