One of the most pleasant surprises of my recent trip to Emilia-Romagna, Italy was visiting the Enzo Ferrari Museum. Typically museums are not really my thing; I prefer to be out and about wandering a destination on foot, devouring local dishes, and checking out markets. Now that I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on my visit, I realize that one of the main reasons I enjoyed the Enzo Ferrari Museum so much is that it is not your typical museum.
What captured my attention before I even set foot inside the building, was just how sleek the design of the Enzo Ferrari Museum is. The main exhibition hall, which was designed by Jan Kaplicky, is shaped to resemble a Ferrari engine hood and it is striking. Officially known as ‘Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari’ this 6000 square meter museum in Modena is dedicated to the life and work of Enzo Ferrari and it features a mix of rare racing cars from the 1950’s as well as more modern cars from Formula One, but I’m getting ahead of myself, because my experience at this museum began with food.
Considering my trip to Italy was focused around food and drink, I wasn’t surprised when our first order of business at the Enzo Ferrari Museum was to sit down for a coffee and a gelato. The Italians have got it right when it comes to easing your way into an experience by first making sure you’re well fed and caffeinated. Then, it was time to see the cars.
Although I wouldn’t consider myself a car aficionado, I have to say that having the opportunity to get up close with all the different Ferraris really gave me a better appreciation for the style, sophistication and pure muscle behind each vehicle. Seeing these cars up close and in person, I totally understand why someone would aspire to own one!
I found myself fascinated by some of the older racing cars and vintage Ferraris from the 70s. Going for a spin in one of those must have been a real thrill. Most of the time I think of transportation as getting from point A to B but when you’re doing it in style and comfort, it is an entirely different experience. I got to ride in a Ferrari last year in Las Vegas on an ‘exotic car’ tour and that gave me a little taste of what’s out there.
If you can’t get your hands on a Ferrari, one cool thing that you can do at the museum is to hop inside the F1 Simulator, which allows you to experience driving a Ferrari single-seater on the Monza Track (other options include Silverstone and Imola), and react to the conditions on the road by accelerating and breaking. A seven-minute ride costs € 25.00; much cheaper than signing your name on a dotted line.
However, what I enjoyed most at the Enzo Ferrari Museum was their current exhibition “Red Carpet” which pays homage to international films and TV shows that have showcased Ferraris over the years. They had models from Miami Vice, Gone in 60 Seconds, Magnum P.I., and more. And who can forget the iconic Ferrari in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? The mere thought of damaging such a prized possession makes me feel anxious.
Lastly, one thing that I found especially refreshing is that unlike a typical museum that features a laundry list of rules – no flash, no photo, no video! – the Enzo Ferrari Museum encourages its guests to take photos of the exhibits and to share those on social media (#MuseoFerrari, @MCEnzoFerrari) so snap away! Even if you’re not a car buff, I feel the Enzo Ferrari Museum is something that everyone can enjoy.