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Old 26th June 2012, 19:39   #1
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Default Tifosi head to Modena and Maranello. Visiting Ferrari's Home in a Fiat 500

Hello! This is my first travelogue here, and even though it is not a trailblazing one, (I read the excellent ones by @artofzen, @ramanak, and more recently by @Nilkilb2008. [Nikhil, I think we were there at the same time last year]), but for the true Ferrari fan, more is never a problem, and you will read why.

So, following a 7 day drive in a Skoda Fabia in Austria, the wife and I headed to Italy, and after a short stay at Venice, picked up a Fiat 500 and headed down south. After Bologna, Ferarra, Pisa, San Gimignano, Florence, Siena, Rome (and The Vatican), we headed out to Modena, on the way to Milan.

We had 8 days and the holiday had to have a mix of culture, history, driving around, food and a teeny bit of shopping, so could feature only one 'pit stop' if you know what I mean. So among the various brands, had to choose a day at one of the car towns. Any more and the wife would have got seriously bored looking at me slack-jawed at the beauties.

So Ferrari/Maranello it was.

Getting out of Rome is tough, because there are no signs that say Autostrada, so had to ask in English and sign language. Most locals that we met were insulated and haven't really traveled very far, so weren't sure of places or directions. Strange. Or as always, Europeans hate using English.


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Asking for directions. It was pretty hopeless.


The Italian summer is very hot, 40C or more every day. So last August, being tourists, we were forced to roam around in the heat. The Italians, en-masse, had fled to cooler climes. And most cities and villages that we visited and passed by were practically deserted.

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Famous fountain. Enticing in the heat.


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Oranges growing on the streets of Rome. Ah, the pleasures of Summer.


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The Fiat 500 console. 39C and climbing.

Another thing. Unlike Austria, the signage was not very clear. The Autostrada was excellent, but when you hit a town, it's a maze of old streets, no signage to 'Centrale'/'Zentrum' where we were staying. And no locals to ask either. Spoilt by the signage in Austria, didn't pick up the GPS device, only to rue it later.

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We soon found our way and hit the Autostrada.

Anyway, I could have stayed in a barn, given the fact I was 30 minutes away from a place I had only dreamt of.

In my eight days, not counting the Maranello area, spotted just one Ferrari on the last day, as we were driving to Milan! And no other supercar. Shame.

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The streets were quiet. Everyone was on holiday.


Booked a garish hotel in a quiet side street in Modena. (Note to self: never go by pictures put up on the internet).
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The curt/sad receptionist was a 20 something girl left alone in Italy, by her Punjabi family. In spite of recognising that we were Indians, refused to speak in anything but Italian but the next day, got over her discomfort and finally opened up to the wife. There are a lot of Indian farmhands living in pitiful conditons all around. But that's another story.

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My disbelief mirrored here. I am actually at Modena?!


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Apt lane to be staying in.


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The Papal presence is noticeable everywhere, owning a lot of places all over.

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Interesting door knobs, actually if you notice them, all over Europe.


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Cycles for hire.


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Amazing food. Italy is made for Indian tourists, even if they are vegetarian.


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Quaffed a bit of the local stuff: a glass of Lambrusco, the region's speciality. And with it come cold cuts, olives, and fresh bread, free during happy hours.

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Fancy showing off your leaning tower? Undies can also make for a cool gift.



Okay, okay, coming to the point.
The next day, we left for Maranello, a half hour drive by car, and reached the unassuming little village that hosts the most famous marque in the world.

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The Ferrari factory tour had to be booked in advance and was more than 4 hours long. So we decided to skip it (sacrilege?) and headed to the Museo Ferrari. (We had to reach Milan by evening, which was a good distance (3-4 hours) away and drop the car off at Europcar, the car rental company by 6.30pm and catch the train to Geneva. The next country in the itinerary.

Europcar, by the way are great, had no hassles, took my Indian driver's license and gave me brand new cars in both the countries. The next trip I am going to opt for a better car though, the Fiat 500 was a huge disappointment, if you overlook the cute factor.

Not suited for the cross country drive on the Autostrada. So spend a bit more and get something more than a 1.2 L engine. The Fabia was way better, with a similar sized engine.

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At the Museo, we booked an English speaking guide to take us through the history and talk us through each Ferrari model on display. A cute English girl in Italy doing her Masters in Language and primarily here to learn Italian, and freelancing at the Museo to make some pocket money. But she was a fount of information, having been trained really well.

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The Museo has two floors. A cafe, a trinkets and souvenirs section with the race cars on the ground floor. And the barely street-legal road cars on the first floor. Outside are the Drive a Ferrari / other super cars for about 80 Euros for 10 minutes. Or more time if you pay for it. I am going to keep the photographs as unique as possible, since a few have already been covered earlier.

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Everything is branded, red.

So after a meal at the cafe, and resisting the temptation to buy overpriced mugs and T-shirts, our tour started. Since there were no other English language visitors, it became a personal tour for the two of us.

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English girl, to us:

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1. Enzo Ferrari always wrote with a specific Purple ink all his life. No other colour was acceptable.

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2. Every country in those days was represented by a colour, British by the British racing green, German's by Silver, Italians by red and so forth, but the colour of Modena, the region they are located in, and therefore Ferrari is the amazing yellow that we have all seen.

3. After a couple of places, he came to work and race for Alfa Romeo.

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4. He met his patron, Francesco Baracca (Italy's leading WWI ace) who used the prancing horse symbol. Francesco's mother allowed Enzo to use the symbol, which Enzo modified slightly. Instead of Baracca's symbol with horse's tail flowing down, Ferrari would use it with tail up, signifying victory.

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5. After finally starting on his own at a small factory in Modena, he moved it to larger premises in Maranello, (the original factory is still preserved among the more modern new buildings).


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6. Ferrari, till he was alive, and as a company till very recently never kept any of his cars. Each winning car was sold off to obtain money to buy the latest technology of that time. So that he could continue racing, first as a driver and then as a factory team, and winning.

Last edited by Automaton : 27th June 2012 at 19:35. Reason: Corrected pictures not uploaded.
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Old 26th June 2012, 19:51   #2
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Default Re: Tifosi head to Modena and Maranello

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9. Inside the Ferrari factory, the avenues are all named after the 8 World Champions. Though the main cross street dividing the avenues is named 'Via Enzo Ferrari' and the big square 'Via Michael Schumacher' in honor of his winning the most number of championships.

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THE RACE CARS.

Technology, more than racing bravado wins races consistently. Each model helped win and the trophy showcase in the Hall of Champions, is just 60% of all the trophies won by Team Ferrari.

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Last edited by Automaton : 28th June 2012 at 12:38.
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Old 26th June 2012, 20:00   #3
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Default Re: Tifosi head to Modena and Maranello

THE ROAD CARS


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10. Even though the 458 Italia is a special car, the most beautiful one that I've seen is the 250 California.

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11. The Dino was named after his son passed away. Limited edition among limited edition cars.


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12. The most exclusive one certainly is the custom built 360 Barchetta, for the favourite 'son' Luca de Montezemolo's wedding.
It's made specially for him.

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The windscreen has a heart shape for the newly weds.

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The interiors matched the wedding suit and colours of the bride and groom. After the wedding, it is on permanent loan to the Museo.

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13. The carbon fibre and light alloy race car for racing champions, (it's Ferrari's version of a track car!) 599XX is supposed to be a technological showcase. As if the 'regular' cars are not.

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Last edited by Automaton : 27th June 2012 at 18:54. Reason: Putting correct pictures and continuing write up from above.
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Old 27th June 2012, 19:11   #4
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Default Re: Tifosi head to Modena and Maranello

Other Drool Material

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On the way to Milan from Maranello, we were really hard pressed for time, as Europcar shuts at 6.30, and I had taken too much time reclicking pictures. The Autostrada had a jam and we were moving pretty slowly.

Remember that the right lane is the slow lane and that is where the Ferrari was. Like I said, this was our first one, outside of Maranello in the 8 days of driving around Italy.

Promptly switched off the AC and lowered the windows to hear the glorious sound.

So this guy is patient. No revving to show who's in a million dollar car. Quietly following hatchbacks and trucks.

This patient behaviour went on for a good 25 km! Till at one point I started suspecting there was something wrong, either with the driver or the car.


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Even then, there was nothing in his changing of lanes, gear changes or non-verbals to show his frustration. Calmly accelerating, he tooled off, and finally disappeared.

This was also the first time, I did 150 plus. Chasing him in a Fiat 500. Obviously to no avail.

All these days I had set the car alarm to sound at 110KMPH, which was the legal limit, even though everyone was crossing that everywhere.


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He finally zoomed off when it was clear. Amazing attitude.


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So after handing over the well-traveled Fiat 500 to Europcar, and pointing out the chip in the windshield, which i had overlooked at delivery, but didn't want to get charged a penalty, they just waved it off without any hassles.
Vast difference from what I have experienced here. Even when hiring a bike in Goa.

We needed to end our last day in Italy on a good meal. So after enquiring around, avoided a place calling itself an Indian Restaurant, and headed to THE KITCHEN, run by a Chinese family, but serving excellent Italian food.

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A carafe of house wine cost just 5 Euros and was really good.
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Ordered a Cheese Scarmoza.
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A tiramisu that was to die for.
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And thin crust wood-fired pizza that rounded it off well.
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Last edited by Automaton : 27th June 2012 at 19:31.
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Old 29th June 2012, 13:08   #5
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Default Re: Tifosi head to Modena and Maranello. Visiting Ferrari's Home in a Fiat 500

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th June 2012, 14:43   #6
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Default Re: Tifosi head to Modena and Maranello. Visiting Ferrari's Home in a Fiat 500



Quote:
Originally Posted by Automaton View Post
Hello! This is my first travelogue here, and even though it is not a trailblazing one, but for the true Ferrari fan, more is never a problem, and you will read why.
Firstly Hail Ferrari!

A very nice first effort Automaton and your above words are very true indeed!

So nice to see the sea of red all over that Museo Ferrari and some iconic ones captured here. The semi circle F1 cars must be the world champion winning ones by Schumi in a chronological order.
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Old 29th June 2012, 15:30   #7
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Default Re: Tifosi head to Modena and Maranello. Visiting Ferrari's Home in a Fiat 500

Thanks GTO, theexperthand and viju for going through the travelogue, even though you have seen at least 4 of these detailed out before.

@girishglg, it was a lifetime's experience crunched into the 5 hours spent in Maranello. Unforgettable.

You are right, they were the winning cars from the previous years, including Schumi's.

To me, the breath of fresh air were the Ferrari's that were not red. Have seen too many reds.

The yellow is to be seen to be appreciated. Sachin Special Edition Fiat Palio was close but not the finish and depth of colour of the Ferrari 458 Italia.

Similarly, what the photographs don't do justice to are the ones attempted to capture the beauty of the 250 California. When you see all of them together, the timeless lines of the 250 California stay with you way more.

That car got the biggest grin going on my face. And has stayed with me the most. The 458 Italia is a close second.

My assumption is that's because I am biased towards cars of that era.
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Old 29th June 2012, 16:11   #8
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Default Re: Tifosi head to Modena and Maranello. Visiting Ferrari's Home in a Fiat 500

Great to see another bhpian visit Maranello! I did that in November 2011 and posted a similar thread link (The pilgrimage of the Tifosi)

I see a few vehicles in your pics that weren't there around the time I went. Why didn't you drive a Ferrari from Pit Stop? Nikhil's travelogue gave me that idea and I did that and its quite the experience!

Did you pick up any souvenirs?

Cheers,
Adi
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Old 29th June 2012, 18:05   #9
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Default Re: Tifosi head to Modena and Maranello. Visiting Ferrari's Home in a Fiat 500

Yes AVR, I did see your post too, I was there in August, about the time Nikhil was there.

The guide told me that every six months, new 'donor' cars come in and a few go back to the collectors, so a visit more than once may be quite rewarding. And probably that was the reason I finally dug out my pics and posted them here.

Ferrari/Lamborghini Drive: Somehow a 10-20 minute drive with an expert, (reminded me of Driving school days?), didn't sit well with me. So will wait for a chance when I can rent one for a day or two. That'll be an experience. Finger's crossed.

I think my mind-expanding memories are the best souvenirs. Unlike mugs they don't break, or fade like T-shirts
Already have a Ferrari back-pack, so am sorted on that front. Don't want to look like this gent I encountered at a lunch at Westin, he had Puma Ferrari shoes, a red Ferrari t-shirt, a cap and a watch which looked like a branded one.

The next pilgrimage on the list is this: http://sinsheim.technik-museum.de/en
Saw a bit of it on Discovery Turbo.

Last edited by Automaton : 29th June 2012 at 18:10.
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Old 6th July 2012, 12:34   #10
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Smile Re: Tifosi head to Modena and Maranello. Visiting Ferrari's Home in a Fiat 500

Non c' rosso, meglio il rosso Ferrari, non c' bellezza come la razza italiana.

Tutti ferrari grandine !

A pilgrimage in true sense for all ferrari lovers >including me<

Thanks for sharing and woah !!! Looking at the pics, i wished i could just get into my screen and kiss all of them !!

Tears of joy
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Old 6th July 2012, 22:08   #11
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@bilalsyed the first part I can only hazard a guess - something eloquently flattering and complimentary to the hundreds of shiny horses on display.

I spent more than allocated time (no guesses why) and had to hot foot it to Milan later. Mostly because the lights and the numerous tourists mingling around prevent clicking cleaner pictures.

On That pretext I spent the maximum time with the black beauty, 250 California
Would love to go again.
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Old 8th July 2012, 07:13   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Automaton View Post
@bilalsyed the first part I can only hazard a guess - something eloquently flattering and complimentary to the hundreds of shiny horses on display.

I spent more than allocated time (no guesses why) and had to hot foot it to Milan later. Mostly because the lights and the numerous tourists mingling around prevent clicking cleaner pictures.

On That pretext I spent the maximum time with the black beauty, 250 California
Would love to go again.
The first lines try to convey my love of red It means- There's no red like the ferrari red, no lady/beauty like the italian bred.

the 250 !! wish i could put one of those heart smilies we use on fb !! You should have seen my face as i was looking at her, my seniors told that i froze in front of the monitor !! and please do go again. just WoW !!
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Old 8th July 2012, 10:21   #13
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Default Re: Tifosi head to Modena and Maranello. Visiting Ferrari's Home in a Fiat 500

Those pics brings back old memories. I was fortunate enough to be in there, for a brief while. Thanks for sharing.
Perhaps, you can add Museo Nicolis to your itinerary next time. Its close to Verona and if you love vintages, motorcycles, aviation history and jet-engines, it would be a visit worth.
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Old 8th July 2012, 11:01   #14
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Thanks Jeeva, will certainly look it up.

Currently, the horrors of a self drive are catching up with me back home, one year later.
Apparently, I drove in a 'bus only' lane, twice in Firenze.
And in Rome, in spite of parking in a blue line zone, have got two parking violations.

It seems these are going to cost me as much as hiring the car. The next trip will have me with eyes peeled on the road than the sights around
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Old 8th July 2012, 11:55   #15
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Default Re: Tifosi head to Modena and Maranello. Visiting Ferrari's Home in a Fiat 500

Very nice! I was there in May, so it was a lot cooler!

But you really should have driven a Ferrari. It is an experience you will never ever forget.
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